|Functions and CALL Routines|
|Restriction:||I18N Level 0|
|Length of Returned Variable|
|Length of Returned Variable: Special Cases|
|CATS(item-1 <, ..., item-n>)|
specifies a constant, variable, or expression, either character or numeric. If item is numeric, then its value is converted to a character string by using the BESTw. format. In this case, SAS does not write a note to the log.
In a DATA step, if the CATS function returns a value to a variable that has not previously been assigned a length, then that variable is given a length of 200 bytes. If the concatenation operator (||) returns a value to a variable that has not previously been assigned a length, then that variable is given a length that is the sum of the lengths of the values which are being concatenated.
If CATS returns a value in a temporary buffer, the length of the buffer depends on the calling environment, and the value in the buffer can be truncated after CATS finishes processing. In this case, SAS does not write a message about the truncation to the log.
The results of the CAT, CATS, CATT, and CATX functions are usually equivalent to results that are produced by certain combinations of the concatenation operator (||) and the TRIM and LEFT functions. However, the default length for the CAT, CATS, CATT, and CATX functions is different from the length that is obtained when you use the concatenation operator. For more information, see Length of Returned Variable.
Using the CAT, CATS, CATT, and CATX functions is faster than using TRIM and LEFT, and you can use them with the OF syntax for variable lists in calling environments that support variable lists.
The following table shows equivalents of the CAT, CATS, CATT, and CATX functions. The variables X1 through X4 specify character variables, and SP specifies a delimiter, such as a blank or comma.
data _null_; x=' The Olym'; y='pic Arts Festi'; z=' val includes works by D '; a='ale Chihuly.'; result=cats(x,y,z,a); put result $char.; run;
----+----1----+----2----+----3----+----4----+----5----+----6 The Olympic Arts Festival includes works by Dale Chihuly.