Systems Seminar Consultants, Inc.
The Missing Semicolon
Volume 13 Number 6                     Subscribe Here! June / 2012


Dear SAS User,


We are adding in a new exciting feature to The Missing Semicolon.  It is a SAS Q&A called Dear Miss Sassy.  You can submit your most perplexing SAS questions, and your question just may be featured in our newsletter.  One of our SAS experts will provide a comprehensive answer for you.  If you are featured in the newsletter, you will also receive a complimentary gift from SSC.  Please email your questions to  We can include your name, or you can remain anonymous. 


We look forward to hearing from you!



Thanks for Reading!

Jennifer First
Director of Operations 

Dear Miss Sassy:
Send your SAS questions to Miss Sassy! 
Email:, if your question is featured in a newsletter, we will send you a free gift!

Data About Data - A Look at Dictionary Tables & SASHELP Views



A component was added in SAS Version 6.07 called dictionary tables. This column will introduce you to
these interesting and useful objects in the SAS system. Dictionary tables are special read-only PROC SQL objects that contain systems catalogs for all SAS datasets and other SAS files. Some of this information is available from PROC CONTENTS, PROC DATASETS, and other sources, but dictionary tables are more readily available and are usually easier to access. Using Dictionary Tables you might use a dictionary table when you want to...

  • Know if a dataset exists, how many variables it contains, and how many observations it contains
  • Check the current value of an option or title, change it, but then reset it back to the original value when you are finished
  • Determine if a macro variable exists
  • Capture the names of variables, as well as the attributes, from a SAS data file  
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Demystifying Inherited Programs


Have you ever inherited a program that leaves you scratching your head trying to figure it out?  If you have not, chances are that some time in the future you will.  While initially the program may work and not require any changes, this may not always be the case.  At some point the program may require maintenance due to new requirements, system upgrades, data issues, etc.  At that time it will be necessary to figure out what is really happening so you can modify the program.



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Quick Tip: The Holiday Function
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