24.5 - Tracing and Selecting Procedure Output

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As discussed earlier, when ODS receives data from a procedure, it combines the data component with a table definition to create an output object. For many procedures, ODS creates just one output object, while for others it produces several. Procedures involving a BY statement, for example, typically produce an output object for each BY group. When a procedure does create more than one output object, you might not want SAS to include all of them in your output. You might instead want to tell SAS to select just one or two of the output objects. In this section, we learn how to use the ODS TRACE and ODS SELECT statements to choose the specific output objects that you want SAS to display in your output.

The ODS TRACE ON statement tells SAS to print information in the log about the output objects created by all of the code in your program between the ODS TRACE ON statement and a closing ODS TRACE OFF statement.

Example 24.7. The following program uses ODS TRACE statements to capture information about the output objects created by the MEANS procedure on a data set called golfbypar, which is just a sorted version of the penngolf data set:

The SORT procedure, of course, just sorts the permanent data set stat481.penngolf by par and stores the sorted result in a temporary data set called golfbypar. Then, the ODS TRACE ON statement tells SAS to start capturing information about any output objects that are created. The MEANS procedure tells SAS to summarize the golfbypar data set for each level of par, that is, when par equals 70, 71 and 72. Finally, the ODS TRACE OFF statement tells SAS to stop capturing information about any output objects that are created.

Launch and run the SAS program. You can go ahead and review the output from the MEANS procedure, but what we're really interested in here is the information SAS displays about the output objects in the log window:

As the log suggests, the MEANS procedure creates one output object for each BY group (par = 70, par = 71, and par = 72). The three output objects share the same name, label, and template, but different paths. The path for the par = 70 output object, for example, is called Means.ByGroup1.Summary, while the path for the par = 71 output objects is called Means.ByGroup2.Summary. Once we know the names of the output objects, we can use an ODS SELECT statement to tell SAS the specific output objects that we want displayed. To select specific output objects, simply place an ODS SELECT statement within the relevant procedure. By default, the ODS SELECT statement lasts only for the procedure in which it is contained.

Example 24.8. The following program uses an ODS SELECT statement and what we learned from tracing our MEANS procedure to print just the portion of the output that pertains to the par 70 golf courses:

Launch and run the SAS program, and review the output to convince yourself that SAS displays only the portion of the MEANS procedure that pertains to the par 70 golf courses.