About SAS :
SAS (pronounced “sass”, originally Statistical Analysis System) is an integrated system of software products provided by SAS Institute Inc. that enables programmers to perform:
- retrieval, management, and mining
- report writing and graphics
- statistical analysis
- business planning, forecasting, and decision support
- operations research and project management
- quality improvement
- applications development
- data warehousing (extract, transform, load)
- platform independent and remote computing
In addition, SAS has many business solutions that enable large-scale software solutions for areas such as IT management, human resource management, financial management, business intelligence,customer relationship management and more.
SAS was conceived by Anthony J. Barr in 1966. As a North Carolina State University graduate student from 1962 to 1964, Barr had created an analysis of variance modeling language inspired by the notation of statistician Maurice Kendall, followed by a multiple regression program that generated machine code for performing algebraic transformations of the raw data. Drawing on those programs and his experience with structured data files, he created SAS, placing statistical procedures into a formatted file framework. From 1966 to 1968, Barr developed the fundamental structure and language of SAS.
In January 1968, Barr and James Goodnight collaborated, integrating new multiple regression and analysis of variance routines developed by Goodnight into Barr’s framework. Goodnight’s routines made the handling of basic statistical analysis more robust, and his later implementation (in SAS 76) of the general linear model increased the analytical power of the system. By 1971, SAS was gaining popularity within the academic community. One strength of the system was analyzing experiments with missing data, which was useful to the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, among others.
In 1973, John Sall joined the project, making extensive programming contributions in econometrics, time series, and matrix algebra. Other participants in the early years included Caroll G. Perkins, Jolayne W. Service, and Jane T. Helwig. Perkins made programming contributions. Service and Helwig created the early documentation.
In 1976, SAS Institute, Inc. was incorporated by Barr, Goodnight, Sall, and Helwig.
- Read and write different file formats.
- Process data in different formats.
- SAS programming language, a 4th generation programming language. SAS DATA steps are written in a 3rd-generation procedural language very similar to PL/I; SAS PROCS, especially PROC SQL, are non-procedural and therefore better fit the definition of a 4GL.
- WHERE filtering available in DATA steps and PROCs; based on SQL WHERE clauses, incl. operators like LIKE and BETWEEN/AND.
- Built-in statistical and random number functions.
- Functions for manipulating character and numeric variables. Version 9 includes Perl Regular Expression processing.
- System of formats and informats. These control representation and categorization of data and may be used within DATA step programs in a wide variety of ways. Users can create custom formats, either by direct specification or via an input dataset.
- Comprehensive date- and time-handling functions; a variety of formats to represent date and time information without transformation of underlying values.
- Interaction with database products through a subset of SQL (and ability to use SQL internally to manipulate SAS data sets). Almost all SAS functions and operators available in PROC SQL.
- SAS/ACCESS modules allow communication with databases (including databases accessible via ODBC); in most cases, database tables can be viewed as though they were native SAS data sets. As a result, applications may combine data from many platforms without the end-user needing to know details of or distinctions between data sources.
- Direct output of reports to CSV, HTML, PCL, PDF, PostScript, RTF, XML, and more using Output Delivery System. Templates, custom tagsets, styles incl. CSS and other markup tools available and fully programmable.
- Interaction with the operating system (for example, pipelining on Unix and Windows and DDE on Windows).
- Fast development time, particularly from the many built-in procedures, functions, in/formats, the macro facility, etc.
- An integrated development environment.
- Dynamic data-driven code generation using the SAS Macro language.
- Can process files containing millions of rows and thousands of columns of data.
- University research centers often offer SAS code for advanced statistical techniques, especially in fields such as Political Science, Economics and Business Administration.
- Large user community supported by SAS Institute. Users have a say in future development, e.g. via the annual SASWare Ballot.
- SAS Text Miner was rated as the third most used text mining software (9%) by Rexer’s Annual Data Miner Survey in 2010.