Enterprise Software

Taming the Herd: Wrangling Unruly Text Files in SAS

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Executive Summary

It may come to pass that a SAS programmer is asked to make simple modifications to a set of plain text files thereby producing a new set of plain text files. At first, this may seem like an innocuous task, perhaps only requiring summarization of the data or swapping in a new set of IDs with a quick import and export cycle. Closer inspection of the files, however, may reveal unsightly hazards like a large number of files, long file names, long column headers, no column headers, or non-conforming missing values that make reproducing the structure of the original files difficult.

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