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Getting Started with the SAS System Using SAS/ASSIST Software


access descriptor a SAS/ACCESS file that describes data to the SAS System that is stored in another database management system format. You use an access descriptor as a master file to create view descriptors. See also view and view descriptor.
action bar See menu bar.
active table in SAS/ASSIST software, the SAS table specified for a given task.
button in windowing environments, a graphical shape in a window that, when selected, results in an action. Cancel, Goback, and OK are examples of buttons.
character column a column whose values can consist of alphabetic and special characters as well as numeric characters.
column in relational databases, a vertical component of a table containing data of a specific type and with certain attributes. A column is a set of data values that describe a given characteristic across all rows. Each column has a unique name.
data value (1) a single unit of information, such as one person's height. In the SAS System, a data value is a unit of character or numeric information in a SAS table. (2) the intersection of a row (observation) and column (variable) in the rectangular structure of a SAS table.
engine a part of the SAS System that reads from or writes to a file. Each engine allows the SAS System to access files with a particular format.
external file a file created and maintained on the host operating system from which you can read data or stored SAS statements or in which you can store procedure output. An external file is not a SAS table.
fileref the name used temporarily to identify an external file to the SAS System. In SAS/ASSIST software, you assign a fileref with the Setup task. Do not confuse filerefs with librefs. Filerefs are used for external files; librefs are used for SAS data libraries. See also libref.
format a pattern that the SAS System uses to determine how a variable value should be displayed. The SAS System provides a set of standard formats and also enables you to define your own custom formats.
function key a keyboard key that can be defined to have a specific action in a specific software environment.
informat a pattern that the SAS System uses to determine how values entered in variable fields should be interpreted. The SAS System provides a set of standard informats and also enables you to define your own custom informats.
label, column a descriptive label of up to 40 characters that can be printed in the output by certain tasks instead of, or in addition to, the column name.
length, column the number of bytes used to store each of a column's values in a SAS table.
libref the name temporarily associated with a SAS data library. For example, in the name SASUSER.ACCOUNTS, the name SASUSER is the libref.
menu bar the primary list of items at the top of a window that represent the actions or classes of actions that can be executed. Selecting an item executes an action, opens a pull-down menu, or opens a dialog box requesting additional information. See also pull-down menu.
message area the area immediately below a window's command line or menu bar that displays messages from the SAS System.
missing value a value in the SAS System indicating that no data is stored for the column in the current row. By default, the SAS System prints a missing numeric value as a single period (.) and a missing character value as a blank space.
numeric column a column that contains only numeric values and related symbols, such as decimal points, plus signs, and minus signs.
observation See row.
permanent SAS table a data set that remains after the current program or interactive SAS session terminates. Permanent SAS tables are available for future SAS sessions.
PMENU facility a menuing system in the SAS System that is used instead of the command line as a way to execute commands. The PMENU facility consists of a menu bar, pull-down menus, and dialog boxes.
pop-up menu a menu that appears when requested. These menus are context-specific, depending on which window is active and on the cursor location. See also pull-down menu.
pull-down menu the list of choices that appears when you choose an item from a menu bar or from another menu. See also PMENU facility.
raw data data that have not been read into a SAS data set.
row in relational database management systems, the horizontal component of a table. A row is a set of data values for the same entity, for example, all physical measurements for one person. Each observation contains one data value for each column.
SAS catalog a SAS file that stores many different kinds of information in smaller units called catalog entries. A single SAS catalog can contain several different types of catalog entries.
SAS data file a SAS table that contains both the data values and the descriptor information.
SAS data library a collection of one or more SAS files that are recognized by the SAS System and that are referenced and stored as a unit. Each file is a member of the library.
SAS data set See SAS table.
SAS table data values that are organized as a table of rows and columns that can be processed by the SAS System. A SAS table is arranged in a rectangular, two-dimensional format. Each item in a SAS data set is called a data value. See also SAS data file and SAS data view.
SAS data view a SAS table in which the descriptor information and the data values are obtained from other files. A SAS data view contains only the descriptor and other information required to retrieve the data values from other files.
SAS name a name that is assigned to items such as columns and SAS tables. SAS names can be up to 32 characters long. The first character must be a letter or an underscore. Subsequent characters can be letters, numbers, or underscores. Blanks and special characters (except the underscore) are not allowed.
SAS Support Consultant an individual at your computing installation who is designated as a support person for SAS software users at the installation. The consultant can help you with questions about using SAS software.
scroll bar in windowing environments, a graphical control that is used to display information that is not currently visible.
table in relational database management terminology, a two-dimensional system representing data in rows and columns. See also SAS table.
temporary SAS table a SAS table that exists only for the duration of the current program or interactive SAS session. Temporary SAS tables are not available for future SAS sessions.
variable See column.
view a definition of a virtual table. The definition is named and stored for later use. This file contains no data but describes or defines data stored elsewhere. See also SAS data view and view descriptor.
view descriptor a file created by SAS/ACCESS software that defines all or a subset of database management system (DBMS) data or PC file data that are described by an access descriptor.
WHERE expression a type of SAS expression used to specify a condition for selecting observations for processing.
WORK data library the SAS data library automatically defined by the SAS System at the beginning of each SAS session or SAS job. It contains SAS files that are temporary by default.

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Copyright 1999 by SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA. All rights reserved.