Using FILENAME ZIP and FINFO to list the details in your ZIP files


It's time to share another tip about working with ZIP files in SAS. Since I first wrote about FILENAME ZIP to list and extract files from a ZIP archive, readers have been asking for more. Specifically, they want additional details about the files that are contained in a ZIP, including the original file datetime stamps, file size, and compressed size. Thanks to a feature that was quietly added into SAS 9.4 Maintenance 3, you can use the FINFO function to retrieve these details. In this article, I share a SAS macro program that does the job.

Here's an abridged example of the output. If you need to create something like this without the use of external ZIP tools like 7-Zip or WinZip (which are often unavailable in controlled environments), read on.


You can download the full program from my public gist on GitHub:

ZIPpy details: a solution in three macros

Here's my basic approach to this problem:

  • First, create a list of all of the ZIP files in a directory and all of the file "members" that are compressed within. I've already shared this technique in a previous article. Like an efficient (or lazy) programmer, I'm just reusing that work. That's macro routine #1 (%listZipContents).
  • With this list in hand, iterate through each ZIP file member, "open" the file with FOPEN, and gather all of the available file attributes with FINFO. I've divided this into two macros for readability. %getZipMemberInfo (macro routine #2) retrieves all of the file details for a single member and stores them in a data set. %getZipDetails (macro routine #3) iterates through the list of ZIP file members, calls %getZipMemberInfo on each, and concatenates the results into a single output data set.

Here's a sample usage:

  %listzipcontents (targdir=C:\Projects\ZIPPED_Examples, outlist=work.zipfiles);
  %getZipDetails (inlist=work.zipfiles, outlist=work.zipdetails);

I tried to add decent comments to my program so that interested coders can study and adapt as needed. Here's a snippet of code that uses the FINFO function, which is really the important part for retrieving these file details.

 Assumes an assignment like:
  FILENAME F ZIP "C:\ZIPPED_Examples\" member="src/AboutThisProject.txt";
fId = fopen("&f","S");
if fID then
     do i=1 to infonum;
      select (infoname);
       when ('Filename') filename=finfo(fid,infoname);
       when ('Member Name') membername=finfo(fid,infoname);
       when ('Size') filesize=input(finfo(fid,infoname),15.);
       when ('Compressed Size') compressedsize=input(finfo(fid,infoname),15.);
       when ('CRC-32') crc32=finfo(fid,infoname);
       when ('Date/Time') filetime=input(finfo(fid,infoname),anydtdtm.);
 compressedratio = compressedsize / filesize;
 fId = fClose( fId );

The FINFO function in SAS provides access to file attributes and their values for a given file that you've accessed using the FOPEN function. The available file attributes can differ according to the type of file (FILENAME access method) that is used. ZIP files, as you can guess, have some attributes that are specific to them: "Compressed Size", "CRC-32", and others. This code checks for all of the available attributes and keeps those that we need for our detailed output. (And see the use of the SELECT/WHEN statement? So much more readable than a bunch of IF/THEN/ELSEs.)

Look, I'm not going to claim that my approach to this problem is the most elegant or most efficient -- but it works. If it can be improved, then I'm sure I'll hear from a few of you experts out there. Bring it on!

For more about ZIP files in SAS


About Author

Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. He's also co-author of the popular SAS for Dummies book, author of Custom Tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide using Microsoft .NET, and a frequent participant on the SAS Enterprise Guide discussion forum.

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  1. Dear Chris,

    I suspect it won't, but I suppose it can't hurt to ask: Does this work with gzip, i.e. in a UNIX type environment?

    Thank you,


    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      Jim, that's coming soon! GZ support hits at SAS 9.4 Maint 5, mere weeks away. I'll have to update all of these blog posts then.

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