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Introduction to the Metadata LIBNAME Engine

Overview of the Metadata LIBNAME Engine

The metadata engine is similar to other SAS engines. In a batch file or in the SAS windowing environment, you can submit a LIBNAME statement that assigns a libref and the metadata engine. You then use that libref throughout the SAS session where a libref is valid.

However, unlike other librefs, the metadata engine's libref is not assigned to the physical location of a SAS library. The metadata engine's libref is assigned to a set of metadata objects that are registered in the SAS Metadata Server. These metadata objects must already be defined by an administrator with a product like SAS Management Console.

The objects contain the specifications that you would normally submit with a LIBNAME statement. The metadata engine uses the information in the objects to construct a LIBNAME statement that specifies the data source, the engine that processes the data (referred to as the underlying engine), and options.

After you submit the metadata LIBNAME statement, you can reference the metadata engine's libref in your SAS code. The metadata engine calls the underlying engine to process the data.

In other words, the metadata LIBNAME statement takes the place of your usual LIBNAME statement and creates the usual LIBNAME statement from information in metadata.

The following diagram illustrates this process. In the example, an Oracle data library is already defined in metadata. You reference the Oracle data library with the metadata LIBNAME statement, and the metadata engine constructs a LIBNAME statement that assigns the SAS/ACCESS interface to Oracle as the underlying engine. Then, when you submit the PRINT procedure, the metadata engine issues a request to the SAS Metadata Repository for the library member's metadata, and uses the Oracle engine to run the PROC PRINT.

Metadata Engine Process

[Metadata Engine Process]

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