SAS course eBook Web Apps have arrived on this Blog Site for Members

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In the past I have written ebook apps on SAS-related topics for webOS, Android and Chrome users, but not everyone has access to these app platforms. However, every member of this blog site, whatever platform they use, has access to a compatible browser for my new ebook web apps, which contain the same content as my previous apps, but run from links on this site.

If you have logged onto the blog site as a Free member, then you will see a new “Informational eBook Web Apps about SAS-related Topics (for Free members)” in the Menu. This will take you to a blog forum landing page for the sample ebook web apps, which will demonstrate their functionality and show you sample topics from the other web apps, where there is a new link at the bottom of the page to the sample SAS course app. Alternatively go to the SAS Skills Discussion Forum:

  • SAS course: SAS Components ==> Sample topics from the other SAS course web apps.

If you have logged onto the blog site as a Programming member, then you will see a new “Informational eBook Web Apps about SAS-related Topics” in the Menu instead. This will take you to a blog forum landing page for the full list of ebook web apps, where there is a new link at the bottom of the page to the new SAS course apps, with the following topic areas, as well as the sample app above. Alternatively go to the SAS Programming Forum:

  • SAS course: Data Step ==> SAS functionality relating to Data Steps.
  • SAS course: PROC SQL ==> SAS functionality relating to PROC SQL.
  • SAS course: SAS Macros ==> SAS functionality relating to macros.

Note that these web apps can only be accessed from these blog forum landing pages, and you must be logged in with the appropriate membership level for that specific forum. Subscription details can be found here.

Informational eBook Web Apps are coming to this Blog Site for Members

Total views 1,795 

In the past I have written ebook apps on SAS-related topics for webOS, Android and Chrome users, but not everyone has access to these app platforms. However, every member of this blog site, whatever platform they use, has access to a compatible browser for my new ebook web apps, which contain the same content as my previous apps, but run from links on this site.

If you have logged onto the blog site as a Free member, then you will see a new “Informational eBook Web Apps about SAS-related Topics (for Free members)” in the Menu. This will take you to a blog forum landing page for the sample ebook web apps, which will demonstrate their functionality and show you sample topics from the other web apps:

  • How ==> App functionality sample
  • Consulting ==> Information about training and consultancy, plus sample topics from the other web apps

If you have logged onto the blog site as a Programming member, then you will see a new “Informational eBook Web Apps about SAS-related Topics” in the Menu instead. This will take you to a blog forum landing page for the full list of ebook web apps, with the following topic areas, as well as the sample apps above:

  • Data Steps ==> SAS functionality relating to Data Steps
  • SQL ==> SAS functionality relating to PROC SQL
  • Graphs ==> SAS functionality relating to SAS/GRAPH and ODS Graphics
  • Platforms ==> SAS functionality specific to Windows, UNIX, Linux and/or z/OS
  • EG ==> SAS functionality relating to Enterprise Guide
  • Macros ==> SAS functionality relating to macros
  • Efficiency ==> How to write efficient SAS programs
  • Studio ==> SAS functionality relating to SAS Studio

Note that these web apps can only be accessed from these blog forum landing pages, and you must be logged in with the appropriate membership level for that specific forum. Subscription details can be found here.

COVID-19 SAS Studio Project No.2: Visualising global trends in Johns Hopkins University data

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This is a project to read the daily Johns Hopkins COVID-19 data and visualise the national infection and fatality trends using Base SAS and SAS/STAT:

