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Advanced PROC REPORT: Getting Your Tables Connected Using Links

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Gone are the days of strictly paper reports. Increasingly we are being asked to render our tables and reports using a variety of electronic file types that can be browsed and read using our computers. Besides the cost savings associated with the purchase of paper, paperless reports also minimize the costs associated with the printing and distribution of the reports. Another, often overlooked and potentially more important, side benefit of the paperless report is the increased availability of linked graphs, reports and tables. Navigation of the paper report is dependent on the table of contents, a strong index, and visual aids such as captions and footnotes; however in paperless reports we can easily jump from one table to its supporting and dependent tables with the click of a mouse. Easily, that is, if we have created the necessary links.

Within PROC REPORT and with the help of the Output Delivery System, there are a number of techniques that we can use to build and maintain these links. Individually these techniques are not complicated, however we do need to be aware of the syntax, alternative approaches, and issues associated with the automation of the process that coordinates the links between tables.

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