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An Animated Guide: The SAS® Data Step Debugger

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Russ Lavery

Contractor for Numeric Resources LLC

Chadds Ford PA

Abstract

The Data Step Debugger (DSD) simplifies debugging Data Steps and not whole programs. Using the debugger requires some understanding of how SAS works because the DSD does not issue any error messages. When using the DSD, a programmer mentally compares what s/he sees, in the Program Data Vector (PDV), with what s/he expected to see. Critical, to use of the DSD, is an understanding of the PDV and, as a side issue, the DSD is an excellent way to learn the PDV.

The goal of a programmer should be to learn to combine DSD commands and to link those combinations to a key or a macro. Linking a series of commands to a key, or a macro makes the DSD much more powerful.

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