> SAS is picky about its XML formats. You'd probably have to write some XSL
to transform SAS XML to ADO XML and vice-versa. You can use PROC TEMPLATE
in 8.2 to create XML in pretty much whatever format you want, but it's not
documented yet (any week now, they say). Reading XML is more difficult -
there's an experimental feature called XMLMAP that will let you do it, but
it's not documented yet either.
The word XML in this post caught my eye, until now I haven't been following
it, so my apologies if I state something that's already been said.
I've been part of an ongoing effort in CDISC (a pharma company consortium)
to develop an XML data model for clinical research data. For the past few
weeks, several of us have been working independently to import and export
CDISC XML data to clinical databases, and several of us have worked on
getting XML into and out of SAS as part that. One solution is similar to
Jack Hamilton's suggestion of ODS and XSL. Another uses XSL to write SAS
programs. A third, mine, is 100% SAS and works by importing the XML into a
DATA-step and indexing it in a way that's natural for SAS programmers to
work with. Export of XML works also.
As far as SAS 8.2 and beyond and XML, my impression from a discussion led by
Paul Kent of base SAS R&D at SUGI a couple of weeks age, was that near-term
experimental features would enable the import of arbitrary but simple XML
that closely mimics conventional row and column tables. Further out, they
were seriously working on ways to *import* more hierarchical XML. I left
with the impression that the SAS community would have to develop its own
tools for working with XML in SAS, especially if we want non-experimental
tools in the next couple of years, as we're doing in CDISC.
Some documentation for the CDISC effort will be posted at www.CDISC.org some
time in the near future as a white paper. I'm presenting results from my own
work at PharmaSUG in Boston next week and will be happy to email a copy of
that presentation to anyone interested.
Finally, tools for working with XML in SAS, the import and export macros
that I've developed to work with CDISC XML, are available from me as an
alpha release, for use and comment from the SAS community. Send me an email
and I'll send back the package.
Zurich Biostatistics, Inc.