Introduction to SAS

Before we can start using the SAS program and learn how to write the code and match it to our data and trials, we need to be aware of different versions of SAS that we have access to.

Available Versions of SAS

  • PC Standalone Version – PC-SAS or SAS 9.4
  • Animal Biosciences department ONLY
    • Access the server version of PC-SAS
  • SAS University Edition – SAS Studio
    • This is free for all academics to use. You can download the free version from https://www.sas.com/en_ca/software/university-edition.html
    • This is available for both Mac and Windows users
    • Please note, that you will be required to update this version every year.  SAS will send you a reminder notice, approximately 1 year from your installation date.
  • SAS OnDemand – SAS Studio
    • This is also free for academics
    • This is SAS’ in the cloud version of the University Edition
    • Environment is the same as the University Edition, the difference is that you are using the SAS service in the Cloud, all your files are stored in the Cloud and not on your local system, and you are using their computer resources NOT your own system – accessed through a web browser with your own personal login

What Parts of SAS do you have access to?

SAS is an extremely large and complex software program with many different components.  We primarily use Base SAS, SAS/STAT, SAS/ACCESS, and maybe bits and pieces of other components such as SAS/IML.

SAS University Edition and SAS OnDemand both use SAS Studio.  SAS Studio is an interface to the SAS program and contains the following components:

  • BaseSAS – base SAS programming, DATA Step
  • SAS/STAT – the PROCs used for statistical analyses
  • SAS/IML – SAS’ matrix programming language
  • SAS/ACCESS – allows you to interact with different data formats
  • Some parts of SAS/ETS – time series analysis

If you are using the PC or Server SAS versions, you may have access to more than the modules listed above.  To see exactly what you have access to, you can run the following code:

Proc Setinit;
Run;

You will see the components available to you listed in the log window.

Also note the additional information available to you:

  • License information
  • Expiration date – very handy to be aware of, especially if you are running your own copy of your PC
  • SAS components available to you

What does SAS look like?

There are a number of components to the SAS interface:

  • Results and Explorer windows to the left
  • Editor, Log, Output, and Results Viewer windows to the right, taking up most of the screen

SAS_Windows_interface_Contents_window_Editor_Log_Windows.jpg

What do each of these windows do?

  • Results Window –  a Table of Contents for all of your results.
  • Explorer Window – similar to Windows Explorer – allows you to navigate SAS libraries and files
  • Editor Window – this is where you will spend most of your time, writing and editing program files
  • Log Window – this window is extremely helpful, think of it as your best friend in SAS, it tells you what SAS has done every step of your program and processing
  • Output Window – SAS versions 9.2 and earlier, use this window to display all results and output.  SAS 9.3 and higher use a new window called the Results Viewer.  All the results are presented in an HTML format.

How does SAS work?

SAS is divided into 2 areas:

  • DATA step
  • PROCs (short for PROCedures)

DATA step is all about data manipulation – one of the key strengths to SAS
PROCs – this is where you will find most of your statistical procedures.

Let’s Get Started with Reading Data

Notes to Reading Data into SAS are available as a PDF document. Please download and save on your laptop.

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