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SAS 9.4 SQL Procedure User's Guide, Fourth Edition, 4th Edition by SAS Institute

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Syntax Conventions for the SAS Language
Overview of Syntax Conventions for the SAS Language
SAS uses standard conventions in the documentation of syntax for SAS language
elements. These conventions enable you to easily identify the components of SAS
syntax. The conventions can be divided into these parts:
syntax components
style conventions
special characters
references to SAS libraries and external files
Syntax Components
The components of the syntax for most language elements include a keyword and
arguments. For some language elements, only a keyword is necessary. For other
language elements, the keyword is followed by an equal sign (=). The syntax for
arguments has multiple forms in order to demonstrate the syntax of multiple arguments,
with and without punctuation.
keyword
specifies the name of the SAS language element that you use when you write your
program. Keyword is a literal that is usually the first word in the syntax. In a CALL
routine, the first two words are keywords.
In these examples of SAS syntax, the keywords are bold:
CHAR (string, position)
CALL RANBIN (seed, n, p, x);
ALTER (alter-password)
BEST w.
REMOVE <data-set-name>
In this example, the first two words of the CALL routine are the keywords:
CALL RANBIN(seed, n, p, x)
The syntax of some SAS statements consists of a single keyword without arguments:
DO;
vii
... SAS code ...
END;
Some system options require that one of two keyword values be specified:
DUPLEX | NODUPLEX
Some procedure statements have multiple keywords throughout the statement syntax:
CREATE <UNIQUE> INDEX index-name ON table-name (column-1 <,
column-2, …>)
argument
specifies a numeric or character constant, variable, or expression. Arguments follow
the keyword or an equal sign after the keyword. The arguments are used by SAS to
process the language element. Arguments can be required or optional. In the syntax,
optional arguments are enclosed in angle brackets ( < > ).
In this example, string and position follow the keyword CHAR. These arguments are
required arguments for the CHAR function:
CHAR (string, position)
Each argument has a value. In this example of SAS code, the argument string has a
value of 'summer', and the argument position has a value of 4:
x=char('summer', 4);
In this example, string and substring are required arguments, whereas modifiers and
startpos are optional.
FIND(string, substring <, modifiers> <, startpos>
argument(s)
specifies that one argument is required and that multiple arguments are allowed.
Separate arguments with a space. Punctuation, such as a comma ( , ) is not required
between arguments.
The MISSING statement is an example of this form of multiple arguments:
MISSING character(s);
<LITERAL_ARGUMENT> argument-1 <<LITERAL_ARGUMENT> argument-2 ... >
specifies that one argument is required and that a literal argument can be associated
with the argument. You can specify multiple literals and argument pairs. No
punctuation is required between the literal and argument pairs. The ellipsis (...)
indicates that additional literals and arguments are allowed.
The BY statement is an example of this argument:
BY <DESCENDING> variable-1 <<DESCENDING> variable-2 …>;
argument-1 <option(s)> <argument-2 <option(s)> ...>
specifies that one argument is required and that one or more options can be
associated with the argument. You can specify multiple arguments and associated
options. No punctuation is required between the argument and the option. The
ellipsis (...) indicates that additional arguments with an associated option are
allowed.
The FORMAT procedure PICTURE statement is an example of this form of multiple
arguments:
PICTURE name <(format-option(s))>
<value-range-set-1 <(picture-1-option(s))>
<value-range-set-2 <(picture-2-option(s))> …>>;
viii About This Book

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