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BASUG Webinar: Data Step Debugger Basics, ISPF-style Program Editor Quirks on the Side
This live-action talk will demonstrate two tools for your SAS programmer toolbox: the DATA step debugger and the ISPF commands available in the SAS Program Editor. The DATA step debugger makes it possible to watch the content of the Program Data Vector after the execution of one or more step instructions. Before its advent, DATA step debugging had been restricted to placing PUT statements thoughtfully throughout the step. The debugger makes it unnecessary and greatly simplifies DATA step program analysis in a number of ways. Designed after the mainframe's ISPF editor, the original SAS Program Editor (PE) packs a cornucopia of utile functionality woefully absent from the allegedly more "modern" Enhanced Editor (EE). Since the Display Manager has now been defaulting to the EE for years, many SAS programmers have no knowledge of the PE features not available in the EE. The second part of this talk is intended to narrow this gap by demonstrating enough of the PE features to lure some SAS programmers to consider the PE as their editor of choice in the spirit of what ISPF stands for: Interactive System Productivity Facility.


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Paul Dorfman
Paul Dorfman is an Independent Consultant. He specializes in developing SAS software solutions from ad hoc programming to building complete data management systems in a range of industries, such as telecom, banking, pharmaceutical, and retail. A native of Ukraine, Paul started using SAS while pursuing his degree in physics in the late 1980's. In 1998, he pioneered using hash algorithms in SAS programming by designing a set of hash routines based on SAS arrays. With the advent of the SAS hash object, Paul was first to use it practically and to author a SUGI white paper on the subject. In the process, he introduced hash object techniques for metadata-based parameter type matching, sorting, unduplication, filtering, data aggregation, dynamic file splitting, and memory usage optimization. Paul has presented papers at global, regional, and local SAS conferences and meetings annually since 1998.