  1. Download the GitHub Desktop software from https://desktop.github.com/ and install it on your computer where you will be running SAS Studio or SAS University Edition. For instructions on how to install SAS University Edition on your own computer please read my blog post “Are you learning about SAS?”.
  2. Clone the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 data at https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19, and then Pull the latest data, using the GitHub Desktop. This will reduce the time need to download all of the latest data each time you run the SAS Studio project, as a simple and quick Pull request in GitHub Desktop is all that is required each time.
  3. Download my SAS Studio CPF project file (John-Hopkins-GitHub-data.cpf), which is a zipped CPF file and will be updated occasionally with accepted submitted updates. Please check for comments here when updates are added.
  4. Open the CPF project file in SAS Studio (requires Base SAS and SAS/STAT) or SAS University Edition (making certain you have created a Shared Folder(s) first that are pointing to where your GitHub files and CPF project file are stored).
  5. Update the “run first” program to include your GitHub file folder in the &_dir macro variable assignment. The CSV files we will be using can be found in the /csse_covid_19_data/csse_covid_19_daily_reports folder.
  6. Submit each program in order given below (or submit all of the programs in the project’s flow together):
    • (1) “run first” assigns the location of the data to the &_dir macro variable.
    • (2) “Read CSV files” creates the SAS data sets in WORK by reading all of the CSV files in the csse_covid_19_daily_reports folder. Summarise the records by Country_Region to remove finer detail in the csse_covid_19_daily_reports.
    • (3) “Calculate regression lines” generates the regression lines for confirmed cases between 100 and 10,000, and deaths between 10 and 1,000, to include on the graphs. The regression lines appear to be straight in the semi-log plots, but are actually exponential to match the initial growth of confirmed cases, so that “flattening” of the curves can be identified more easily.
    • (4) “Semi-log plots of confirmed vs deaths” generates the graphs for countries where COVID-19 has had more than 1,000 confirmed cases or more than 100 deaths.

Some questions for you to answer:

    • (a) Where could my “Read CSV files” program be improved?
    • (b) Why is the US graph split at around 20Mar2020? Is this a problem with the data or my program?
    • (c) Are all of cases being included?

This project is open to SAS programmers and to researchers. Follow the above instructions yourself, and then see if you can improve my SAS code by answering the questions.

Please send your saved SAS Studio flow containing your improved versions of the SAS programs to phil@hollandnumerics.org.uk. Anyone providing improvements that can be incorporated will be added to the credits for this project.

My first COVID-19 SAS project for SAS Studio/SAS University Edition can be found at “Can you help? Supporting Coronavirus Research by searching research papers with SAS“.

If you are still looking for SAS training, then please go to my blog post “SAS training for home-workers: Keeping your mind active and your skills current” for some more training options.

COVID-19 can be defeated, and, working together, we can make a difference!

SAS training for home-workers: Keeping your mind active and your skills current

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I have been working from home on and off since 1996, so it now feels quite normal to start my work day by walking from my kitchen into my office. I know some of my colleagues have struggled with the many distractions that exist at home, so I suppose I’ve been lucky, but I still do not like doing nothing at all. To stop any boredom setting in I will look for ways to do something useful, and, over the years, I have taught myself many programming languages by reading books, running example code, and trying to write applications that will be useful day-to-day, for example:

  • Database applications for calculating hours left to work and printing invoices in Visual Basic.
  • Web applications to send me emails and SMS messages in Perl.
  • Smartphone apps for webOS (remember HP/Palm phones?) in Javascript and HTML5.
  • Smartphone apps for Android in Java.
  • Crossword puzzle word-finder scripts in LibreOffice Basic.
  • SAS Enterprise Guide custom tasks in VB.Net.
  • SAS Studio custom tasks in XML.

Each language presents a different set of problems and solutions, so each new solution will broaden your knowledge of the computer world. Not all language have been central to my day job, but my views on solving computer problems has been moulded by each new programming language I’ve used. In 1996 there was no significant online help, so you couldn’t easily ask anyone for help, but instead you had to rely on hints and tips in computer magazines. Later the online communities have become vital, but you will now have to ask your questions in the correct way, so that it will be understood by each community, as names are not necessarily consistent, otherwise your question is likely to be ignored. I’ve now found ways to improve the chances of my questions being answered, even if my problems are not always resolved:

  • Write a subject line that asks a question that could be answered, otherwise it probably won’t even be read.
  • Set the scene by describing the environment you are working in, such as operating system, and software language and version.
  • Describe in as much detail as you can what you are trying to do, what you have already tried, and any results/messages that you are getting, even if you don’t understand them.
  • Never assume that you’re problem can be solved, but work with anyone who offers you assistance.
  • Be humble and grateful, because there will be programmers out there who know more about this than you, and you might need to call on their skills again.

