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active window

a window that is open and displayed, and to which keyboard input is directed. Only one window can be active at a time.

aggregate syntax

a convenient way of referring to individual files in a single directory or folder. Instead of assigning a unique fileref to each file, you assign a fileref to the directory or folder. Then, to refer to a specific file in that folder, you enclose the filename in parentheses following the fileref. In UNIX operating environments, aggregate syntax is used in the FILE, INFILE, and %INCLUDE statements.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange

a 7-bit character encoding that is the U.S. national variant of the ISO 646 standard. The ASCII encoding includes the upper- and lowercase letters A-Z, digits, symbols (such as &, #, and mathematical symbols), punctuation marks, and control characters. This set of 128 characters is also included in most other encodings. Short form: ASCII. See also Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC) and encoding.


See American Standard Code for Information Interchange.

ASCII collating sequence

the rules that are used by a specific ASCII encoding for sorting textual data. Sort order is determined by the location of each code point in the code page of an ASCII encoding. In the Windows Latin1 code page, the sort order of precedence is punctuation characters, numbers, uppercase characters, and lowercase characters. Because the uppercase A (code point 41) precedes the lowercase g (code point 67), A is sorted before g. See also American Standard Code for Information Interchange and EBCDIC collating sequence.

background process

in UNIX environments, a process that executes independently of the shell. When a command is executing in a background process, you can enter other commands or start other background processes without waiting for your initial command to finish executing.

batch mode

a method of executing SAS programs in which a file that contains SAS statements plus any necessary operating environment commands is submitted to the computer's batch queue. After you submit the program, control returns to your terminal or workstation, and you can perform other tasks. Batch mode is sometimes referred to as running in the background. The program output can be written to files or printed on an output device. Under UNIX, place statements that you want to execute in a file. Then specify that file when you run SAS in the background.


an area of computer memory that is reserved for use in performing input/output (I/O) operations.


a UNIX command that means concatenate. This command is commonly used to list file contents and to concatenate files.


See SAS catalog.

class name

a name that provides a way to group individual X resources together. For example, DMSboldFont and DMSFont are two separate X resources, but they are both part of the Font class.


(1) a computer or application that requests services, data, or other resources from a server. (2) in the X Window System, an application program that interacts with the X server and can perform tasks such as terminal emulation or window management. For example, SAS is a client because it requests windows to be created, results to be displayed, and so on.

command line

the location in any SAS windowing environment window designated with Command ===>.

command prompt

the symbol after which you enter operating system commands. In UNIX environments, different shells use different command prompts. The default command prompt for the Bourne shell and the Korn shell is $, and the default prompt for the C shell is %.

container window

any SAS window that contains interior windows.

current directory

the directory that you are working in at any given time. When you log on, your current directory is the starting point for relative pathnames. See also working directory.

device driver

a program that controls the interaction between a computer and an external device such as a printer or a disk drive.


a special type of file in UNIX operating environments that contains a group of files or other directories.


to copy a file from a remote host to a local host.


in a graphical user interface, to move an object such as an icon or a window around on a display screen. To drag the object, you usually use a mouse button to select the object, and then move the mouse while keeping the mouse button pressed down.


See Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code.


a set of characters (letters, logograms, digits, punctuation, symbols, control characters, and so on) that have been mapped to numeric values (called code points) that can be used by computers. The code points are assigned to the characters in the character set by applying an encoding method.


under UNIX operating systems, the set of shell variables and their settings that you can access with a shell and with any program that the shell executes.

environment variable

in UNIX environments, a shell variable whose value or values can be accessed by any program that is executed from that shell. The shell assigns default values to some environment variables. For example, the type of terminal and the type of command prompt are specified by the default values of two environment variables.

error message

a message in the SAS log or Message window that indicates that SAS was not able to continue processing the program.

Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code

a group of 8-bit character encodings that each include up to 256 characters. EBCDIC is used on IBM mainframes and on most IBM mid-range computers, and it includes both graphic (printable) codes and control (nonprintable) codes. Short form: EBCDIC. See also American Standard Code for Information Interchange and encoding.

external file

a file that is created and maintained by a host operating system or by another vendor's software application. SAS can read data from and route output to external files. External files can contain raw data, SAS programming statements, procedure output, or output that was created by the PUT statement. A SAS data set is not an external file. See also fileref.

file descriptor

under UNIX operating systems, a nonnegative integer identifier used to refer to a file opened for reading or writing or both.

file extension

the classification of a file in a directory that identifies what type of information is stored in the file. For example, .sas7bcat is the file extension for UNIX, and .pdf is the file extension for Adobe Acrobat.


a name that is temporarily assigned to an external file or to an aggregate storage location such as a directory or a folder. The fileref identifies the file or the storage location to SAS. Under the UNIX operating system and its derivatives, you can assign a fileref with a FILENAME statement, or you can define it as an environment variable.


a complete set of all the characters of the same design and style. The characters in a font can be figures or symbols as well as alphanumeric characters.

foreground process

in UNIX environments, a process that executes while you wait for the command prompt to reappear. You cannot execute additional commands while the initial command is being executed in a foreground process.

home directory

in UNIX operating environments, the directory in which a user is placed after logging on. The home directory is also called the logon directory.

