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Creating Formats on the Fly
The Census Bureau conducts the Common Core of Data surveys for the National Center for Education Statistics annually. We have written SAS® programs to automate the database documentation. We try to avoid including hard-coded values in the programs. Thanks to a record layout spreadsheet, the analysts can quickly update the survey metadata outside the SAS programs. This paper explains how SAS can read the record layout spreadsheet to create formats on the fly. The analysts can update the values as changes occur over time without having to worry about writing correct SAS syntax. Behind the scenes, SAS is using dictionary views, macros, ODS OUTPUT, PROC TEMPLATE, PROC FORMAT, the ODS Report Writing Interface, and RTF to create the desired results. This paper uses syntax for SAS 9.2, written for programmers at the intermediate level.
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