Boemska HTML5 Data Adapter for SAS
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HTML5 Data Adapter for SAS® (H54S)

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What is H54S?

H54S is a library that facilitates and manages seamless bi-directional communication between a HTML5 (JavaScript) based Web Application and back-end data services written in SAS and deployed on the SAS Enterprise BI platform. It lets Web Programmers and SAS Developers collaborate easily to build general purpose Web Applications with unprecedented speed and agility.

Yes. Unprecedented.

Server Requirements

  • SAS® BI Platform (v9.2 or later)
  • SAS® Stored Process Web Application (Integration Technologies)

Client Requirements

  • A decent Web Browser. It'll work on IE8, but spare yourself the pain
  • Your Web Application Framework or Library of choice
  • Bower.js and Google Chrome recommended. Having Git installed is also useful.

Why is it called H54S?

While we're reasonably decent with technology, we are seemingly terrible with names. If anyone can think of a name that doesn't sound like a strain of Bird Flu, we're open to suggestions.

Great. How do I get started?

Clone this repository to somewhere local:

git clone

Then put your SAS hat on.

SAS Back End

  1. Copy the sasautos directory to your SAS Application Server. For this example we copied ours to /pub/sasautos.

  2. Register a new SAS Stored Process, with Streaming output enabled. We called our Stored Process /Apps/myFirstService.

  3. Set this to be the body of your program:

* get H54s (from wherever you placed it in step 1) ;
%include '/pub/sasautos/';

* Process and receive dataset from the client ;

* Check if the dataset(s) were received ok;

* Do some SAS. Can be Anything. Merge and sort as an example ;
data mydata;
  set sashelp.class (obs=3 keep=name sex weight) work.additions;

proc sort data=mydata;
  by name;

* Return a resulting dataset to the client ;
  %hfsOutDataset(processed, work, myData);
  1. Save your Stored Process. If you are using Enterprise Guide to do this, be sure to check "Global Macro Variables" under the "Include code for" dropdown.

  2. Log on to your SAS Stored Process Web Application and run the STP. It should produce something like this output:

  "usermessage" : "blank",
  "logmessage" : "H54S Exception - Input object datain was not found",
  "executingUser" : "sasdemo",
  "executingPerson" : "SAS Demo User",
  "executingPid" : 1337,
  "sasDatetime" : 1764789146.3,
  "status" : "inputTableNotFound"

This is good enough for now. Time for some Front End Development.

HTML5 Front End

Assuming that you have a local Web Server installed for development:

  1. Create an index.html or start a new project in your chosen IDE.

  2. Copy the /dist/h54s.js file to your project and include it. Your index.html might look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <script src="h54s.js"></script>
    <h1>Look Ma, Front End!</h1>

For IE, you may need to add <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge;" />.

  1. If you are hosting your index.html and project files from within a deployed static.war, or behind the same reverse proxy as your SPWA, you don't need this step. Otherwise, for most people:

    Fire up your browser. This is where Chrome comes in handy, as it allows developers to disable Same-Origin Policy. To tell your browser to allow background requests to non-local pages while you develop, you need to start Chrome with the --disable-web-security command line flag. For example, on Mac OS, first close Chrome and run the following in the Terminal: open /Applications/Google\ --args --disable-web-security When you see this warning, you're in business:

    Chrome with --disable-web-security

  2. Load your index.html page, Open Chrome Developer Tools (F12), Open the Console tab.

  3. Create an instance of the adapter. In the console, try typing h5... Chrome should autocomplete to h54s, meaning the script is sourced correctly.

