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Import Data Task - Source vs Output Informat

SAS Employee
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Import Data Task - Source vs Output Informat


I've wondered this for a while now but does anyone know the difference between the "Source Informat" and the "Output Informat" when using the Import Data task in EG4.2 for example when reading in an Excel spreadsheet?

In the help it says: The Source Informat is the informat for reading in the data - that makes sense. The Output Informat is the informat to use when creating the output data set?? Why this is needed I am unsure? Or why would these be different?

Thanks in advance!
Super Contributor
Super Contributor
Posts: 3,176

Re: Import Data Task - Source vs Output Informat

There is an INFORMAT statement which associates a "default INFORMAT" to use with inputting a SAS variable and then also there is any specified INFORMAT that is coded on the SAS INPUT statement.

I was unable to locate any SAS-hosted DOC (at the SAS support website - using the Google advanced search argument below) that mentions the exact phrase(s) you quoted, unfortunately. Suggest you might code both options/parameters with different INFORMAT values (for distinction) and observe what SAS code is being generated to get a clearer understanding.

Scott Barry
SBBWorks, Inc.

+"enterprise guide" +4.2 +informat +source +output
Super Contributor
Posts: 359

Re: Import Data Task - Source vs Output Informat

I don't know where the informat of the output data would do anything in EG, but if you open that file in the VIEWTABLE window in SAS that is the informat that is recognized when entering new values.
Community Manager
Posts: 3,462

Re: Import Data Task - Source vs Output Informat

The difference is this:

The source informat is used when reading the value from the Excel or text file. Use the proper INFORMAT to interpret the raw value from the data source into a column in your SAS data set.

The output informat is the INFORMAT that you want to associate with the column in your output data set. That INFORMAT would be the default INFORMAT used for future input operations (such as VIEWTABLE, as pointed out). Note that in the data grid within EG 4.2, the INFORMAT behavior is *not* used.


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