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

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=
an equal sign identifies a value for a literal in some language elements such as
system options.
In this example of the MAPS system option, the equal sign sets the value of MAPS:
MAPS=location-of-maps
< >
angle brackets identify optional arguments. A required argument is not enclosed in
angle brackets.
In this example of the CAT function, at least one item is required:
CAT (item-1 <, item-2, …>)
|
a vertical bar indicates that you can choose one value from a group of values. Values
that are separated by the vertical bar are mutually exclusive.
In this example of the CMPMODEL= system option, you can choose only one of the
arguments:
CMPMODEL=BOTH | CATALOG | XML
...
an ellipsis indicates that the argument can be repeated. If an argument and the ellipsis
are enclosed in angle brackets, then the argument is optional. The repeated argument
must contain punctuation if it appears before or after the argument.
In this example of the CAT function, multiple item arguments are allowed, and they
must be separated by a comma:
CAT (item-1 <, item-2, …>)
'value' or "value"
indicates that an argument that is enclosed in single or double quotation marks must
have a value that is also enclosed in single or double quotation marks.
In this example of the FOOTNOTE statement, the argument text is enclosed in
quotation marks:
FOOTNOTE <n> <ods-format-options 'text' | "text">;
;
a semicolon indicates the end of a statement or CALL routine.
In this example, each statement ends with a semicolon:
data namegame;
length color name $8;
color = 'black';
name = 'jack';
game = trim(color) || name;
run;
References to SAS Libraries and External Files
Many SAS statements and other language elements refer to SAS libraries and external
files. You can choose whether to make the reference through a logical name (a libref or
fileref) or use the physical filename enclosed in quotation marks. If you use a logical
name, you typically have a choice of using a SAS statement (LIBNAME or
FILENAME) or the operating environment's control language to make the reference.
x About This Book
Several methods of referring to SAS libraries and external files are available, and some
of these methods depend on your operating environment.
In the examples that use external files, SAS documentation uses the italicized phrase
file-specification. In the examples that use SAS libraries, SAS documentation uses the
italicized phrase SAS-library enclosed in quotation marks:
infile file-specification obs = 100;
libname libref 'SAS-library';
Syntax Conventions for the SAS Language xi
xii About This Book

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