Introduction to the Output Delivery System

The Output Delivery System (ODS) gives you greater flexibility in generating, storing, and reproducing SAS procedures and DATA step output, with a wide range of formatting options. ODS provides formatting functionality that is not available from individual procedures or from the DATA step alone. ODS overcomes these limitations and enables you to format your output more easily.
Before SAS 7, most SAS procedures generated output that was designed for a traditional line-printer. This type of output has limitations that prevents you from getting the most value from your results:
  • Traditional SAS output is limited to monospace fonts. With today's desktop document editors and publishing systems, you need more versatility in printed output.
  • Some commonly used procedures do not produce output data sets. Before ODS, if you wanted to use output from one of these procedures as input to another procedure, then you relied on PROC PRINTTO and the DATA step to retrieve results.