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SQL vs SAS®: Clash of the Titans

Rick Andrews, Office of Research, Development, and Information, Baltimore, MD

Tom Kress, Center for Medicaid and State Operations, Baltimore, MD


This article will present a comparison of typical SAS programming techniques to the equivalent code needed to perform similar functionality using PROC SQL. The SQL procedure implements the Structured Query Language (SQL) for the SAS System. SQL is a standardized, open language originally developed to work in conjunction with Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) such as Oracle® and DB2®. SQL was primarily designed to perform Direct Data Access (DDA) functions, such as retrieving and updating data in tables (data sets), however its functionality is much more advanced in today’s software.

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