Production Ready Macros for SAS Application Developers
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Macro Core

Much quality. Many standards. The Macro Core library exists to save time and development effort! Herein ye shall find a veritable host of production quality SAS macros. These are a mix of tools, utilities, functions and code generators that are useful in the context of Application Development on the SAS platform. Contributions are welcomed.


Base library

  • OS independent
  • Not metadata aware
  • No X command
  • Prefixes: mf, mp

Meta library

  • OS independent
  • Metadata aware
  • No X command
  • Prefixes: mm

xcmd library:

  • OS specific
  • Metadata aware
  • X command enabled
  • Prefixes: mw,mu,mx


First, download the repo to a location your SAS system can access. Then update your sasautos path to include the components you wish to have available,eg:

options insert=(sasautos="/your/path/macrocore/base");
options insert=(sasautos="/your/path/macrocore/meta");

The above can be done directly in your sas program, via an autoexec, or an initialisation program.

Alternatively - for quick access - simply run the following! This file contains all the macros.

filename mc url "";
%inc mc;


File Properties

  • filenames much match macro names
  • filenames must be lowercase
  • macro names must be lowercase
  • one macro per file
  • prefixes:
    • mf for macro functions (can be used in open code).
    • mp for macro procedures (which generate sas code)
    • mm for metadata macros (interface with the metadata server).
    • mw for macros that only work in Windows (should work in ALL versions of windows)
    • mu for macros that only work in Unix type environments (should work in ALL types of unix environment)
    • mx for macros that use X command and will work in both windows and unix environments.
  • follow verb-noun convention
  • unix style line endings (lf)
  • individual lines should be no more than 80 characters long
  • UTF-8
  • no trailing white space
  • no trailing empty lines

Header Properties

The Macro Core documentation is created using doxygen. A full list of attributes can be found here but the following are most relevant:

  • file. This needs to be present in order to be recognised by doxygen.
  • brief. This is a short (one sentence) description of the macro.
  • details. A longer description, which can contain doxygen markdown.
  • param. Name of each input param followed by a description.
  • return. Explanation of what is returned by the macro.
  • version. The EARLIEST SAS version in which this macro is known to work.
  • author. Author name, contact details optional
  • copyright. Must be GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE v3.

All macros must be commented in the doxygen format, to enable the online documentation.

Coding Standards

  • Indentation = 2 spaces. No tabs!
  • Macro variables should not have the trailing dot (&var not &var.) unless necessary to prevent incorrect resolution
  • The closing %mend; should not contain the macro name.
  • All macros should be defined with brackets, even if no variables are needed - ie %macro x(); not %macro x;
  • Mandatory parameters should be positional, all optional parameters should be keyword (var=) style.
  • All dataset references to be 2 level (eg work.blah, not blah).
  • Avoid naming collisions! All macro variables should be local scope. Use system generated work tables where possible - eg data ; set sashelp.class; run; data &output; set &syslast; run;

General Notes

  • All macros should be compatible with SAS versions from support level B and above (so currently 9.2 and later). If an earlier version is not supported, then the macro should say as such in the header documentation, and exit gracefully (eg %if %sysevalf(&sysver<9.3) %then %return).