About Library Engines
Definition of a Library Engine
A library engine is an engine that accesses groups of files and puts them into a logical
form for processing by SAS utility procedures and windows. A library engine also
determines the fundamental processing characteristics of the library and presents lists of
files for the library directory. Library engines can be classified as native or interface.
Native Library Engines
Definition of Native Library Engine
A native library engine is an engine that accesses forms of SAS files that are created and
processed only by SAS.
Operating Environment Information
Engine availability is host dependent. See the SAS documentation for your operating
environment. Also, specific products provide additional engines.
Default Base SAS Engine
The default Base SAS engine writes SAS libraries in disk format. The engine processes
SAS 7, SAS 8, and SAS 9 files. If you do not specify an engine name when you are
creating a new SAS library, the Base SAS engine, which for SAS 9 is named V9, is
When accessing existing SAS data sets on disk, SAS assigns an engine based on the
contents of the library. The Base SAS engine has the following characteristics:
• It is the only engine that supports the full functionality of the SAS data set and the
• It supports view engines.
• It meets all the processing characteristics required by SAS statements and
• It creates, maintains, and uses indexes.
• It reads and writes compressed (variable-length) observations. SAS data sets created
by other engines have fixed-length observations.
• It assigns a permanent page size to data sets and temporarily assigns the number of
buffers to be used when processing them.
• It repairs damaged SAS data sets, indexes, and catalogs.
• It enforces integrity constraints, creates backup files, and creates audit trails.
Note: SAS files created in SAS 7, 8, and 9 have the same file format.
The REMOTE engine is a SAS library engine for SAS/SHARE software. Using it
enables a SAS session to access shared data by communicating with a SAS server. For
more information, see the SAS/SHARE User’s Guide.
744 Chapter 35 • SAS Engines