    Assuming your SAS webapp URIs are the default SASStoredProcess and SASLogon, the following should be enough to get you started:

// Instantiate adapter. If SPWA was located at
// http://myServer:8080/SASStoredProcess/, you would do a
var adapter = new h54s({hostUrl: 'http://myServer:8080/'});
// (note trailing slash)

// then create a dataset to send to SAS, which in JS is an
// object array that looks a bit like this
var myFirstTable = [
  { name: 'Allan', sex: 'M', weight: 101.1 },
  { name: 'Abdul', sex: 'M', weight: 133.7 }

// add it to a h54s Tables object
var tables = new h54s.Tables(myFirstTable, 'datain');

// make your first call to SAS'/Apps/myFirstService', tables, function(err, res) {
  if(err) {
    //Houston we have a problem
  } else {
    //res is an object returned from the server

If you're logged into your SPWA and have a session cookie already, you should see this:

Chrome console animation

Otherwise, if you're not logged in yet, you should see this:

Chrome console animation

The easist thing to do at this point is to log into your SPWA in another tab, refresh your page and try running the code again. However, if you're feeling adventurous you could skip ahead and try this in the console:

adapter.login('mysasusername','mysaspassword'); // More on this later

Any queued calls should resume after a successful adapter.login().

What just happened? What did I do?

First, we registered a SAS Stored Process based back-end service. We told it to expect a data structure called datain and to convert it to a temporary table called WORK.ADDITIONS. Then, using %hfsErrorCheck we instructed it to halt processing the rest of the SAS program if the expected data wasn't sent by the client.

When the table arrived as expected, the program would do some SAS-based stuff (which given the power and flexibility of SAS could have been anything, from a secured lookup into a legacy mainframe-based system so you can pre-populate a form, to an on-the-fly Hadoop query built into your app). For this example, we just told it to merge the input dataset with a few records from the good old SASHELP.CLASS into a new temporary dataset called WORK.MYDATA, sort it, and return the resulting dataset to the client as an object array called processed.

Then, from the Web side, we started a new project by creating an index.html page which sources the client-side h54s.js script. We then used the Chrome Dev Console to run some JavaScript code - to create a configured instance of the h54s Adapter, create a sample dataset, attach that dataset to a call to SAS as datain, fire it over, and use a simple function to either show us the dataset that was returned by SAS as processed, or have a look at any errors that might have occured.

Easy, right? Read on.

Data Structures and Conventions

The Atomic Unit of Data transfer for a H54S based App is the Dataset. This is a universal concept familiar to both JS and SAS programmers. In JavaScript Speak, a Dataset is an object array, similar to the one created in the example above. Using this terminology, each object in an array is the row of a dataset, and each of it's named members is the value of a variable of the same name.

Data Types between the front-end and back-end are mapped as follows:

JavaScript to SAS

JavaScript SAS Notes
String String ASCII only at the moment. Working on UTF support
Numeric Numeric Same precision in both SAS and JS. Enforced.
Date() Datetime JS Date objects are converted to SAS datetimes. UTC locale is stripped.
Boolean Not permitted by adapter. Throws typeError. Use numerics for bools.
Null Ignored. The value for the column is not included for that row.
Undefined Same as Null

SAS to JavaScript

SAS JavaScript Notes
String String NewLine characters are stripped.
Numeric Numeric Same precision in both SAS and JS.
Datetime Date() SAS Datetime columns are converted to Date() objects if their column name is prefixed with 'DT_'
Date Unsupported. You won't be able to transmit data as SAS Dates. Convert, use output views and DHMS()

But what about Parameters? I'm used to Parameters

Say goodbye to Parameters. For the purposes of H54S-based apps, Datasets supersede them. Input validation and typechecking should be done by your JavaScript app, and the Adapter ensures type safety and handles exceptions. If you're just looking to pass a single value back, you'll need to use a 'single-column, single-row table'. It might not seem like it to start with, but it's a blessing once you start working with multiple programmers and writing interface specifications.

