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

Frank E Harrell Jr f.harrell at vanderbilt.edu
Fri Dec 28 19:06:04 CET 2007

Marc Schwartz wrote:
> 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.
> <snip>
> 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.
> HTH,
> Marc Schwartz

I have had good success with Stat/Transfer (and its Windows version runs 
perfectly under Linux using wine) but haven't tested it as extensively 
as you've tested DBMS/Copy.


Frank E Harrell Jr   Professor and Chair           School of Medicine
                      Department of Biostatistics   Vanderbilt University

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