[R] SAS to R - if you don't have a SAS license

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at comcast.net
Fri Dec 28 18:43:57 CET 2007

On Fri, 2007-12-28 at 11:21 -0600, Frank E Harrell Jr wrote:
> Wensui Liu wrote:
> > while I move data between SAS and R all the time, personally I don't
> > think your recommendation is very practical. Instead, I feel SAS
> > transport file is much better than csv.
> > 
> > Plus, the sas dataset created on unix can't be opened by sas viewer on
> > windows. It is even undoable if the dataset is large.
> That's surprising.  I hoped that a "SAS Viewer" would read all formats 
> of SAS binary files.


We have had that problem here, having received both 32 and 64 bit SAS
files from Linux and Solaris based SAS installations. The SAS System
Viewer was largely useless for the non-Windows SAS files that we have
had accessible to us, even though it will run quite nicely under Wine.

We have a 32 bit RHEL based SAS install here now, as I have noted in
prior posts. That has helped with certain aspects of SAS dataset
generation and transfer to and from clients.

DBMS/Copy, which also runs nicely under Wine, seems to be the only tool
that we have so far, that can provide for something of a universal SAS
"can opener". It will at least successfully _open_ SAS datasets
generated on a variety of platforms, when other approaches have failed.

However, as I have also noted in prior posts, the SAS datasets that
DBMS/Copy generates, are not guaranteed to be able to be opened by SAS
itself. Hence our need to install SAS here.

Theoretically, the .sas7bdat files are supposed to be cross-platform
compatible and I think Peter had commented on that in a prior thread on
this subject. However, hands on experience has suggested that this
expectation is not absolute.


Marc Schwartz

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