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Obsidian | Level 7

Hi all,

I am sorry if this is the wrong section to post my questions, but I could not find a better one. Programming comes the closes in my opinion.

I feel that the offical SAS 9.4 Unix doc regarding certain SAS system options to start SAS in Windows Environment Mode is not clear at all, to say the least. Unfortunately I don't have the option to test the behavior myself right now, so i am asking here. In general, the following Windows exist according to docs: Program Editor, Log, Explorer, Output, Results

SAS has the following options to steer which of the Windows are displayed when starting SAS:

DMS (shipping default SAS 9.4) or NODMS  (NODMS can be ignored for my questions as it starts SAS in interactive line mode)

DMSEXP (shipping default for SAS 9.4) or NODMSEXP

EXPLORER or NOEXPLORER (shipping default for SAS 9.4)


the doc states that DMS, DMXEXP EXPLORER have the same precedence and 'if you specify more than one

execution mode option of equal precedence, SAS uses only the last option listed'. So the first question is

1) What about NODMS, NODMSEXP and NOEXPLORER? Do they also have the same preference as the other

three, as those options come in pairs? So when the doc lists DMS as having precedence of rank 4, would it have been more exact to list  DMS/NODMS as having precedence of rank 4, as those options are a pair? Logically speaking,

just in theory, it would be possible that DMS has rank 4, EXPLORER as rank 4 and NODMS has rank 5 (or no rank at all), when considering precedence. It seems unlikely, but I just want to be sure


More questions are:

2) Lets assume I start sas from the command line with


According to the docs, EXPLORER starts SAS  'ONLY with the Explorer and Program Window'. But then again,

DMSEXP ist set as default and makes SAS start with all 5 windos (in particular with Log, Output and Result).

So what happens. Is -EXPLORER considered to be the last input (as DMSEXP is only set as default) so - having the same precedence as DMSEXP - it overwrites this and only the Explorer Windows and Programm Window open (even though DMSEXP is set as default) ? Or do any other windows open as well?


3) What is the effect of


According to docs, the NOEXPLORER  option 'specifies that SAS session be invoked WITHOUT the Explorer Windows'

while the  EXPLORER option  'specifies that the SAS session be invoked with ONLY the Explorer and Editor windows'.

So does 'WITHOUT'  in the doc for the NOEXPLORER option mean that above command invokes SAS ONLY with the Editor window (and NO OTHER windows), taking as baseline 'Explorer and Editor' of the EXPLORER Option and removing Explorer due to the 'WITHOUT' exclusion? Or does mean 'WITHOUT Explorer Window' that ALL other windows except for the Explorer Window (Program Editor, Output, Log, Result Windows) will be opened (note that DMSEXP is set as default)?


It would be great if anybody knows all this or has sas available and can quickly check what happens when sas is started in unix SAS-Windowing-Environment Mode with the commands listed in question 2) and 3)


Thanks, Mike


PS: And by the way, note that according to SAS docs shipping defaults are DMSEXP and NOEXPLORER which obviously

cannot be true as it is a contradiction! According to the docs, DMSEXP includes the Explorer window and NOEXPLORER excludes it AND according to the doc these options seem to have the same precedence (see my link above) Logically a window cannot be included and excluded at the same type - so what happens if i start sas by just 'sas'   -> is the explorer window opened or not?


Super User Tom
Super User

Is there some reason why it matters to you?

Is it not working the way you want now?


If you start with the -noexplorer option then the EXPLORER window(s) are not open by default.  If you start with -explorer then ONLY the explorer window opens.  

The DMSEXP options controls the separate window that lets you browse the environment and from which you can click to open the EXPLORER.


If you start with the -nodms option then none of the DMS windows can open.  You get the ancient dumb terminal interface. So the setting of the EXPLORER or DMSEXP option makes no difference as there is no display manager to open an explorer window in. 


It also seems to remember your previous settings.

Obsidian | Level 7

Thanks a lot your for your reply, but its still not 100% clear to me:


1) You wrote: "If you start with -explorer then ONLY the explorer window opens."

This is not true according to the doc,  which says:

'specifies that the SAS session be invoked with only the Explorer and Program Editor windows'.

So not only the explorer opens, but the program editor window as well.

You can find this here:


2) You wrote 'If you start with the -noexplorer option then exlporer window(s) are not open by default.' I know that. This is stated in the doc.  Question was which OTHER winodws open when I start sas with 'sas -explorer' (and no other  option). Do ALL windows open except the explorer window open (meaning editor, output, result, log open) OR

does just the editor window open (-explorer opens editor window and explorer window, so it is reasonable to assume, that noexplorer excludes explorer windows, so editor window is left).  If neither of those two alternatives are true, which windows open?


The easiest of course would be to just start sas with "sas - explorer" or "sas - noexplorer' and just see. But I dont have

unix available right now-


Super User Tom
Super User

I have no idea if there are other options our site is adding that I don't type, but when I start SAS 9.4m5 with just 

sas -explorer

Then only the explorer window appears.  I can open a PGM window if I want, but it is not open when SAS starts.

Obsidian | Level 7

Interesting - maybe after startup you can check the values for these options

with the proc options procedure? Or maybe the doc is simply wrong, would not be the first time.

Obsidian | Level 7

Last question - and what happens if you start sas with 'sas -noexplorer'?


Obsidian | Level 7
Typo in my point 2):
I meant '... when I start sas with 'sas -noexplorer' (i mistakenly typed 'explorer')
Obsidian | Level 7

I got an email reminder about the topic, so I am posting one more time, hoping to be able to close this topic as solved soon.

First off, Tom seems to be correct:

sas -explorer

only opens the Explorer Window. The doc about the system option

is simply wrong. The program editor does not open, even though the system option doc claims it does. It must be

a mistake. In another chapter, the doc says that only the explorer window opens, just like Tom said.


My final question is: Which windows open when I submit this command

sas -noexplorer

(and nothing else was changed, all options are set to the installation default values).

The doc only states that SAS is invoked without the explorer window, which makes sense, but it does not

provide the info which set of windows are actually opened.

According to the doc of -dmsexp, dmsexp opens Explorer, Editor, Log, Output, and Results window and

it says that dmsexp is set as installation default. Does that mean that "sas -noexplorer" opens all these windows

except for the explorer window?


Unfortunately I currently do not have the option to run SAS under Unix in the Window Envrionment Mode to test it myself, that's why I am asking.





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