DATA Step, Macro, Functions and more

form viewer

Valued Guide
Posts: 2,191

form viewer

in sas9 an internal option is LIBOPENFORMCMD

LIBOPENFORMCMD= Determines the command to use when Open Form

is selected on a dataset in the Library Contents area of the host Libraries dialog

Occasionally I like a "form view".

I think "host Libraries dialog" is opened by drilling through the windows that open via commands V6LIB and V6DIR (placing a ? against a sas data set opens a menu offering "Open table view/Open form view/Select/Rename/Delete/Verify"  )

However, I cannot change behaviour despite setting a value for this option, like
no error messages are reported, but neither does this option seem to take effect - requesting to open Form View, still opens ViewTable (not in form view) and annoyingly opens in update mode.

anyone else interested in this kind of facility?


Super User
Posts: 13,498

form viewer

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for but a KEYS entry of

VT _LAST_ / formview;

opens the last dataset created in formview mode of viewtable.

I suspect that appropriate DM commands should work if you need it in code.

Valued Guide
Posts: 2,191

form viewer

VT _LAST_ / formview

doesn't open the form view for me

Super User
Posts: 13,498

form viewer

Or if you want to open from the SAS Explorer edit the TABLE member OPEN code, or create a new entry with:

VIEWTABLE %8b."%s".DATA mode=edit view=form

depending on the length of your variable labels may want colheading=name as well. Mode=edit isn't needed unless you either want to edit or sort the data.

Valued Guide
Posts: 2,191

Re: form viewer


thank you for this offering - but it is like another packaging of (familiar) SAS explorer actions (I prefer to refer as explorer behaviour, but RdeV defines at )

These "actions" are great for re-distribution

     construct the SAS explorer action you would like to perform and test until "reliable"

        proc registry export="text-file" ; run;

        proc   fslist    file="text-file"; run ;

     edit the "text-file" to reduce to the nodes of required action

     email to those who wish to use the same "action"

        proc registry import="text-file"; run ;

     MANY other things are (or can be) stored in the registry including library definitions with encrypted passwords where needed e.g.for dbms connections.


For some time, I've been looking for a substitute for the old FSBrowse (customisable) form view.

I had hoped that LIBOPENFORMCMD was leading in that direction, but still no dice!

There is (or appears to be) no future for SAS/FSP. I have enjoyed surprising clients with its convenience, flexibility and simplicity to provide customisable form views for data marts. When they choose to hold a wide data mart with hundreds of de-normalised columns, a viewer which makes concise sense is very welcome.

  • take a repeating group of columns and display as a short list
  • bring together related columns (and that can be a personal choice)
  • use foreground and background colors to emphasise or distinguish
  • facilitate full text searching through multiple columns with simple commands
  • (and with only a small learning curve you could be customising too) ( but it needs desktop SAS with FSP licence) 

There is probably no future for FSBrowse (nor the data step debugger) because marketing driven investment strategy (and perhaps a java vs (microsoft) argument) has seen SAS clients develop that use only non-interactive SAS. That means the strategy supports clients like Enterprise Guide, Enterprise Miner, vertical Solutions for Banking, Marketing,  Retail Merchandising, Insurance, and presumeably many more including Clinical and Pharmaceutical industries. These use SAS "in batch mode". Perhaps now only (those I would refer to as) SAS Programmers and Developers use "interactive" SAS.

Hence my aspiration to discover a sufficient substitute for FSBrowse.

(it must provide re-usable, customisable arrangement of the data on display) and apparently, operate in a client environment like Enterprise Guide, Web Report Studio, SAS Portal and/or some altrernative that is a part of SAS marketing strategy.

Well, LIBOPENFORMCMD is not leading there!

so, many thanks for the contributions


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