Helpful hints and a useful tip for SAS University Edition


I have written several books based on the SAS University Edition (UE). When I talk to people at SAS conferences I am amazed that so many SAS programmers are not really sure what UE really is. Because of the name, many people believe you need to be a university student to use this product. Not true!

SAS UE is a free version of SAS that ANYONE can download and run for free. It even runs on Apple computers. There is a catch: You cannot use it for commercial purposes. There is a bit of a "learning curve" associated with the product. That is, you have to first load a virtual computer application (such as Virtual Box) before you install University Edition. If you are of my generation (not so young any more), you may want to have a young person help you. There are detailed instructions and videos supplied by SAS. These directions show you how to download and install both the virtual app (see I'm using the lingo) and the SAS software.

Another misconception is that University Edition restricts you to a limited number of variables or observations. Also not true. The only limitation is the memory on the computer you are using.

Finally, the best thing about University Edition (besides being free) is that it uses SAS Studio as the front end. You can use the SAS UE by writing code in an editor window (similar to the Display Manager or Enterprise Guide) or you can use SAS Studio to write code for you. Being a "real programmer," I have always disliked front-end, point-and-click interfaces. SAS Studio is the exception—I really like it.

I hope this discussion entices you to try SAS UE. Here is a useful tip that will save you a lot of time and heartache:

If you are working with large data sets, create a small subset of that data set to test your program(s). This will save time and, depending on your circumstances, money. If you are using the SAS University Edition, select Tasks→Data →Select Random Sample:

Next select the file from which you want to take a sample:

In this example you chose the Heart data set in the SASHelp library. Next indicate the name of the sample data set and how many observations you want to select:

You can now test your program(s) on the Heart_Sample data set in the Work library.

If you are writing your own SAS program, you may also want to select the first "n" observations by using the data set option OBS=. For example, to print the first 100 observations from the Heart data set in the SASHelp library, use the following code:

proc print data=SASHelp.Heart(Obs=100);

I hope this blog will help you get started with SAS University Edition and this tip will save you time and money. Check out my book An Introduction to SAS Unversity Edition to learn more!


About Author

Ron Cody

Private Consultant

Dr. Ron Cody was a Professor of Biostatistics at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey for 26 years. During his tenure at the medical school, he taught biostatistics to medical students as well as students in the Rutgers School of Public Health. While on the faculty, he authored or co-authored over a hundred papers in scientific journals. His first book, Applied Statistics and the SAS Programming Language, was first published by Prentice Hall in 1985 and is now in its fifth edition. Since then, he has published over a dozen books on SAS programming and statistical analysis using SAS. His latest book, A Gentle Introduction to Statistics Using SAS Studio was published this year. Ron has presented numerous papers at SAS Global forums, regional conferences, as well as local user groups. He is presently a contract instructor for SAS Institute and continues to write books on SAS and statistical topics.

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