So what has all this got to do with SAS training? Well, thanks to COVID-19, there are now more home-workers than ever before, and in some cases the work available may not be filling your day, so what can you do to fill your spare time and improve your programming knowledge? I have gathered together some sources of SAS training and information which are either free or inexpensive, which you may find useful, and if you find out about any more, then post a comment and I’ll be happy to check them out:

  • Training courses:
    • My corporate SAS training courses are intended for large groups, but each course has an associated eBook that is much cheaper and available through the Training section on this site.
    • I have a low-cost forum with a monthly subscription called the SAS Programming Forum, which welcomes SAS programming questions, but also includes the SAS course with a growing number of SAS-related topics, such as Data Steps, SAS Macros and PROC SQL, either as individual posts or LMS courses.
    • If you prefer to learn from eBooks or Android apps, then the topics in the SAS course are also available as eBooks and Android apps (on Amazon Appstore and Google Play).
  • Papers and books:
    • The Conferences Paper section on this site is filled with papers covering a wide range of SAS-related topics, which can be downloaded for free.
    • Other SAS-related books can be bought through the Books section on this site.
    • The largest searchable collection of SAS-related conference papers is maintained by Lex Jansen, including papers from SUGI, SeUGI, regional SAS user groups and forums, VIEWS, PhUSE, PharmaSUG and SAS Global Forum.
  • Competitive learning:
    • Sasensei is a SAS-related quiz and learning site where the flashcards, questions and quizzes are contributed by the users, and you earn points and awards from contributions and correct answers, but you will always learn from your incorrect answers too.
  • SAS support:
  • SAS programming platforms for learning:
    • SAS University Edition is free for use as a learning platform, and can either be downloaded and installed on your laptop using VMware or VirtualBox, or accessed through the web on the AWS Cloud.
    • WPS Analytics Community Edition is a free version of WPS Analytics, which can be licensed from World Programming for 6 months at a time and installed on your PC, and can run SAS programs using quite a large subset of SAS programming features, and includes R and Python interfaces.

I think that should at least get you started on your SAS improvement projects!

The SAS Programming Forum has been growing again with new SAS course sections and topics

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The SAS course sections and topics themselves are in the SAS Programming Forum, which can only be accessed by Programming level members, but Free members can read the SAS course – Home page and see the individual section and topic names.

The SAS course and the SAS Programming Forum continue to grow, I have just added some new course sections and topics about Data Steps, Base SAS Procedures, PROC SQL, SAS Macros, SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Studio, and there are now 54 topics in 7 different sections:

  • A. SAS components – 2 topics
  • B. Data Steps – 14 topics (1 new topic)
  • C. Base SAS Procedures – 6 topics (new section)
  • F. PROC SQL – 15 topics (1 new topic)
  • G. SAS Macros – 15 topics (11 new topics)
  • N. SAS Enterprise Guide – 1 topic (new section)
  • O. SAS Studio – 1 topic (new section)

More topics and sections are being developed, so register for free now to be kept up-to-date about all of the news, so you can take advantage of the Programmer level when it suits you best!

The SAS Programming Forum is growing again with 8 new SAS course topics

Total views 2,423 

The SAS course and the SAS Programming Forum continue to grow, I have just added 8 new course topics about PROC SQL, and there are now 33 topics in 4 different sections:

  • [A] SAS components – 2 topics
  • Data Steps – 13 topics
  • [F] PROC SQL – 14 topics (8 new topics!)
  • [G] Macros – 4 topics

The SAS course topics themselves are in the SAS Programming Forum, which can only be accessed by Programmer level members, but Free members can read the SAS course – Home page and see the individual topic names.

More topics and sections are being developed, so register for free now to be kept up-to-date about all of the news, so you can take advantage of the Programmer level when it suits you best!

