What Is a SAS/GRAPH Device?

A SAS/GRAPH device generates graphical output in a specified format. It might send output to a file on disk, such as a PNG file or a GIF file, or it might send output directly to a hardware device, such as a Postscript printer or a display. A SAS/GRAPH device consists of two parts: a device entry and device driver.
Device entry
A device entry is a SAS catalog entry of type DEV. Every device that is shipped with SAS/GRAPH has a device entry in the SASHELP.DEVICES catalog. Device entries contain parameters that control the following:
  • the appearance of the output when styles are not in effect, such as dimensions and orientation, cell size, colors, and default SAS/GRAPH or device-resident fonts
  • where output is sent (when you send output to the LISTING destination and use a SAS/GRAPH device)
  • communications between the operating environment and the device
  • host commands that are issued before and after its driver produces output
  • the device driver that is used to generate graphics output
Device driver
A device driver is the executable module that produces device-specific commands that a device can understand. Every device entry specifies the name of the executable module (device driver) that is to be used to generate output. The device driver uses the parameters specified in the device entry or the current style to tell it exactly how to do so.
When you specify a device, you are specifying the name of a device entry. SAS/GRAPH uses that device entry to determine which device driver to use in order to generate final output. However, most users do not ever need to deal directly with device drivers, so for simplicity, this document simply refers to “devices”.