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SAS programmers inherently understand the concept of breaking a complex problem into manageable pieces; a quick look at any SAS programme with the rich variety of DATA and PROC steps will demonstrate this. However, within the main programming environment, the DATA step, the ability to break down problem complexity into manageable pieces has been limited to two basic methods: Link/Return blocks and Macros. Link/Return blocks allow the SAS programmer to isolate (encapsulate) business logic using familiar DATA step code; although useful, there are some drawbacks to this method. First, the SAS code is embedded into the DATA step. This means the Link/Return block needs to be copied to each DATA step where it is to be used.
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