can also use PROC CONTENTS to display data set and variable extended attributes. For
more information see SAS Language Reference: Concepts.
SAS data files (member type: Data)
The SAS data file is probably the most frequently used type of SAS file. SAS data
files have a SAS member type of Data and are created in the DATA step and by
certain SAS procedures such as the RANK procedure in Base SAS software. SAS
data files have a file extension of .sas7bdat.
SAS defines two types of SAS data files, native and interface. Native data files store
data values and descriptor information, as described earlier, in files formatted by
SAS. These files are the SAS data sets you might be familiar with from previous
versions of SAS under other operating s. In SAS under Windows, native SAS data
files can be indexed. The index is an auxiliary file that you create to provide fast
access to records within a SAS data file through a variable or key. Indexes are stored
as separate files but are treated by SAS as integral parts of the SAS data file. To learn
more about indexes, see SAS Language Reference: Concepts.
The second type of data file is the interface SAS data file. These files store data in a
file formatted by other software. Examples of interface SAS data files are BMDP,
OSIRIS, and SPSS files, which SAS can access as read-only files. For more
information, see “Reading BMDP, OSIRIS, and SPSS Files” on page 147 .
SAS data views (member type: View)
SAS data views have a member type of View. They describe data values and tell SAS
where to find the values, but they do not contain the actual data values themselves.
SAS data views have a file extension of .sas7bvew.
Views can be native or interface. A native SAS data view is created with the SQL
procedure or with the DATA step and describes a subset or combination of the data
in one or more SAS data files or SAS data views. For information about SQL views,
see the Base SAS Procedures Guide. For information about DATA step views, see
SAS Language Reference: Concepts.
Interface SAS data views contain descriptor information for data formatted by other
software products (for example, a database management system). You access
database views using the SAS/ACCESS LIBNAME statement. For more
information, see SAS/ACCESS Interface to PC Files: Reference and SAS/ACCESS
for Relational Databases: Reference.
SAS Catalogs (Member Type: Catalog)
A SAS catalog is a special type of SAS file that can contain multiple entries. You can
keep different types of entries in the same SAS catalog. An example of this action is the
Sasuser.Profile catalog contains function key definitions, fonts for graphic applications,
some of your selections from the Preferences dialog box, and other information from
interactive windowing procedures. SAS catalogs have a file extension of .sas7bcat.
SAS Stored Compiled DATA Step Programs (Member Type:
A stored compiled DATA step program is a SAS file that contains a DATA step program
that has been compiled and then stored in a SAS library. You can execute compiled
DATA step programs as needed, without having to recompile them. SAS stored compiled
DATA step programs have a file extension of .sas7bpgm.
Stored compiled programs are available for DATA step applications only. Your stored
programs can contain all SAS language elements except global statements. If you
Introduction to SAS Files