Carpenter's Complete Guide to the SAS® Macro Language Third Edition Reviews

Art delivers yet another inimitable performance in Carpenter's Complete Guide to the SAS Macro Language, Third Edition! He doesn't just introduce macro topics and techniques—he provides a comprehensive review of SAS software best practices culled from four decades of leading the SAS industry's brain trust. Whether interleaving SAS data sets or anecdotes about raging teenage hormones or Matrioshka dolls, Art enlightens and entertains, enticing us into his sticky-sweet-pour-some-SAS-on-me genius. And where his sage words end, he summarizes and cites myriad references to reputable technical sources to further the discussion.

For anyone studying for the SAS Advanced Programmer certification; for anyone teaching (or taking) an advanced SAS course; for anyone desiring to take your software development prowess to the next level, Carpenter's Complete Guide to the SAS Macro Language, Third Edition is the single required addition to your SAS library! Hundreds of software examples contextually demonstrate not only how to write dynamic, efficient, and effective SAS software, but also how to avoid the pitfalls and landmines that even seasoned SAS practitioners can encounter. All code examples are freely downloadable, facilitate ease of understanding and use, and feature Art's patented "color–by–number" system of explanation.

In March, 2001, a SAS neophyte ventured to Cincinnati, Ohio, to take the SAS Macro Language course, unleashing a new world of dynamic SAS software potential. And when the course was over, my instructor gave us one piece of advice—buy Carpenter's Complete Guide to the SAS Macro Language to really learn how SAS macro programming is done. Years later, no other text has more substantially influenced and guided my own programming career toward the pursuit of dynamic, data-driven processing, and Art's Third Edition provides a thoroughly revamped and more extensive version of his already masterful opus. Buy it, love it, live it!

Troy Hughes

Art Carpenter is one of the best teachers and lecturers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. So, it is not surprising that the same abilities that make him a great teacher and lecturer also make him a superb author. His latest book, Carpenter's Complete Guide to the SAS® Macro Language, Third Edition is proof of his teaching skills.

Art is an accomplished author and has a writing style that makes you feel that you are in a classroom with a master teacher. For example, in the beginning discussion of what macros are, he writes, "The macro language can serve as our intelligent typist, which generates all or portions of our code for us." What a wonderful way to describe what macros do!

What I find so appealing about this book is that it is completely accessible to a beginning SAS programmer but also useful to someone who has been programming and writing macros for years. He accomplishes this daunting task by dividing the book into logical sections. The first section, intended for beginners (but useful to all levels of programming ability) is meant to be read sequentially, developing a basic understanding of macro concepts. Later sections can also be read sequentially but are also useful as references to more experienced SAS programmers.

This book can be used both as an instructional text and as a reference manual—a very difficult task for any author. How is this possible? First, the table of contents with very clear and logical sections, chapter headings, and subheadings allows the reader to quickly identify where to find an answer to a specific macro programming question. Art also includes ways to search for keywords or program examples in two appendices.

My last comment concerns the word "Complete" in the book title. This book, based on my limited macro knowledge, is indeed complete. It's hard to imagine that there is a question concerning macros and macro processing that cannot be found in this very complete guide."

Ron Cody, EdD
Retired professor and SAS author

Art is truly one of the go-to resources when it comes to the SAS Macro Language. When I teach the macro course as a contract instructor for SAS, one of the things I tell my students is that if they ever do a search and find something that Art wrote, they should definitely pay attention. And Carpenter’s Complete Guide to the SAS® Macro Language, Third Edition is a great example of the insights and knowledge he has shared about the SAS Macro Language.

Don Henderson
Principal, Henderson Consulting Services
SAS Author

Carpenter's Complete Guide to the SAS® Macro Language, Third Edition, the definitive book on SAS macros, is truly comprehensive, covering all aspects of SAS macro programming. If you need any proof of this, then just turn to the Bibliography, where you will find over 20 pages of references in the book from 1988 to 2016 that are used in the book!"

Philip R Holland
Consultant and Author
Holland Numerics Ltd

My advice to any SAS user with any level of experience would be to buy this book. No matter what part of SAS you use, the macro language can be used a little or a lot. Whether you are using SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS Data Integration Studio, SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Studio or any other SAS tools you can make use of macro language, and Carpenter's Complete Guide to the SAS® Macro Language, Third Edition will tell you everything you need to know.

It is written in a way that the beginner can use just as effectively as someone like me who has been using SAS every day for over 30 years. This book is bang up-to-date covering the latest features of SAS 9.4 and is written in an accessible style typical of Art Carpenter's other books and papers. It's less like reading a manual and more like having Art talking you through the topics in a friendly succinct style. There are even exercises at the end of chapters to test your knowledge, so this could be used quite easily as a training tool.

If you already have an earlier edition of the book, you will gain substantial value from this one as it expands some of the more complex sections especially ones useful in making applications with your code. Some years ago I wrote the Advanced Macro programming course for SAS UK and had this book existed then, I would have used this as the course book. It really does give you all you need to take you from novice macro student to master macro programmer.

"These pages comprehensively cover the SAS macro language in a way accessible to all levels of experience. You will get your money back time and time again with the macro wisdom in the pages of Art's great book. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Phil Mason

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