You might have heard about SAS - Microsoft partnership announced in June 2020 that officially joined the powers of SAS analytics with Microsoft’s cloud technology to further advance Artificial Intelligence (AI).

This partnership did not just happen out of nowhere. SAS has a long and deep history of integrating with Microsoft technologies. Examples include:

- XLSX Access Engine for transparent access to Microsoft Excel workbooks residing on UNIX or Microsoft Windows;
- SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office, which extends Microsoft Office to use the power of SAS data access, analysis, and reporting directly from Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint;
- The ability to use SAS with Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint).

In this post we will look at a lesser known, but quite useful feature in SAS that allows SAS users to bring many Microsoft Excel functions right to their SAS programs. I hope that many SAS users (not just MS Excel aficionados) will love to discover this functionality within SAS.

**Excel functions as SAS user-defined functions**

SAS has a wide variety of built-in functions, however there are still many Microsoft Excel functions that are not intrinsically implemented in SAS. Luckily, many of them are made available in SAS via PROC FCMP as user-defined functions (see section PROC FCMP and Microsoft Excel). These functions are predefined for you and their definitions are stored in the **SASHELP.SLKWXL** data table provided with your SAS installation. You can generate a list of these functions by running the following code:

proc fcmp inlib=SASHELP.SLKWXL listall; run; |

You can also capture the list of available Excel functions in a SAS data table using ODS OUTPUT with CODELIST= option:

ods noresults; ods output codelist=WORK.EXCEL_FUNCTIONS_LIST (keep=COL1 COL2); proc fcmp inlib=SASHELP.SLKWXL listall; run; ods output close; ods results; |

From this data table you can produce a nice looking HTML report listing all these functions:

data WORK.EXCEL_SAS_FUNCTIONS (keep=exc sas arg); label exc='Excel Function' sas='SAS Function' arg='Arguments'; set WORK.EXCEL_FUNCTIONS_LIST (rename=(col2=arg)); sas = tranwrd(col1,'Function ',''); exc = tranwrd(sas,'_slk',''); run; ods html path='c:\temp' file='excel_sas_functions.html'; title 'List of Excel functions available in SAS (via SASHELP.SLKWXL)'; proc print data=EXCEL_SAS_FUNCTIONS label; run; ods html close; |

When you run this code, you should get the following list of Excel functions along with their SAS equivalents:

Obs | Excel Function | SAS Function | Arguments |
---|---|---|---|

1 | even | even_slk | ( x ) |

2 | odd | odd_slk | ( x ) |

3 | factdouble | factdouble_slk | ( x ) |

4 | product | product_slk | ( nums ) |

5 | multinomial | multinomial_slk | ( nums ) |

6 | floor | floor_slk | ( n, sg ) |

7 | datdif | datdif4_slk | ( start, end ) **** NOTE: a subset of datdif for DAYS only |

8 | amorlinc | amorlinc_slk | ( cost, datep, fperiod, salvage, period, rate, basis ) |

9 | amordegrc | amordegrc_slk | ( cost, datep, fperiod, salvage, period, rate, basis ) |

10 | disc | disc_slk | ( settlement, maturity, pr, redemp, basis ) |

11 | tbilleq | tbilleq_slk | ( settlement, maturity, discount ) |

12 | tbillprice | tbillprice_slk | ( settlement, maturity, discount ) |

13 | tbillyield | tbillyield_slk | ( settlement, maturity, par ) |

14 | dollarde | dollarde_slk | ( fdollar, frac ) |

15 | dollarfr | dollarfr_slk | ( ddollar, frac ) |

16 | effect | effect_slk | ( nominal_rate, npery ) |

17 | coupnum | coupnum_slk | ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis ) |

18 | coupncd | coupncd_slk | ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis ) |

19 | coupdaysnc | coupdaysnc_slk | ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis ) |

20 | couppcd | couppcd_slk | ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis ) |

21 | coupdays | coupdays_slk | ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis ) |

22 | db | db_slk | ( cost, salvage, life, period, month ) |

23 | yield | yield_slk | ( settlement, maturity, rate, pr, redemp, freq, basis ) |

24 | yielddisc | yielddisc_slk | ( settlement, maturity, pr, redemp, basis ) |

25 | coupdaybs | coupdaybs_slk | ( settlement, maturity, freq, basis ) |

26 | oddfprice | oddfprice_slk | ( settlement, maturity, issue, fcoupon, rate, yield, redemp, freq, basis ) |

27 | oddfyield | oddfyield_slk | ( settlement, maturity, issue, fcoupon, rate, pr, redemp, freq, basis ) |

28 | oddlyield | oddlyield_slk | ( settlement, maturity, linterest, rate, pr, redemp, freq, basis ) |

29 | oddlprice | oddlprice_slk | ( settlement, maturity, linterest, rate, yield, redemp, freq, basis ) |

30 | price | price_slk | ( settlement, maturity, rate, yield, redemp, freq, basis ) |

