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I don’t use SAS that much anymore. Not because it’s a bad program. Mostly it’s because it’s hard to keep on top of too many statistical packages all at once. But I’m teaching an Introduction to SAS class this semester, and I need to keep up with recent innovations. One of the more important of these is ODS, which is short for Output Delivery System. ODS allows you to customize the output using formats like HTML, RTF, PDF, or PostScript. ODS also produces PowerPoint and Excel files.
ODS also allows you to customize how your output appears. Finally, ODS makes some big changes to procedures that used to only produce printed output. With ODS enabled, these procedures will add in extra high resolution plots, which you can also customize.
I do not know if the Introduction to SAS class should incorporate ODS or not. It’s similar to asking if the Introduction to R class should incorporate markdown documents or not. In general, I tend to think that we should teach plain vanilla versions of SAS and R, but I do worry that we may be missing something important if we don’t teach ODS or markdown.
SAS. Getting Started with the SAS 9.4 Output Delivery System. Last updated: September 28, 2017. Available at http://documentation.sas.com/?cdcId=pgmsascdc&cdcVersion=9.4_3.2&docsetId=odsgs&docsetTarget=titlepage.htm&locale=en.