To get a control table with some parameters, your JS code would look like this:

var paramsRow={};
    paramsRow.myStringParam = 'stuff and things';
    paramsRow.myNumericParam = 123.123;
    paramsRow.myDatetimeParam = new Date();

var paramTable = [paramsRow];


and the following SAS code would get you a table called WORK.CONTROL with three columns and one row:

%hfsGetDataset(controlTable, WORK.CONTROL);


SAS API Reference

%hfsGetDataset(jsonvarname, outdset);

This macro deserialises a JavaScript data object into a SAS table.

jsonvarname is the name given to the table array from the front end, corresponding to macroName in the h54s.Tables(tableArray, macroName) example

outdset is the name of the target dataset that the tableArray is to be deserialised into


This macro prepares the output stream for data object output. Conceptually similar to %STPBEGIN

%hfsOutDataset(objectName, libn, dsn);

This macro serialises a SAS dataset to a JavaScript data object.

objectName is the name of the target JS object that the table will be serialised into

libn is the libname of the dataset to be serialised and transmitted to the frontend

dsn is the name of the dataset itself


This macro closes the output stream for data objects. Counterpart to %hfsHeader. Conceptually similar to %STPEND.


This macro checks for the existence of an &h54src return code macro variable, and if present and is not set to 0, will output the associated error message to the front end before terminating the rest of the Stored Process code.

JavaScript API Reference

Creating an instance of the adapter:

var adapter = new h54s(config);

Config parameter is the configuration object. If you omit the config parameter, an adapter instance will be created with default configuration.

The default configuration looks like this:

  url: '/SASStoredProcess/do',
  debug: false,
  loginUrl: '/SASLogon/',
  maxXhrRetries: 5,
  retryAfterLogin: true
  sasApp: 'Stored Process Web App 9.3',
  ajaxTimeout: 30000,
  isRemoteConfig: false,
  metadataRoot: undefined

url is the URI of the SAS Stored Process Web Application (SPWA), as configured on your SAS server.

debug sets or unsets the H54S debug mode by default.

loginUrl is the URI of the SAS Logon Application, as configured on your SAS server.

maxXhrRetries is the number of times the adapter will retry a request if it fails with a SAS program error or returns no data.

Paused calls will be executed automatically after login if retryAfterLogin is set to true. If one request fails with err.type = 'notLoggedinError', other calls will be paused, and subsequently executed (or not) based on the retryAfterLogin property.

sasApp is the version of SAS - maps to _sasapp parameter returned on on SASLogon redirect

ajaxTimeout is the duration, in seconds, that an adapter instance will wait for a call before considering it a failure.

isRemoteConfig should be set to true if you want the adapter to use a config object specified in a file called h54sConfig.json at the root of your web application. Config properties in the constructor will override the remote properties. You can register functions which are automatically executed when a remote config is loaded using adapter.onRemoteConfigUpdate(callbackFn)

metadataRoot is the root metadata directory where your SAS programs for this application reside. With this set, the _program parameter passed to SAS will be metadataRoot + sasProgram for all calls made by that adapter instance.

If your SAS instance is on another domain to the one you are developing on, you can provide the SAS hostUrl:

var adapter = new h54s({
  hostUrl: ''

Note that this is not allowed by the Same-Origin Policy of most browsers. This policy needs to be manually disabled in most modern browsers for testing and development purposes. Apart from IE which generally doesn't seem to care.

Configuration objects can contain only the relevant config parameters and don't need to be complete:

var adapter = new h54s({
  debug: true,
  maxXhrRetries: 0, //don't retry if we get error or no data
  ajaxTimeout: 0 //no ajax timeout

call(sasProgram, tablesObj, callback)

Calls SAS program and returns data in a callback function. Example:'/BIP_Tree/test', tablesObj, function(err, res){
  if(err) {
    //Houston we have a problem
  } else {
    //res is an object returned from the server

tablesObj is an instance of a h54s.Tables. Should be null if not sending any data.

err is a custom javascript Error object with one extra field, type.

err.type can be one of: "loginError", "notLoggedinError", "parseError", "sasError", or http response text if ajax request failed.

