The SAS Programmer's PROC REPORT Handbook: Basic to Advanced Reporting Techniques Reviews

Only purchase Jane Eslinger's new book, The SAS Programmer's PROC REPORT Handbook: Basic to Advanced Reporting Techniques, if you want to master the REPORT procedure and produce stunning, publication-ready reports for your users and clients. This book begins by going over the basics of PROC REPORT syntax. It continues with a chapter on how, exactly, PROC REPORT works behind the scenes. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book because it lays the groundwork for your mastery of the REPORT procedure.

Other chapters of note are Chapter 5, which explains how to determine when to pre-process the data being fed into PROC REPORT and Chapter 6, which provides great examples of how to customize the appearance of your reports. Chapter 8 is very innovative because it has a comprehensive list of PROC REPORT errors and how to address them.

Your hard work in analyzing and characterizing your organization or client's data wont have weight unless you can present it in a cogent, professional format. Jane Eslinger's new book, The SAS Programmer's PROC REPORT Handbook: Basic to Advanced Reporting Techniques, will give your reports the gravitas they so rightly deserve.

Michael Raithel
Westat

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The goal of The SAS Programmer's PROC REPORT Handbook: Basic to Advanced Reporting Techniques, an eminently practical book is, in the author's words "... to teach you, through examples, how to make PROC REPORT ... generate the report you need." And who better to write such a book on PROC REPORT than Jane Eslinger, the SAS Institute Senior Technical Support Analyst who solves users' problems with PROC REPORT all day!

You'll have many 'Now I get it!' epiphanies as you read Jane's descriptions of the way PROC REPORT works, especially Chapter 2, where she goes through the behind-the-scenes work that PROC REPORT does while it builds the report you finally see.

Here's what the book covers: Chapter 1 is devoted to syntax. It explains each of PROC REPORT's statements and most useful options. Especially valuable are the comments on how the options should be used and should not be used. Chapter 2 covers what PROC REPORT does behind the scenes to create a report. This crucially important chapter looks at how compute blocks work and how to reference variables. This chapter gives the reader a thorough understanding of how PROC REPORT works.

The next three chapters show how to create a wide variety of reports. Each example report includes a display of the report output, the code that was used to create it, and a detailed explanation of how the code works. Chapter 3 provides increasingly complex examples of reports that can be created without the use of ACROSS variables. Chapter 4 explains how to create reports involving ACROSS variables - one of the trickier features of PROC REPORT. Chapter 5 explores the type of reports that require you to preprocess or restructure the data prior to building the report.

Building on the understanding of how to use PROC REPORT to get the numbers and report structure that you need gained in the first five chapters, Chapter 6 focuses on using STYLEs to enhance the appearance and readability of the report. Chapter 7 explains how to manipulate the nodes and labels of the Table of Contents to enhance the readability of multi-page reports. Chapter 8 begins by listing the most common PROC REPORT error messages, warnings, and notes with an explanation of why they are issued and how to resolve them. The chapter concludes with general tips on how to build a report and where to check if something goes wrong.

From a practical programming point of view, one of the key virtues of The SAS Programmer's PROC REPORT Handbook is the wealth of sample reports it describes. One can simply skim through the book until s/he finds an example of the report s/he needs, then use the sample code as a model to construct it.

Paul Grant
A member of the SAS Global User Group Executive Board & the Boston Area SAS Users Group Board

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In her book, The SAS Programmer's PROC REPORT Handbook: Basic to Advanced Reporting Techniques, Jane Eslinger writes "PROC REPORT works like no other procedure in Base SAS." Jane keeps this in mind throughout her book as she explains skillfully how to take full advantage of this unique SAS procedure.

The book starts with concise and thorough descriptions of PROC REPORT syntax and the mechanics of how PROC REPORT works. The chapters in the rest of the book cover major features of PROC REPORT. The book concludes with a chapter that explains how to interpret PROC REPORT error messages and how to debug your PROC REPORT steps. The discussion of each major topic starts with simple examples that increase in complexity as features are added. Almost all examples use the same easy-to-understand data set; you will spend little time understanding the example's data set before you focus on the PROC REPORT feature that the example illustrates.

The easy-to-follow discussion of how to structure the COLUMN statement alone justifies adding this book to your library. Throughout the book, Jane reinforces the importance of how you write a COLUMN statement so that when you are done, you are likely to be much more efficient at producing the report your application requires.

Usage of ACROSS variables can be confusing, and a chapter in the book describes how ACROSS variables operate. As Jane states, "Reports which use ACROSS variables deserve their own chapter because ACROSS variables can drastically change the code." The chapter on ACROSS variables starts from the basics of what an ACROSS variable can do and progresses to examples of complex reports that illustrate how to produce subtotals and how to nest ACROSS variables. "Jane's useful tips and examples help you determine when it's feasible to produce a report with just PROC REPORT and when it makes more sense to summarize or transpose data before you use PROC REPORT.

Two chapters deal with ODS features. One chapter explains how to alter the standard appearance of your reports by applying styles that modify header, cell, and border attributes. The other ODS-related chapter presents examples on controlling tables of contents using the ODS DOCUMENT statement and PROC DOCUMENT. "Whether you are a beginning or advanced PROC REPORT coder, Jane's many examples will teach you new techniques or help you refine your existing PROC REPORT code.

Michele Burlew
SAS Consultant and Author
Episystems, Inc.

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