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Building Data-Driven Applications Using the SAS Applications System: Selected Techniques

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This tutorial describes a system architecture by which an application can be maintained and enhanced through changes to data and parameter files. An application designed this way allows for more flexibility and lower maintenance than one in which code is written to perform specific functions. The generalized code in a data-driven system performs under the direction of parameters, allowing any changes to be implemented by altering values in parameter files instead of changing the source code. Examples include such cases as

  • adding new reports
  • changing or reordering menu items
  • controlling user access and security.

Sample programs that make use of SAS/AP and SAS/FSP software using Screen Control Language(SCl), the SQl procedure, and the SAS macro facility are presented and described in detail. Because the data-driven approach can be adapted to a wide variety of data-processing tasks involving varying degrees of complexity, the techniques presented here merit attention as models which may suggest solutions to many system design problems.

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