applications, try to anticipate how your data is read and choose your formats and
SAS provides two sets of informats for reading binary data and corresponding formats
for writing binary data.
• The IBw.d, PDw.d, PIBw.d, and RBw.d informats and formats read and write in
native mode, that is, using the byte-ordering system that is standard for the machine.
• The S370FIBw.d, S370FPDw.d, S370FRBw.d, and S370FPIBw.d informats and
formats read and write according to the IBM 370 standard, regardless of the native
mode of the machine. These informats and formats enable you to write SAS
programs that can be run in any SAS environment, regardless of how numeric data
If a SAS program that reads and writes binary data runs on only one type of machine,
you can use the native mode informats and formats. However, if you want to write SAS
programs that can be run on multiple machines using different byte-storage systems, use
the IBM 370 formats and informats. The purpose of the IBM 370 informats and formats
is to enable you to write SAS programs that can be run in any SAS environment, no
matter what standard you use for storing numeric data.
For example, suppose you have a program that writes data with the PIBw.d format. You
execute the program on a microcomputer so that the data are stored in byte-reversed
mode. Then on the microcomputer that you run another SAS program that uses the
PIBw.d informat to read the data. The data are read correctly because both of the
programs are run on the microcomputer using byte-reversed mode. However, you cannot
upload the data to a Hewlett Packard 9000-series machine and read the data correctly
because they are stored in a form native to the microcomputer but foreign to the Hewlett
Packard 9000. To avoid this problem, use the S370FPIBw.d format to write the data;
even on the microcomputer, this causes the data to be stored in IBM 370 mode. Then
read the data using the S370FPIBw.d informat. Regardless of what type of machine you
use when reading the data, they are read correctly.
Accessing User-Written Formats from Releases
Earlier Than SAS 9.4
If you are using 64-bit SAS for Windows, you must use PROC CPORT and CIMPORT
to convert. For more information about PROC CPORT and CIMPORT, see Base SAS
If you are using 32-bit SAS for Windows, and you want to migrate a SAS library, PROC
MIGRATE is the recommended method.
Note: User-defined formats are stored as catalog entries.
HEXw. Format: Windows
Converts real binary (floating-point) values to hexadecimal values.
Chapter 17 • SAS Formats under Windows