  • "notLoggedinError" is returned if user is not logged in or SAS session expired.
  • "parseError" is returned if the adapter can't parse json response from server.
  • "sasError" is returned only if debug mode is set (debug: true in config object). It indicates that SAS program has some errors.
  • "httpError" if http request failed returning status code other than 200.
  • "unknownError" if data is returned, and it's valid json, but dates could not be converted or string values could not be decoded
  • "programNotFound" if sasProgram parameter path is not correct or the user doesn't have the permission to execute it

login(user, pass, callback)

Log a user in to the SASLogon application. Example:

adapter.login('username', 'password', function(status) {
  if(status === -1) {
    //Wrong username or password
  } else if(status === 200) {
    //Success - user is logged in
  } else {
    //ajax call failed
    //status is value of http request status code



adapter.logout(function(err) {
  if(err !== undefined) {
    //http request failed
    //err is status code number

h54s.Tables(tableArray, macroName, parameterThreshold)

Creates an object which stores Tables, which are then sent back to SAS via the call method.

var tables = new h54s.Tables([
    someNumber: 42.0,
    someString: 'Stuff'
], 'data', 10000);

parameterThreshold - The maximum length of a single parameter string, and therefore the maximum length of any single row of data. Default value is 30000 characters. Can go up to 32767 but tweaking this is generally not neccessary unless you know what you're doing.

h54s.Tables.prototype.add(tableArray, macroName)

Adds additional tables to a Tables object:

var tables = new h54s.Tables([
  { name: 'Allan', sex: 'M', weight: 101.1 },
  { name: 'Abdul', sex: 'M', weight: 133.7 }
], 'datain');

    someNumber: 42.0,
    someString: 'Stuff'
], 'moredata');


Returns an array of SAS program errors. Last 100 SAS errors are retained by the adapter.

It returns array of objects:

var errors = adapter.getSasErrors();

errors[i].sasProgram - The SAS _program where the error occurred

errors[i].message - The error itself

errors[i].time - the time at which erroring response occurred (javascript Date object)


Array of log strings that kept by the Adapter. A 'log string' is added to this array by the adapter whenever the SAS macro variable of &logmessage. has been set, and therefore passed to the front end application log.

var appLogs = adapter.getApplicationLogs();

appLogs[i] is a string, either returned from server, or added by the adapter


When in debugging mode (debug: true), the adapter will save every response from the server.

var debugData = adapter.getDebugData();

debugData[i].debugHtml - full SAS html output

debugData[i].debugText - SAS text output (stripped html)

debugData[i].sasProgram - SAS program that was called

debugData[i].params - parameters that were sent to SAS program

debugData[i].time - the time at which erroring response occurred (javascript Date object)


Note that failed requests array is populated only if debug mode is turned off (debug: false)

var failedRequests = adapter.getFailedRequests();

failedRequests[i].responseHtml - SAS html output

failedRequests[i].responseText - SAS text output (stripped html)

failedRequests[i].sasProgram - SAS program called

failedRequests[i].time - the time of the response (javascript Date object)


Set debugging mode - debug:true:



Unset debugging mode - debug:false:



Clears the application logs array



Clears the debug data array



Clears the SAS errors array



Clears the failed requests array



Clears all log arrays


This is the same as:


Development and Testing of JS adapter code

  1. Clone the project.
  2. Run npm install
  3. Install gulp-cli if it's not installed already - npm install -g gulp-cli.
  4. Edit the host URL, user and pass in /test/_server_data.js.
  5. Run gulp. It will run jshint and karma tests and creates build in dev/ directory. There are more gulp tasks.
  • gulp watch - Runs tests on file change.

  • gulp release - Creates dist/h54s.js and dist/h54s.min.js release files and runs karma tests with those files.

  • gulp serveAngular - Creates web server and serves angular.js example (default port is 1337)

  • gulp serveExtjs - Creates web server and serves ext.js example (default port is 1337)

  • gulp serveExtjs2 - Creates web server and serves ext.js example (default port is 1337)

  • gulp serveW2UI - Creates web server and serves w2ui example (default port is 1337)

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