Top 10 head scratchers for DATA step programmers

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When I encounter an ERROR, WARNING, or NOTE in my SAS log that I don't understand, my first recourse is to ask my friend (we'll call him "Google") what it could mean. I copy the entire message (or at least 5 or 6 consecutive words from it) into the search box, surrounded by quotes, and see what literal matches come up.

Not all messages indicate a problem; some are meant to be informational. Yet sometimes I need a little help to understand what that information should mean to me. (Here's an example of one that I wouldn't have guessed on my own.)

On the support.sas.com blog, Renee features the top 10 DATA step messages that prompt customers to call SAS Technical Support.

It's a guest post from Kim Wilson in SAS Technical Support, who is an expert in the area. Kim presented a paper at SAS Global Forum 2011; the paper contains even more useful details.

And now, thanks to the magic of indexed content on the support site and my friend Google (or the search box on support.sas.com), Kim's paper is one of the useful links that will pop up when you search on one of those messages.

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Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies.  He also hosts the SAS Tech Talk webcasts each year from SAS Global Forum, connecting viewers with smart people from SAS R&D and the impressive work that they do.

3 Comments

  1. Doc Muhlbaier on

    Kim's #4 (NOTE: THE MEANING OF AN IDENTIFIER AFTER A QUOTED STRING MAY CHANGE IN A FUTURE SAS RELEASE. INSERTING WHITE SPACE BETWEEN A QUOTED STRING AND THE SUCCEEDING IDENTIFIER IS RECOMMENDED.)

    also occurs in PROC SQL due to unbalanced quotes.

  2. Mike Posner on

    I always find that adding a few words from my error messages into google brings up forums posts etc. Most times, someone has already asked the question and gotten an answer.

  3. Mr. Posner, Thank you for visiting the blog and adding to the discourse. Having two Duke-associated participants (you along with Doc M.) certainly adds to the prestige. Congratulations on being "Cooler than Me".

    -Chris

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