Help using Base SAS procedures

MAX(OF variable list) syntax within PROC SQL?

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 10

MAX(OF variable list) syntax within PROC SQL?

Hi!

I use a lot of SAS language functionality within my PROC SQL queries.  I was stunned recently when I got an error message from SAS 9.4:

ERROR 22-322: Syntax error, expecting one of the following: !, !!, &, (, *, **, +, ',', -, '.', /, <, <=, <>, =, >, >=, ?, AND,

              BETWEEN, CONTAINS, EQ, EQT, GE, GET, GT, GTT, LE, LET, LIKE, LT, LTT, NE, NET, OR, ^=, |, ||, ~=.

for the following query:

PROC SQL;

SELECT MAX(MAX(OF v1 - v4))

INTO :max_v

FROM ds1

;

QUIT;

This equivalent query works as expected:

PROC SQL;

SELECT MAX(MAX(v1, v2, v3, v4))

INTO :max_v

FROM ds1

;

QUIT;

Should the "OF" syntax have worked?  If not, is this documented somewhere?  If so, any idea what I did wrong?

Thanks!

Super User
Posts: 11,343

Re: MAX(OF variable list) syntax within PROC SQL?

I believe the issue is a more generic restriction on not allowing any variable lists in Proc sql.

Super User
Super User
Posts: 7,976

Re: MAX(OF variable list) syntax within PROC SQL?

Indeed, I believe SAS uses standard ANSI SQL, which has a function MAX which requires a list of parameters separated by commas.  If SAS changed this to use their own variable list setup, it would no longer be ANSI compliant.

Respected Advisor
Posts: 4,927

Re: MAX(OF variable list) syntax within PROC SQL?

Not sure this is true. The standard describes what is legal syntax but not what should be done with illegal queries. For example, I don't think the SELECT myVar INTO :myMacro syntax makes SAS/SQL non compliant. IMHO, variable lists are not implemented in SAS/SQL for other reasons.

PG

PG
Super User
Super User
Posts: 7,976

Re: MAX(OF variable list) syntax within PROC SQL?

Hi PGStats,

Not sure, you maybe right.  My impression was that anything defined in ANSI SQL, of which a function called MAX() is, should be standard.  The select into part is SAS specific, i.e. it will only run in SAS SQL, however it is not altering the base functionality of ANSI SQL.  If however you mess with the functions which are already implemented, then that would be changing the base.  I have been wrong before however :smileylaugh:

Super User
Super User
Posts: 7,060

Re: MAX(OF variable list) syntax within PROC SQL?

You cannot use variable lists in SQL.

You also cannot use : modifier in truncated string comparisons.  Instead use the mnemonics with T on the end.  So use EQT instead of =: .

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