I wonder how difficult it would be to write a Perl module which simply reads
and writes SAS transport datasets. That format is at least somewhat
defined, and there's even sample C code somewhere at SAS.COM. It
wouldn't give you everything you're likely to want, but it would at least make
some things easier.
I've though about writing a transport dataset inporter/exporter in
Visual Basic for use in Excel and Access, but there have been too
many other things on my plate to get around to it. It doesn't seem
Perhaps Henry Feldman could be persuaded to make Perl versions of
his DBMS/Engine software (but not until after he's fixed the problem
with DBMS/COPY and OpenVMS datasets, please).
Development Manager, Technical Group
METRICS Department, First Health
West Sacramento, California USA
>>> David Cassell <cassell@MERCURY.COR.EPA.GOV> 12/16/1999 10:23 am >>>
> I've been trying to make sense of the thread where someone is suggesting
> that the free Perl software replace SAS.
I sincerely hope that no one really believes the purpose of
that thread was on *totally* replacing everything in SAS with
Perl. I've been accused of 'bashing SAS' for that one. I'm
tired of that _ad_hominem_ stuff.
> But what about the database
> structure? I haven't seen any free I/O and database handling routines
> written in Perl. I don't know if Perl can actually do it. If it can
> *call* SAS to perform database operations then it isn't free because you
> need SAS there to answer the calls. In all this I don't see the free
> software to handle the databases. I guess you could write this I/O
> handling and set up databases with descriptors and labels but then
> surely this would be a language you are paying for?
As has been pointed out, SAS has a database-independent model
for database management. But there is no DBD::SAS module, and
I don't expect to see one anytime soon. Still, on a win32
platform you could probably interface directly using the DBI and
DBD::ODBC modules. Or DDE or OLE (there are Perl modules to
do those in win32). But you'd still have to have SAS on that
machine to use any of those.
Still, SAS has easy, simple database management features. Do
you really want to take the time to implement all of them in a
programming language you don't know?
David Cassell, OAO firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior computing specialist