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CEDA: The Invisible Hand

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Bruce Gilsen
Federal Reserve Board


Cross-Environment Data Access (CEDA) allows Version 7 or later SAS® data sets created on any directory-based host supported by SAS such as Windows, Linux, or Solaris to be transparently read by the SAS System on another directory-based host. It can also be used after a directory-based host is upgraded from 32-bit to 64-bit to read the existing 32-bit data sets. Data sets from another directory-based host can be accessed from a Network File Services (NFS) mounted drive or copied to the new host with File Transfer Protocol (FTP) in binary mode. CEDA was introduced in Version 8, and has been part of Base SAS since Version 8.2.

CEDA provides many benefits, but it also important to understand its limitations. For example, it does not support pre-Version 7 data sets or most SAS objects other than data sets (catalogs, indexes, etc.), and does not allow a data set to be updated.

Because CEDA often operates transparently and because users do not precisely understand what constitutes updating a data set, CEDA can cause confusion. This paper tries to make the benefits and limitations of CEDA easy to understand.

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