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Output Delivery System: Basic Concepts

Summary of ODS

In the past, the term "output" has generally referred to the outcome of a SAS procedure and DATA step. With the advent of the Output Delivery System, output takes on a much broader meaning. ODS optimizes output from SAS procedures and the DATA step. ODS provides a wide range of formatting options and greater flexibility in generating, storing, and reproducing SAS output.

Important features of ODS include the following:

One of the main goals of ODS is to enable you to produce output for numerous destinations from a single source, without requiring separate sources for each destination. ODS supports many destinations:


enables you to capture output objects from a single run of the analysis and to produce multiple reports in various formats whenever you want without rerunning your SAS programs.


produces output that looks the same as the traditional SAS output.


produces output for online viewing.


produces output for markup language tagsets.


produces output for page-oriented markup languages.


produces SAS output data sets, thereby eliminating the need to parse PROC PRINTTO output.


produces presentation-ready printed reports.


produces output suitable for Microsoft Word reports.

By default, ODS output is formatted according to instructions that the procedure or DATA step defines. However, ODS provides ways for you to customize the presentation of your output. You can customize the presentation of your SAS output, or you can customize the look of a single output object. ODS gives you greater flexibility in generating, storing, and reproducing SAS procedure and DATA step output with a wide range of formatting options.

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