In SAS 9.4, the SAS programming language continues add new features by the truckload. I've already discussed PROC DELETE (which is actually an old feature, but like an 80s hit song it's now back with a better version).
In this SAS Tech Talk video from SAS Global Forum 2013, I talked with Rick Langston about the advancements in the SAS programming language. Rick has been with SAS for...well, a long time. He's considered to be the steward of the SAS programming language. In this session, Rick discusses the process that we use to add new syntax to the language and to ensure its integrity.
Rick also talks about three specific new features in 9.4, all of which were added because customers asked for them. (It's difficult to read the Rick's syntax examples in the video, so I've included reference links below so that you can learn more.)
FILENAME ZIP access method
This brings the ability to read and write compressed ZIP files directly into the SAS language. For more information, see the FILENAME ZIP documentation. If you don't have SAS 9.4, you can still create ZIP files using ODS PACKAGE.
Rick calls this "submitting SAS code on the side", as it allows you to run a SAS step or statement from "inside" a currently running step. You can learn more from the DOSUBL function reference, or from this SAS Global Forum paper. I've also written a post with a specific example in SAS Enterprise Guide.
LOCKDOWN system option and statement
This one will excite SAS administrators. You can set the LOCKDOWN system option in a batch SAS session or SAS Workspace server to limit some of the "dangerous" functions of SAS and, more importantly, limit the file areas in which the SAS session will operate. We don't currently have a documentation link for this, so I'll dive in a bit further in a future blog post.
That's just a small taste of what's new. Be sure to check out the complete What's New in SAS 9.4 document for even more goodies.