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Cross-Release and Cross-Environment File Compatibility

Use the easy, interactive Compatibility Calculator to determine whether the compatibility you need is supported, or whether you must migrate or convert a file.


SAS strives whenever possible to support compatibility. An incompatible file has a different data representation or encoding than the current SAS session.

In SAS 8 and later, cross-environment data access (CEDA) enables access to many types of incompatible files. The access is automatic and transparent, but you must be aware of the restrictions. See Cross-Environment Data Access in SAS Programmer's Guide: Essentials.

SAS also continues to support many SAS 6 files with the V6 engine. See the topic about the V6 engine.

For compatible files, be sure to read about a few new file features that are not supported under previous releases.

If compatibility is not sufficient for your needs, see the PROC MIGRATE Calculator.

Need More Answers?

Best Practices for Compatibility
points you to documentation and coding practices that facilitate compatibility.

Maintaining Files from Different Releases
offers helpful tips about storing files together that were created under different releases of SAS.

Updating Base SAS Code
helps you determine whether any existing SAS or SCL code needs to be updated for a newer release of SAS.

lists cross-release compatibility issues, changes to requirements, and changes to syntax for many SAS products.

Using a SAS File in a Previous Release
explains compatibility and regression for using new data in an older release.