Help using Base SAS procedures

Technical question about XPT files

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Posts: 1

Technical question about XPT files

Hi, first of all apologies if this isn't the right forum, none of them really seemed to fit!

I need to create XPT files in a third-party application for consumption by SAS, and I have been given an example SAS XPT file which contains Unicode text. This appears to be encoded using UTF-8, although the specification for the XPT format indicates that text should be ASCII only (

Does anybody know if this is a recent update to the XPT format, and if there is any technical information about it (e.g. is there a flag in the file to indicate the text encoding)?

I have found that SAS UniViewer 1.2 is not able to display the UTF-8 text. I believe SAS 9.2 / 9.3 is able to handle it, however.

Many thanks for any help,


Super User
Posts: 3,927

Re: Technical question about XPT files

The following link will be of use:

A SAS XPT or XPORT file is also called a SAS transport file and is a way of moving SAS data and other types of SAS files between SAS installations with different versions and/or different operating systems. It is not normally used to move data between third-party applications and SAS because there are far easier ways to do it, For example ODBC, OLEDB, CSV etc.

As the above link suggests trying to reproduce a SAS transport file for a SAS dataset (table) is not straightforward at all. I am curious to know why you have been asked to move data this way. What is the application the data is being sourced from?

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