31 | pricedisc | pricedisc_slk | ( settlement, maturity, discount, redemp, basis ) |

32 | pricemat | pricemat_slk | ( settlement, maturity, issue, rate, yld, basis ) |

33 | yieldmat | yieldmat_slk | ( settlement, maturity, issue, rate, pr, basis ) |

34 | received | received_slk | ( settlement, maturity, investment, discount, basis ) |

35 | accrint | accrint_slk | ( issue, finterest, settlement, rate, par, freq, basis ) |

36 | accrintm | accrintm_slk | ( issue, maturity, rate, par, basis ) |

37 | duration | duration_slk | ( settlement, maturity, coupon, yld, freq, basis ) |

38 | mduration | mduration_slk | ( settlement, maturity, coupon, yld, freq, basis ) |

39 | avedev | avedev_slk | ( data ) |

40 | devsq | devsq_slk | ( data ) |

41 | varp | varp_slk | ( data ) |

**NOTE:** Excel functions that are made available in SAS are named from their Excel parent functions, suffixing them with **_SLK** to distinguish them from their Excel incarnations, as well as from native SAS functions.

**Examples of Microsoft Excel functions usage in SAS**

In order to use any of these Excel functions in your SAS code, all you need to do is to specify the functions definition data table in the CMPLIB= option:

`options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL;`

Let’s consider several examples.

## ODD function

This function returns number **rounded up** to the nearest odd integer:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL; data _null_; x = 5.9; y = odd_slk(x); put 'odd( ' x ') = ' y; run; |

SAS log:

`odd( 5.9 ) = 7`

## EVEN function

This function returns number **rounded up** to the nearest even integer:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL; data _null_; x = 6.4; y = even_slk(x); put 'even( ' x ') = ' y; run; |

SAS log:

`even( 6.4 ) = 8`

## FACTDOUBLE function

This function returns the **double factorial** of a number. If number is not an integer, it is truncated.

Double factorial (or semifactorial) of a number *n*, denoted by *n!!*, is the product of all the integers from 1 up to *n* that have the same parity as *n*.

For even *n*, the double factorial is **n!!=n(n-2)(n-4)…(4)(2)**, and for odd *n*, the double factorial is **n!! = n(n-2)(n-4)…(3)(1)**.

Here is a SAS code example using the **factdouble()** Excel function:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL; data _null_; n = 6; m = 7; nn = factdouble_slk(n); mm = factdouble_slk(m); put n '!! = ' nn / m '!! = ' mm; run; |

It will produce the following SAS log:

`6 !! = 48`

`7 !! = 105`

Indeed, 6!! = 2 x 4 x 6 = 48 and 7!! = 1 x 3 x 5 x 7 = 105.

## PRODUCT function

This function multiplies all elements of SAS numeric array given as its argument and returns the product:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL; data _null_; array x x1-x5 (5, 7, 1, 2, 2); p = product_slk(x); put 'x = ( ' x1-x5 ')'; put 'product(x) = ' p; run; |

SAS log:

`x = ( 5 7 1 2 2 )`

`product(x) = 140`

Indeed 5 x 7 x 1 x 2 x 2 = 140.

## MULTINOMIAL function

This function returns the ratio of the factorial of a sum of values to the product of factorials:

**MULTINOMIAL(a _{1}, a_{2}, ... , a_{n}) = (a_{1} + a_{2} + ... + a_{n})! : (a_{1}! a_{2}! ... a_{n}!)**

In SAS, the argument to this function is specified as numeric array name:

options cmplib=SASHELP.SLKWXL; data _null_; array a a1-a3 (1, 3, 2); m = multinomial_slk(a); put 'a = ( ' a1-a3 ')'; put 'multinomial(a) = ' m; run; |

SAS log:

`a = ( 1 3 2 )`

`multinomial(a) = 60`

Indeed (1+3+2)! **:** (1! x 3! x 2!) = 720 **:** 12 = 60.

**Other Microsoft Excel functions available in SAS**

You can explore other Excel functions available in SAS via **SASHELP.SLKWXL** user-defined functions by cross-referencing them with the corresponding Microsoft Excel functions documentation (alphabetical or by categories). As you can see in the above List of Excel functions available in SAS, besides mathematical and statistical functions exemplified in the previous section, there are also many Excel * financial functions related to securities trading that are made available in SAS*.

**Additional Resources on SAS user-defined functions**

- Removing repeated characters in SAS strings
- How to unquote SAS character variable values
- Finding n-th instance of a substring within a string
- Shifting a date by a given number of workdays

**Your thoughts?**

Have you found this blog post useful? Please share your use cases, thoughts and feedback in the comments below.

## 29 Comments

Perfect, I have a client new to SAS, but very adept at Excel. I often find that it helps if I can talk to them in Excel, but this will help be our Rosetta Stone 🙂

Thank you, Andrea, great observation. And this bridge works both ways: it can be Rosetta Stone for "native Excel speakers" to learn SAS, as well as for "native SAS speakers" to learn Excel 😉

Thanks Leonid, this is very helpful. I hope you can present this as a conference paper or perhaps a Super Demo once we start having conferences in person again.

