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Using SAS Files

Support for Links in UNIX Environments

SAS provides limited support for hard links and symbolic links in UNIX environments. You can create links that point to a SAS data set or SAS catalog. If you reference the link in a SAS program, SAS will follow the link to find the data set or catalog.

For example, you can create a symbolic link in the /tmp directory to the /home/user/mydata.sas7bdat data set by typing the following command at the UNIX prompt:

ln -s /home/user/mydata.sas7bdat /tmp/mydata.sas7bdat

The following SAS code uses the symbolic link in the /tmp directory to find the mydata.sas7bdat data set. This code does not change the symbolic link, but it does sort the data in the data set.

libname tmp '/tmp';

proc sort data=tmp.mydata;
   by myvariable;

If you are running in the SAS windowing environment, you can use the SAS Explorer window to view the symbolic links that are stored within a specific directory. Any symbolic link that points to a nonexistent SAS file will have a file size of 0.0KB and a modified date of 31DEC59:19:00:00 .

Note:   SAS does not support links for a version data set or for a data set that has an index.  [cautionend]

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