There is now a new Training Course list for 2017

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There is now a new Training Course list for 2017, which can be downloaded from here. The courses available in 2016 are still there, but I’m developing some new SAS-related courses, based on the SAS course, which you can accelerate to production status by requesting them:

  • ½ day SAS Data Step training
  • ½ day SAS PROC SQL training
  • ½ day SAS macros training
  • ½ day Defensive SAS Programming training

Your interest in any of these courses will result in them being developed as priority tasks!

What is the SAS Programming Forum and why does it cost to access?

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It is rather sad that everyone knows the price of everything and the value of nothing! I have paraphrased this statement somewhat from the original written by Oscar Wilde for Lord Darlington in “Lady Windemere’s Fan”, but the reality is very much in evidence everywhere today. But how is that relevant to the SAS Programming Forum?

I wanted to create a place where students of SAS programming (which includes myself, as I try to learn something new about SAS every day) could ask SAS-related questions, even if they were from interviews or homework, without being criticised. However, I wanted to exclude those asking questions because they were too lazy to research the answers themselves (#LAZYWEB), so I hoped that charging a small amount to access the forum would filter out those trying to get free information with no effort, but encourage those enthusiastic enough to pay to learn about SAS an opportunity to do so. The SAS Programming Forum subscription is only GBP 5.00 per month for up to 3 months via PayPal, so it can be stopped at any time, but also renewed easily, and includes access to my SAS course about SAS programming topics, which I’m progressively building, and currently includes 4 sections on SAS components, Data Steps, PROC SQL and SAS macros, and now totals 25 topics in all. The sections are intended to be read sequentially, but are, for the most part, independent of each other. The key feature of the SAS Programming Forum and the SAS course is that questions can be asked at any time and they will be answered, provided sufficient information is given in the question. This is not a “get out” clause, but a learning point for all prospective SAS programmers that without sufficient information you cannot write a SAS program that meets the customer’s needs, so you have to be able to ask question yourself!

The SAS macros section has been added to the SAS course

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The SAS course and the SAS Programming Forum continue to grow, I have just added a new course section about SAS macros, and there are now 23 topics in 4 different sections:

  • [A] SAS components – 2 topics
  • Data Steps – 13 topics
  • [F] PROC SQL – 6 topics
  • [G] Macros – 2 topics (2 new topics!)

The SAS course topics themselves are in the SAS Programming Forum, which can only be accessed by Programmer level members, but Free members can read the SAS course – Home page and see the individual topic names.

More topics and sections are being developed, so register for free now to be kept up-to-date about all of the news, so you can take advantage of the Programmer level when it suits you best!

The SAS Programming Forum is growing: a new SAS course topic posted and another SAS question answered

Total views 1,249 

The SAS course and the SAS Programming Forum continue to grow, I have just added a new course topic about the PROC SQL data set combining, and there are now 21 topics in 3 different sections:

  • [A] SAS components – 2 topics
  • Data Steps – 13 topics
  • [F] PROC SQL – 6 topics (1 new topic!)

The SAS course topics themselves are in the SAS Programming Forum, which can only be accessed by Programmer level members, but Free members can read the SAS course – Home page and see the individual topic names.

I’ve also added an answer to a new SAS-related question in the SAS Programming Forum about re-ordering data sets without using PROC SORT. Again this topic can only be accessed by Programmer level members.

More topics and sections are being developed, so register for free now to be kept up-to-date about all of the news, so you can take advantage of the Programmer level when it suits you best!

Another new post in the SAS course making a total of 20 topics in 3 sections

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The SAS course continues to grow, I have just added a new topic about the PUT statement, and there are now 20 topics in 3 different sections:

  • [A] SAS components – 2 topics
  • Data Steps – 13 topics (1 new topic!)
  • [F] PROC SQL – 5 topics

The SAS course topics themselves can only be accessed by Programmer level members, but Free members can read the SAS course – Home page and see the individual topic names.

More topics and sections are being developed, so register for free now to be kept up-to-date about all of the news, so you can take advantage of the Programmer level when it suits you best!