Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

SAS and Oracle

19th April 2007

It seems that SAS have put a good deal of effort into making their software work with Oracle. Admittedly, you have got to buy SAS/Access for Oracle in addition to the other components that you already have but it is worth it. The Oracle library engine makes things easy so long as there are no incompatibilities on the database side. For instance, SAS has no plans to support the Oracle timestamp format until the forthcoming SAS 9.2 and this does make things a little interesting. However, this can be resolved with the Oracle SQL pass-through facility where you pass Oracle SQL through to the database itself for processing, avoiding incompatibilities. A more pressing issue is using PROC APPEND to add records to the data tables without updating any sequences that are associated with table ID’s. The SQL pass-through facility is the best way around this so that you can update the sequence with a SELECT statement and use the current value for the ID in the following EXECUTE statement. It may sound far from ideal but you need to process your data row by row; once set up though, everything works well.

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