SAS author’s tip: Useful secret options


In honor of the 2012 Olympics, this week’s SAS tip is from award-winning UK author Phil Mason and his book In the Know...SAS Tips and Techniques from Around the Globe, Second Edition. SAS user Ron Fehd proclaimed Phil Mason "one of the SAS user community's famous creative tinkerers--the SAS user version of mild-mannered Clark Kent." However, it's no secret that Phil Mason is a master of SAS tips.

The following excerpt is from SAS Press author Phil Mason and his book "In the Know...SAS Tips and Techniques from Around the Globe, Second Edition" Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina, USA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (please note that results may vary depending on your version of SAS software)

Useful secret options

To discover some secret SAS options, you can run PROC OPTIONS with the INTERNAL parameter, which lists the internal, undocumented, unsupported options. This code produces a listing consisting of four sections:

proc options internal;

  • internal portable options
  • portable options
  • internal host options
  • host options

Running this code in SAS 9.1.2 reveals some interesting options such as:

The log is buffered. Switching to UNBUFLOG can be useful for viewing the log in a file while SAS is running.

Weighting factor for index costing, which can be adjusted to alter the way indexes are used.

Number of index file buffers, which can be altered to assist performance.

Threaded kernel code generator.

There are many other options, and it is worth looking through the list to see if anything might be of interest to you.

Visit Phil Mason's author page for bonus content including user reviews and a free chapter from his book.


About Author

Shelly Goodin

Social Media Specialist, SAS Publications

Shelly Goodin is SAS Publications' social media marketer and the editor of "SAS Publishing News". She’s worked in the publishing industry for over thirteen years, including seven years at SAS, and enjoys creating opportunities for fans of SAS and JMP software to get to know SAS Publications' many offerings and authors.


  1. Pingback: SAS author’s tip: Creating permanent data sets - The SAS Bookshelf

    in recent releases of SAS9 this is replaced by features of LOGPARM
    which was probably not around when Phil wrote his last book ;-)

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