I'd love to believe that our loyal SAS customers never have to touch a statistical package from another company. Even as I work away in my comfy SAS bubble here in Cary, NC, I occasionally catch wind of stories about SAS customers who need to use data that comes from other products, such as SPSS, Stata, and even our own JMP.
Update 05Sep2013: There is now a new version of this task with more features. Check out the new and improved version described here.
Since version 9.1.3, SAS has supported an easy method to import these data files using the IMPORT procedure. With just a few lines of code and the help of our SAS/ACCESS to PC Files product, you can write a SAS program that slurps that data into a SAS data set. (You can use the EXPORT procedure to convert SAS data sets to these third-party formats too -- just in case you ever need that.)
To make it even easier for our SAS Enterprise Guide users, I built a set of simple tasks that you can use with SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 -- no programming necessary. You can download the task here. (It's a ZIP file; use the README.txt instructions for simple installation.) When you install it and restart SAS Enterprise Guide, you'll see an additional three items in the Add-Ins menu: one for each of the supported file types: SPSS (.sav), JMP, and Stata (.dta) files.
The tasks are simple to use: you pick the file to import, and the task copies the file to your SAS server (if your SAS session is on a remote host) and then runs the IMPORT procedure. The resulting SAS data is stored in your WORK library, and the data and SAS log are both added to your project. (Note these requirements: you need at least SAS 9.1.3 with SAS/ACCESS to PC Files installed on your SAS machine.)
Try it out! And then please tell me how it goes by adding your comments back here on the blog.
By the way, these tasks are "baked in" for SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2, our forthcoming release, along with many other new tasks and features that I'll blog about soon.