The DATA step processes input data. In a DATA step, you can create a SAS data set, which can be a SAS data file or a SAS view. The DATA step uses input from raw data, remote access, assignment statements, or SAS data sets. The DATA step can, for example, compute values, select specific input records for processing, and use conditional logic. The output from the DATA step can be of several types, such as a SAS data set or a report. You can also write data to the SAS log or to an external data file. For more information about DATA step processing, see DATA Step Processing.
|DATA Step Output|
The output from the DATA step can be a SAS data set or an external file such as the program log, a report, or an external data file. You can also update an existing file in place, without creating a separate data set. Data must be in the form of a SAS data set to be processed by many SAS procedures. You can create the following types of DATA step output:
|SAS data file|
is a SAS data set that uses descriptor information and data from other files. SAS views allow you to dynamically combine data from various sources without using disk space to create a new data set. While a SAS data file actually contains data values, SAS views contain only references to data stored elsewhere. SAS views are of member type VIEW. In most cases, you can use a SAS view as if it were a SAS data file.
|External data file|