Sounds like a good idea. Thank you, Bruce, for this very constructive exchange.

That would be excellent. I do think these functions have value and am very glad you've publicized them.

I do have one more question. I'm doing a little internal writeup on these, and included a summary of each function from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/excel-functions-alphabetical-b3944572-255d-4efb-bb96-c6d90033e188#bm25. 40 of the 41 functions are described there, but I can't find DATDIF4 there or by googling for it. That page does have DATDIF. DATDIF4 is definitely the name in SASHELP.

Thanks,

Bruce

Thank you, Bruce. Indeed, there is DATDIF() function in MS Excel, but DATDIF4_SLK() function in SAS. The original DATDIF() function has 3 arguments (3rd argument is unit - DAY, MONTH, YEAR,...), however, DATDIF4_SLK has only 2 arguments as it implements a subset of DATDIF() for DAYS only. I made corresponding correction in the table and added NOTE to it.

Thanks Leonid. Too bad they deleted it. This is a nice feature that is not well known at all.

As far as I remember that disappeared post was just a list of Excel functions available in SAS. Now, with this blog post the same listing (augmented with the corresponding SAS names and arguments) is included here, so maybe the doc's link needs to be updated to point to this blog post.

Leonid:

Hi, thanks for clarifying this. Just one followup question. You mention above that:

Luckily, many of them are made available in SAS via PROC FCMP as user-defined functions (see section PROC FCMP and Microsoft Excel).

I clicked the PROC FCMP link and in the section PROC FCMP and Microsoft Excel there's a link for: You can view these functions at Excel functions in SAS.

That link took me to the SAS Communities home page. Various searches there didn't yield anything obvious. Do you know what it's trying to point me to?

Thanks,

Bruce

Hi Bruce,

I think it used to be a post on the SAS Communities that listed all the MS Excel functions implemented in SAS, but it was deleted at some point. I will let SAS documentation specialists know so they take care of that broken link. Thank you for catching that.

Best regards,

Leonid

It has been corrected in the SAS documentation. Now, the PROC FCMP documentation links to the table of Excel functions available in SAS in THIS blog post 🙂 .

Hi Leonid. It's been a while since we sat next to each other on a flight back from a conference.

This feature is really interesting and I'd not heard of it. Two questions

1. Are we calling the actual Excel functions, or SAS re-writes of them?

2. If the former, I see that a lot of the financial functions deal with dates and wondered how are they being handled. If I pass in SAS dates, are they being translated to account for January 1, 1960 being 0 in SAS and January 1, 1900 being 1 in Excel? I realize that a lot (all?) of them involve a range of dates so if the number of dates is the same whatever the "0" date is, it might not matter. But it might in some cases.

Thanks,

Bruce

Hi Bruce, great memories!

These are not "actual" Excel functions, but rather SAS incarnations of them. SAS implemented (re-wrote) them as user-defined functions using PROC FCMP. Therefore, one can expect dates being treated as SAS date values. Hope this clarifies it for you.

Best regards,

Leonid

Very interesting, some useful gems here. I'm particularly surprised there isn't a native "product" function in SAS; if there were I think it would see use.

The requirement to specify the arguments as an array, as for product_slk is a downside since it means the function can't be used in contexts where arrays are unavailable (say, PROC SQL).

Thank you, Matthew, for your feedback. I consider your first sentence as a vote

forimplementing product function as a native SAS function.In PROC SQL you don't need an array and therefore product function to multiply columns, you can do that by listing them separated with '*' (multiplication operator): COL1 * COL2 * COL3 ... * COLn.

Ok: neat, handy and cool, BUT! Why does SAS not implement its own functions instead if SAS believes they are so important?

Hi Daniel, thank you for your comment. SAS is a customer-centric organization. If you as a SAS user believe these functions need be natively implemented, say it. Meanwhile, SAS made it available to the SAS user community as user-defined functions.

Hi Leonid, do you know if I can compress the size of a file that gets exported using the XLSX engine? Thank you in advance,

Hi, Cristina! Here is an example of how you can compress (zip) your .xlsx file (or any file) on Windows:

Is that what you were looking for?

Thank you Leonid! I sincerely appreciate this!

You are welcome, Cristina! I am glad I was able to help.

This is yet another hidden SAS gem that I would not have stumbled upon. Thanks for revealing this to us Leonid!

You are welcome, Jerry! And thank you for your feedback.

Amazing! This is new to me and will be useful. Thank you for sharing new tips.

You are welcome, Tatiana! I learned it myself recently 🙂 «Век живи – век учись» (literally "a century live, a century learn").

Very useful info. Clear and informative.

Comments also informative and appreciated

Thanks again Leonid!

You are very welcome, Deborah! Thank you for your comment.

Thanks for sharing this!! Didn't know about these included excel functions. This could be very useful.

Thank you, Bill, for your kind feedback. Would love to hear from people if they actually use this.