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HTML Syntax Reference

The information contained in this section is only a partial listing of the HTML tags that your browser understands. For more detailed information about HTML and elements needed to create a basic form, see the World Wide Web Consortium or HTML Help from the Web Design Group. Square brackets in syntax indicates that an attribute is optional; do not include the square brackets in your code.


Quotation Marks

You can use quotation marks to enclose the values provided in your HTML page, and you should use quotation marks if the values contain blanks. Use double, not single, quotation marks. If you are entering text that contains a single quotation mark, you must enclose the entire string in double quotation marks.

Anchor Tag


The HREF= attribute specifies a hypertext link. When selected by the user, this link invokes the Dispatcher. For example:

   <A HREF="/cgi-bin/broker?_service=default&">click me</A>

See URL Syntax for more information on URLs.



The ACTION= attribute, included in the FORM tag, specifies the location of the Broker CGI program. For example:

   <FORM ACTION="/cgi-bin/broker">

The METHOD= attribute is optional. It specifies the value GET or POST. The broker-URL cannot contain a question mark or have any parameters. For example:

   <FORM ACTION="/scripts/broker.exe" METHOD=PUT>

On some browsers, such as Netscape, the reload button works with both GET and POST. On other browsers, such as Internet Explorer 3.02, refresh does not repost the form data. This works only with GET. If you omit the METHOD= attribute from the FORM tag, the Dispatcher uses the default GET.

Note: If you want to restrict applications from using either the GET or the POST method, use the ALLOW directive in the Broker configuration file. If you want to invoke the Dispatcher with a hypertext link, an inline image, or other URL, use the default method GET.


<IMG SRC=image-URL [HEIGHT=value] [WIDTH=value] [ALT=value]>

A reference to an inline image causes the Dispatcher to be invoked as soon as the page is viewed. For example:

   <IMG SRC="/cgi-bin/broker?_service=default&">

See URL Syntax for more information on URLs.


<INPUT TYPE=input-type NAME=input-name VALUE=input-value>

The INPUT tag specifies a simple input element inside a form. The INPUT tag can include the following attributes:

The TYPE= attribute identifies the type of input specified. Valid types are

Value Description
CHECKBOX specifies a single toggle button that is either on or off.
HIDDEN indicates not to display the fields in the form on the browser.
PASSWORD specifies a text-entry field where the entered characters are represented as asterisks.
RADIO specifies a single toggle button that is either on or off. Other fields that have the same NAME are grouped into one-of-many behavior.
RESET specifies a push button that re-sets input elements on the form to their default values.
SUBMIT specifies a push button that packages data entered in the current form into a request that is sent to the Broker CGI (and then to SAS software for processing).
TEXT A simple text-entry field.

The NAME= attribute identifies the name in a name/value pair that passes to the Broker CGI and then on to SAS software for processing.

The VALUE= attribute depends on the TYPE=.


<TEXTAREA NAME=field-name [ROWS=rows-value] [COLS=cols-value]>

The TEXTAREA tag inserts a free-form field for text, which enables the user to enter more than just a single line of text. Use this with the _FLDWDTH attribute.

URL Syntax

URLs must be encoded according to strict rules whether they appear in static HTML pages, are created by htmSQL or the Dispatcher in dynamic pages, or are typed manually into the Location field of the browser. This section gives a quick overview. For more information, see W3C's Web Addressing Overview.

Here is a sample URL that is broken into two lines for readability:


http: is the protocol (must be http: for Broker invocations). indicates the name of the Web server.
cgi-bin is the path to the Broker; an alias or directory mapping set up in the Web server.
broker is the name of the program to run. For the Application Dispatcher this will usually be broker, broker.exe, or broker.cgi.
? (question mark) indicates the start of parameters.
name=value is a name/value pair. URLs can have zero or more name/value pairs, just like an HTML form.
& separates name/value pairs.
%nn indicates an escape character in hexadecimal notation. In the example, %20 is a space. This escape notation is used for any characters in a name or value other than alphanumeric characters or one of the following punctuation marks: "-_.!~*'()". Use the URLENCODE function to escape characters in a URL string. For more information about the URLENCODE function, see the SAS Language Reference: Dictionary.

A partial URL results if the protocol, the Web server, or the path is omitted. Partial URLs use information from the currently viewed page to fill in the blanks. For example, if your current page is

and the source code references the URL


then the actual URL is

This is very useful when you move pages between directories or servers, because there are fewer changes to make.

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