Better Metadata Through SAS® II: %SYSFUNC, PROC DATASETS, and Dictionary Tables
SAS® provides a wealth of resources for users to create useful, attractive metadata tables, including PROC CONTENTS listing output (to ODS destinations), the PROC CONTENTS OUT= SAS data set, and PROC CONTENTS ODS Output Objects. This paper and presentation explore some less well-known resources to create metadata such as %SYSFUNC, PROC DATASETS, and Dictionary Tables. All these options in conjunction with the use of the EXCELXP (and new in 9.4 M2, the EXCEL) tagsets enable the creation of multi-tab metadata workbooks at the click of a mouse.
In "Build your Metadata with PROC CONTENTS and ODS OUTPUT" I discuss using PROC CONTENTS, ODS OUTPUT and the EXCELXP tagset to create multi-tab documentation (metadata) spreadsheets to describe data sets. This paper and presentation build on that concept, exploring several alternative procedures and tools to view and create SAS metadata. Although all the tools discussed have utility beyond documentation purposes, other uses are beyond the scope of this paper. Users are encouraged to read the papers referred to in the References section for more information, and to explore these great resources on their own.
Who cares about metadata? Any SAS programmer should care! Knowing your data is vital. By using SAS metadata in conjunction with careful documentation practices that some of the tools we are discussing make easy, you can find out when a program was last run, who ran it, what variables were created, whether the data set is sorted or indexed, and more. Follow me down the metadata worm hole and we will find out how….
Download the paper: File:3458 Hadden2015 FinalPaper.pdf
Download the e-poster: File:3458 Hadden2015 Poster.pptx
Contact the author for code samples, Louise Hadden, firstname.lastname@example.org