COPY Procedure


Transporting SAS Data Sets between Hosts

The COPY procedure, along with the XPORT engine and the XML engine, can create and read transport files that can be moved from one host to another. PROC COPY can create transport files only with SAS data sets, not with catalogs or other types of SAS files.
Transporting is a three-step process:
  1. Use PROC COPY to copy one or more SAS data sets to a file that is created with either the transport (XPORT) engine or the XML engine. This file is referred to as a transport file and is always a sequential file.
  2. After the file is created, you can move it to another operating environment via communications software, such as FTP, or tape. If you use communications software, be sure to move the file in binary format to avoid any type of conversion. If you are moving the file to a mainframe, the file must have certain attributes. Consult the SAS documentation for your operating environment and the SAS Technical Support Web page for more information.
  3. After you have successfully moved the file to the receiving host, use PROC COPY to copy the data sets from the transport file to a SAS library.
For details about transporting files, see Moving and Accessing SAS Files.
The CPORT and CIMPORT procedures also provide a way to transport SAS files. For information, see CPORT Procedure and CIMPORT Procedure.
If you need to migrate a SAS library from a previous release of SAS, see the Migration focus area at
See the Details section of the CONTENT statement in PROC DATASETS for more information.