f



Re: SAS data file format ? #2

Capra,

One trend I've certainly seen in the health care industry, not just in =
SAS but also in moving data between health care systems such as IDX/GE =
to EPIC, is to write data out as XML and then have the recieving system =
read data in as XML.   In SAS, one might write it out as follows:

libname trans xml 'c:\temp\analysis_set.xml' xmltype=3Dgeneric =
tagset=3Dsasxmxsd=20
XMLMETA=3DSCHEMADATA;
data trans.analysis_set;
set work.analysis_set;
run;


It would seem, if you are willing to devote your time to open code, that =
perhaps a more valuable use of your time would be to ensure that the =
packages your users use, such as R, are able to utilize XML with =
embedded XSD; where it is the XSD that I've found that contains the =
metadata that defines the informats of the variables; thanks to Alan =
Churchill for explaining this.

Then you could simply export your SAS datasets as above.

-Mary
  ----- Original Message -----=20
  From: Capra Hircus=20
  To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU=20
  Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2008 10:51 AM
  Subject: Re: SAS data file format ?


  PaulOK wrote:

  > Hello Capra,
  >
  > A few of us started working on exactly what you want to do as part =
of
  > the Open Source SAS=AE Software Applications project on
  > SourceForge.net.  See
  > https://sourceforge.net/projects/os3a/#item3rd-3
  >
  > One can get an idea of the work and challenges encountered at the
  > beginning by reading the public forum at
  >
  > =
https://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?thread_id=3D2087902&forum_id=3D81=
1613
  >
  > The participants decided to take the work offline in June because =
the
  > tools available on SourceForge did not work well in the =91reverse
  > engineering=92 phase of the work and it was thought that a lot of =
public
  > work might interfere with some discussions with the SAS Institute
  > about the effort.
  >
  > I have been too busy lately to participate actively and I am not
  > certain if the other folks have been active in the last few weeks.  =
I
  > will try to get you in touch.
  >
  > Because of my work on the open source project I also go interested =
in
  > the question of how intellectual property rights would affect this
  > work.  I think that you will be OK.
  >> I heard also (if I remember well again !) of some cases where
  >> the vendor claimed patent infringement for simply writing
  >> such importing programs. Hence I'm a little puzzled.
  >
  > One example of this that I found on the web is here:
  > http://home.gdal.org/projects/bsb/ipi.html
  >
  >> The real question is : given a commercial software, with
  >> a proprietary file format, and no available specs, is it
  >> lawful to write open source programs to import (thus
  >> making source files available to everybody) ?
  >> I give up the exporting side, it's not the most interesting
  >> for me anyway.
  >
  > There is at least one US Federal Court decision that is on target
  > here.
  > =
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1996_Dec_16/ai_18949202
  >
  > The judge here ruled:
  >
  > + File format information is not afforded copyright protection.
  > + It is reasonable to expect that such information would be used to
  > write translators.
  > + Programmers would naturally use the same terms as used in the
  > documentation to describe the file format information.
  >
  > The problem here is that another judge could rule differently and if
  > you really want an answer to the question in a specific situation =
you
  > need to consult a lawyer.
  >
  > Writing the open source programs that reverse engineer the process =
of
  > reading and writing the SAS dataset file formats has also been
  > supported by the courts but is trickier.  One has to be careful to =
not
  > use any copyrighted source code information about the programs being
  > cloned.  On this there is an excellent chapter in a recently =
published
  > book, =93Intellectual Property and Open Source=94.
  >
  > Paul OldenKamp
  > Open Source SAS=AE Software Applications (OS3A) Project Admin

  Thank you very much ! Your answer is extremely useful for me :-)
0
mlhoward (1803)
9/8/2008 3:45:21 PM
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Mary wrote:
> Capra,
> 
> One trend I've certainly seen in the health care industry, not just in =
> SAS but also in moving data between health care systems such as IDX/GE =
> to EPIC, is to write data out as XML and then have the recieving system =
> read data in as XML.   In SAS, one might write it out as follows:
> 
> libname trans xml 'c:\temp\analysis_set.xml' xmltype=3Dgeneric =
> tagset=3Dsasxmxsd=20
> XMLMETA=3DSCHEMADATA;
> data trans.analysis_set;
> set work.analysis_set;
> run;
> 
> 
> It would seem, if you are willing to devote your time to open code,

I'd like to be useful.

> that =
> perhaps a more valuable use of your time would be to ensure that the =
> packages your users use, such as R, are able to utilize XML with =
> embedded XSD; where it is the XSD that I've found that contains the =
> metadata that defines the informats of the variables; thanks to Alan =
> Churchill for explaining this.

It's an interesting idea.

> Then you could simply export your SAS datasets as above.

XML is certainly a good thing, but :

* at work I have datasets as huge as 1.4G (I said 900M in another post
but after checking it's 1.4G). It may yield a rather large xml file.
* if I write a program for personnal use and hopefully for other
people, I cannot assume anybody has SAS to convert files.
That's a point I don't understand : you are not the first to
tell me to convert my files with SAS, but that's precisely the problem,
getting a SAS file without SAS. That's a problem I had before getting
this job, where I do have SAS now. If I can help someone with finding
the file format, why not ? It's probably not easy though, otherwise R
would already have that. (after a first look, data is rather easy
to see in hexadecimal dumps, but it's exact location in the file
does not look very deterministic for the moment :-))

Oh, and btw, R is really out of question to manage 1.4G
files. Or even 60M. That's a problem often seen with programs that
load entire files in memory.

Just to show some limitation (useful when trying to find
informations with no specs at hand) :
SAS can write a 5 billion lines file, though it seems to
have a problem to store the number of rows : as far as I can tell,
it's limited to signed 32 bit integers.
0
9/8/2008 8:33:57 PM
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Video did not end up killing the radio star, and it doesn't look like anything is going to be able to kill the music video, either.

Kohl’s To Close 18 Underperforming Stores; Will Test Smaller Format Shops
... a year ago, the retailer has announced plans to shed a few locations from its roster while simultaneously adding a handful of smaller-format ...

Resources last updated: 3/16/2016 8:10:18 PM