Sunday, March 1, 2015

Excuse Me; But, Is That a 32-Bit or a 64-Bit SAS Catalog?

SAS Programming Professionals,

I don’t know about you, but I get pretty determined to prove them wrong when people tell me that I cannot do something.  I am not talking about fantastical things such as flying through the heart of the sun and out the other side without getting burned.  Nor, am I talking about social things like becoming president of the United States or an author on the New York Times Bestseller list.  And, I am not talking about physical things such as swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles back-to-back on the same day.  No, I am talking about being told that I cannot do something with SAS.

For example, I was once told:

      Consequently, when I was told that there was no SAS facility for programmatically determining whether a Windows SAS catalog was a 32-bit catalog or a 64-bit catalog, I resolved to figure out a way to do it.

The background is that my organization plans to migrate from 32-bit SAS to 64-bit SAS as part of a SAS 9.3 to SAS 9.4 upgrade.  SAS data sets are compatible between the two bitages, but SAS catalogs are not.  Stating the problem: you cannot open a 64-bit SAS catalog with 32-bit SAS.  So, it is advantageous to have a tool for determining which SAS catalog is which bitage as you move forward into a mixed-bit programming environment during the transition.

I did my due diligence and researched every place that I thought I might be able to find a way to differentiate the bitage.  An indicator in PROC CATALOG if I ran it with the STAT option enabled?  Nope.  Something in the directory portion of a PROC CONTENTS listing with the DETAILS option specified?  Nope.  A lesser-known option of PROC DATASETS?  Nope.  How about a flag in the Dictionary Tables CATALOGS table or in the SASHELP Views VCATALG view?  Nope.  A Usage Note on  Nope.  A  SAS technical paper published at either SAS Global Forum or a Regional SAS Users Group?  Nope, not that either.

I figured that if you could not tell the difference within SAS, itself, how about if you looked at the catalogs as simply files.  So, I got a 32-bit SAS catalog and a 64-bit SAS catalog and opened them with WordPad to take a look inside.  Bingo!  There was enough information in the very first record of both catalog files to determine the difference.  So, I wrote a program that tested for the string of characters that told the tale.

Here is the SAS program that I wrote:

/*Macro to determine bitage of a SAS catalog */

%MACRO Test_Cat_Bitage(SASCatalog);

filename sascat "&SASCatalog";

data decompcat(keep=CAT_BITS SAS_Catalog);

length CAT_BITS $8
         SAS_Catalog $50;

infile sascat obs=1 truncover;

input bigline $charzb32767. ;

if index(bigline, "W32_7PRO") > 0 then CAT_BITS = "W32_7PRO";
      else if index(bigline, "X64_7PRO") > 0 then CAT_BITS = "X64_7PRO";
      else CAT_BITS = "Unknown ";

SAS_Catalog = strip("&SASCatalog");

label CAT_BITS    = "Bitage of SAS Catalog"
        SAS_Catalog = "Full Path SAS Catalog Name"


proc append base=AllCatalogs

%MEND Test_Cat_Bitage;

/* Example of executing the macro to read a catalog file */


As you can see, the program determines the bitage of a SAS catalog by treating the catalog as a file, not as a catalog.  It opens the catalog file and inspects the first line for a specific character string: W32_7PRO for 32-bit catalogs; X64_7PRO for 64-bit catalogs.  Once it determines the bitage, the program writes an observation to data set AllCatalogs in the WORK library.  Each observation in AllCatalogs has two variables:  CAT_BITS, which specifies whether the catalog is 32 or 64 bits, and SAS_Catalog, which is the full path name of the SAS catalog file.  

The object of this particular setup is to run the macro against several, a score, dozens, hundreds, or thousands of SAS catalogs and build a SAS data set which identifies their bitage.  After that, one may choose to copy AllCatalogs to a permanent SAS data set, or create a report from it.  Or both.

Being a talented SAS programmer yourself, I would bet that you also do not like it when people tell you that you cannot do something with SAS.  Right?  Yea, it goes with the territory.  How about posting a comment telling us about a particularly difficult SAS problem you encountered and the clever way that you resolved it?  Bet you can’t do that.

Best of luck in all your SAS endeavors!

(aka Michael A Raithel)
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