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An untapped resource of metadata functionality exists within the grasp of the SAS programmer. At first glance this rich mine of information is hidden from view, however metadata functions can extract this valuable information for a variety of different uses. All of which is available within the framework of the humble SAS data step. Information extracted can vary from creating customised autoexec files based on a metadata group to the development of customised Enterprise Guide plug-ins that send automatic emails to groups defined in metadata. The metadata can even be queried to perform authentication and authorisation. The paper will explain how to use the metadata functions available in the data step environment and highlight different uses of the information that can be extracted.
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