Everybody likes to get something for free. We love it when we purchase two garments at the regular price and get the third one for free. We smile when after purchasing nine coffees with our customer loyalty card we get the tenth one for free. We enjoy racking up those frequent flyer miles so that we can get a free flight or a free upgrade. We happily grab that toothpaste bundle that has a free smaller tube or a free toothbrush attached. In the store, we reach for that big bag of chips that has 10% more included for a limited time for free. And, so on.
The good news for SAS programming professionals is that SAS offers a number of value-added products that you can download from the support.sas.com web site for--you guessed it--free.
The main SAS downloads page can be found at this link: http://support.sas.com/downloads/index.htm. From that web page, you can explore downloads for the various SAS products that you have licensed to see what freebies you may be able to bring to bear on your own programming work.
Here are some of my favorite free downloads for Base SAS Software:
- The SAS Universal Viewer -- This software allows users to access SAS data sets without having SAS installed on their workstations. Link: http://support.sas.com/downloads/package.htm?pid=1249
- The ODS Graphics Editor -- This is an interactive tool that allows users to edit and customize the ODS graphs that they create. Link: http://support.sas.com/downloads/package.htm?pid=999
- The SAS XML Mapper -- The XML Mapper analyzes the structure of an XML file, or schema, and generates metadata. It basically provides a gateway for you to process XML files with SAS. Link: http://support.sas.com/downloads/package.htm?pid=1002
- The SAS Installation Qualification (IQ) Tool and the SAS Operational Qualification (OQ) Tool. These two handy tools validate that SAS is installed and operating correctly. The IQ tool validates that you have SAS correctly installed on your computer. The OQ tool validates that SAS is operating according to SAS's specifications. Link: http://support.sas.com/rnd/migration/planning/validation/sasoq.html
- SAS Data Sets for Practicing Statistical Analysis -- SAS provides about 50 SAS data sets that you can download to use to sharpen your SAS programming skills. Link: http://support.sas.com/learn/statlibrary/statlib_eg4.2/top_data.htm
- The SAS Installation Reporter -- This amazing program provides a fantastically detailed report of your SAS installation. Link: http://support.sas.com/kb/20/390.html
You can do a lot with just that handful of free downloads for Base SAS software.
Check out the free SAS downloads and see which ones may end up saving you time at work. No need to hurry though, because unlike those deals at your supermarket, drugstore, local clothing store, or airline, the SAS downloads are not "free for a limited time only." All that you need to exploit them is the knowledge that they are there, a couple of minutes to download them, and the smarts to use them to improve the utility of your SAS programs.
Best of luck in all your SAS endeavors!