You can think of extended attributes as customized metadata for your SAS files.
Whereas common SAS attributes such as Labels for data sets, or Length and Label for
variables are predefined SAS system attributes, extended attributes are attributes that
you define yourself. They are organized into name-value pairs and are associated with
either a variable within a SAS data set or a SAS data set in general. Extended attributes
are organized into (name, value) pairs and for the BASE engine. Their data is stored in a
separate SAS data file with file extension sas7bxat.
Enabling and Manipulating Extended Attributes
You can create, add, delete, update, remove, and specify options for extended attributes
using various XATTR statements in the DATASETS procedure. You can also use PROC
CONTENTS to display data set and variable extended attributes. For more information
about extended attributes, see “Extended Attributes” in Chapter 16 of Base SAS
The following output shows the results of running PROC CONTENTS on a SAS data set
with extended attributes.
Output 26.6 PROC CONTENTS Output Showing List of Extended Attributes
Extended Attributes 637