I/O time

an abbreviation for input/output time. I/O time is the time the computer spends on moving data from storage areas, such as disk or tape, into memory for work (input time) and moving the result out of memory to storage or to a display device, such as a terminal or a printer (output time).


in windowing environments, a pictorial representation of an object. An icon usually represents an application window or is associated with an action such as printing or filing.


a component of a SAS data set that enables SAS to access observations in the SAS data set quickly and efficiently. The purpose of SAS indexes is to optimize WHERE-clause processing and to facilitate BY-group processing.

interactive line mode

a method of running SAS programs in which you enter one line of a SAS program at a time at the SAS session prompt. SAS processes each line immediately after you press the ENTER key. Procedure output and informative messages are returned directly to your display device.


a name that is temporarily associated with a SAS library. The complete name of a SAS file consists of two words, separated by a period. The libref, which is the first word, indicates the library. The second word is the name of the specific SAS file. For example, in VLIB.NEWBDAY, the libref VLIB tells SAS which library contains the file NEWBDAY. You assign a libref with a LIBNAME statement or with an operating system command.

local host

the computer on which you use a SAS session to initiate a link with (log on to) a remote host. See also remote host.


under UNIX, a line-printer command, commonly used to direct output to a printer destination via the line printer daemon.


a SAS file in a SAS library.


the size of the work area that the central processing unit (CPU) must devote to the operations in a program.


an X Window System graphical user interface (GUI) that is used in the UNIX environment.


an interconnected group of computers.


the route through a hierarchical file system that leads to a particular file or directory.


in UNIX operating systems, a filename that specifies all of the directories that lead to a particular file in the file hierarchy.


See Printer Command Language.


See process ID.


under UNIX operating systems and deratives, the facility that links one command to another so that the standard output or one becomes the standard output of the other.

Printer Command Language

a command language that was developed by Hewlett-Packard for controlling Hewlett-Packard printers. Each PCL command consists of an escape key followed by a series of code numbers. Different versions of PCL have been developed for use with different models or types of Hewlett-Packard printers. Short form: PCL.

process ID

a unique number that is assigned to each process by the operating system. Short form: PID.


a set of rules that govern data communications between computers and peripheral devices.


the list of menu items or choices that appears when you choose an item from a menu bar or from another menu. See also pop-up menu.

random access

the ability to retrieve records in a file without reading all records sequentially.


to direct output to a destination other than standard output or to read input from a source other than standard input.

remote browser server

a software agent that runs on your desktop and sends URLs to the browser to display.

remote browsing

a mechanism that is used by SAS to display HTML information (for example, help text and ODS HTML output) using a browser on your desktop.

remote host

a computer that is in a different location than your computer but which you can log on to from your computer. See also local host.

SAS catalog

a SAS file that stores many different kinds of information in smaller units called catalog entries. A single SAS catalog can contain different types of catalog entries.

SAS library

a collection of one or more files that are recognized by SAS and that are referenced and stored as a unit. Each file is a member of the library.

SAS session

See session.

SAS windowing environment

an interactive windowing interface to SAS software. In this environment you can issue commands by typing them on the command line, by pressing function keys, or by selecting items from menus or menu bars. Within one session, you can perform many different tasks, including preparing and submitting programs, viewing and printing results, and debugging and resubmitting programs.


a SAS subprocess that performs user authentication and identification functions. The sasauth process is located in the !SASROOT/utilities/bin directory.


a SAS subprocess that determines resource access privileges for users.


a term that represents the name of the directory or folder in which SAS is installed at your site or on your computer.

Sasuser.Profile catalog

a SAS catalog in which SAS stores information about the attributes of your SAS windowing environment. For example, this catalog contains function-key definitions, fonts for graphics applications, window attributes, and other information that is used by interactive SAS procedures. See also SAS catalog.

sequential access

a method of file access in which the records are read or written one after the other from the beginning of the file to the end.


in a network, a computer that is reserved for servicing other computers in the network. Servers can provide different types of services, such as file services and communication services. Servers can also enable users to access shared resources such as disks, data, and modems. See also client.


a single period during which a software application is in use, from the time the application is invoked until its execution is terminated.

session gravity

in the X window interface to SAS, the resource that controls the region of the workstation display in which SAS attempts to place its windows.


a UNIX command interpreter. Sample shells are sh, csh, and ksh.

shell script

a file containing commands that can be read and executed by the shell. A shell script is also called a shell procedure or a shell program.

special file

under UNIX operating systems, an interface to an input or output device. Writing to or reading from the file activates the device.

standard error

under UNIX operating systems, the destination of a program's error messages.

standard input

the primary source of data going into a command. Standard input comes from the keyboard unless it is being redirected from a file or piped from another command.

standard output

the primary destination of data coming from a command. Standard output goes to the display unless it is being redirected to a file or piped to another command.


to move data or program code from a computer system's main memory to a storage device such as a hard disk, or vice versa.


See swap.

threaded kernel

the memory-resident part of a UNIX operating system that manages the computer's resources. The threaded kernel allocates memory, schedules programs for execution, monitors devices, and so on.


an option, parameter, or other mechanism that enables you to turn on or turn off a processing feature.


a part of the SAS windowing environment in which you can place icons that you can associate with SAS commands or macros. Selecting an icon executes its associated command or string of commands.


a set of predefined tools that is associated with an application. Toolsets make it easier for individual users to customize their application toolboxes.

Universal Printing

a feature of SAS software that enables you to send SAS output to PDF, Postscript, GIF, PNG, SVG, and PCL files, as well as directly to printers. The Universal Printing system also provides many options that enable you to customize your output, and it is available in all of the operating environments that SAS supports.

working directory

the directory in which a software application is invoked.

X resource

a characteristic of a window interface, such as font type, font size, color, gravity, and window size.

X server

in an X Window System, the program that mediates access to the display, mouse, and keyboard from one or more application client programs.

X Window System

a graphical windowing system that was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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