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SAS Tip of the Month
June 2016

An intriguing question came just a day or so ago about a message appearing in the SAS LOG when creating a SAS Transport File using the XPORT engine:

   WARNING: Engine XPORT does not support SORTEDBY operations.  SORTEDBY information cannot be
   copied.

The message appears because the dataset was created with a sort by variable list and is in the descriptor, e.g. created by

   PROC SORT DATA=_final OUT=ads.adsl;
      BY usubjid;
   RUN;

with the SORTEDBY value being USUBJID. SAS actually knows a lot about your data, including if there is an order to it, when it loads. It is so smart that it even knows how many observations are in the dataset without even loading the entire dataset! Anyway, getting back, SAS transport files using the XPORT engine do not recognize the SORTEDBY descriptor, and all the message indicates that it does not recognize it. The WARNING message can be ignored, but an easy way to get around it is just add a data step with something like:

   DATA ae;
      SET ae;
   RUN;

See you next month.

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Updated June 2, 2016