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Using External Files and Devices

Using Environment Variables to Assign Filerefs in UNIX Environments

Requirements for Variable Names

An environment variable can also be used as a fileref to refer to DISK files. The variable name must be in all uppercase characters, and the variable value must be the full pathname of the external file; that is, the filename must begin with a slash.

Note:   If a variable and a fileref have the same name but refer to different files, SAS uses the fileref. For example, the %INCLUDE statement below refers to file /users/myid/this_one.  [cautionend]

filename ABC '/users/myid/this_one';
x setenv ABC /users/myid/that_one;
%include ABC;

Reading a Data File

If you want to read the data file /users/myid/educ.dat, but you want to refer to it with the INED environment variable, you can define the variable at two times:

After INED is associated with the file /users/myid/educ.dat, you can use ined as a fileref to refer to the file in the INFILE statement:
infile ined;

Writing to an External File

The same method applies if you want to write to an external file. For example, you can define OUTFILE before you invoke SAS:

export OUTFILE

Then, use the environment variable name as a fileref to refer to the file:


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