[R] [OT] A free (as in freedom) replacement for StatTransfer

Tim Churches tchur at optushome.com.au
Sun Dec 9 02:26:31 CET 2007

Marc Schwartz wrote:
> Perhaps the most notable format that is lacking is the SAS proprietary
> format (not the Transport format), which is not openly published and to
> my knowledge, has not been independently reverse engineered.

The SAS proprietary dataset and format catalogue structures were
successfully reverse engineered by a small software firm called
Conceptual and were made available in a product called DBMS/Copy.
DBMS/Copy is/was similar to StatTransfer, but by 2002 was going a lot
further by adding support for much of the SAS data step syntax and some
core SAS procedures as well - in other words, it was rapidly becoming a
very viable and quite good pop person's SAS (with a modest one-off
license fee). However, the SAS Institute bought out the privately-held
Conceptual company, and now sells DBMS/Copy thhrough its wholly-owned
daat integration offshoot company, DataFlux, but without the SAS
datastep support features (to avoid competition with the mainstream SAS
cash cows) - see http://www.conceptual.com/

> Any of the commercial products that support that format, with the
> possible exception of the SAS System Viewer (which is not open source,
> but is free from SAS), will be closed source and will have to be
> purchased.

DBMS/Copy is definitely closed-source and is probably not nearly as
cheapl as it once was when sold by Conceptual. But it is a great product
for convert to or from SAS proprietary data sets and format catalogues,
and works well and quickly with even huge datasets.

Tim C

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