Introduction

What is SAS?  Who is SAS?

SAS  is produced by the SAS Institute in Cary, NC.  It is the most powerful and comprehensive statistics software available.  We should avoid calling SAS a "program," since we write "programs" in SAS.  But it is also not appropriate to refer to SAS as a "language" like C++, Fortran, etc.  SAS actually contains several computer languages within it.  Even "application" doesn't seem to fully describe SAS, so maybe we should just use the term SAS gives itself at the top of its output, "The SAS System."

In 1976 the SAS Institute came out with its first software, a mainframe-based statistical analysis software package.  Since then, SAS has enjoyed phenomenal growth.  Its software is available for all the major platforms, and has grown beyond statistics to a variety of data management and business applications.  To read more about SAS, see their website at www.sas.com.  A history timeline is given here.

SAS is also a community.  Users groups (SUGI, NDSUG, RRVSUG) provide opportunities to interact with other SAS enthusiasts, hold conferences and publish articles about SAS programming techniques.  There is even an annual SAS ballot, in which users can vote for the changes and enhancements they would like to see SAS work on.