ODS HTML Evolution, HTML that scrolls, panels, floats, Reads, and Integrates

ODS HTML Evolution, HTML that scrolls, panels, floats, Reads, and Integrates

SAS Global Forum, 2010


The ODS HTML destination has been around a long time and has gone through a number of changes. There are numerous flavors of HTML that can be generated using from tagsets available, but it can be frustrating when you want the features of two or more different tagsets. There are HTML tagsets with scrolling, paneling, and floating tables of contents; there are website-enabled tagsets that allow the insertion of JavaScript; there are even a few options that can control Section 508 compliance. This paper will show an HTML tagset that combines these many features into one tagset and then illustrates how to use it. 

When I wrote this paper, I was frustrated with how the ODS HTML destination had remained unchanged for so long. It was no longer given the attention that it deserved. The sentiment from management was that HTML was not important. That the only ODS destinations that mattered were Excel, PDF, and RTF.  Microsoft Office integration was looming then, and as we speak, is coming to fruition in SAS 9.4 with Powerpoint and Excel 2010 destinations.

All of this is happening in a time when Office applications are in more flux than ever as people are switiching to cloud-based word processing and spreadsheets. Why buy Microsoft Office when you can use Google Docs for free?

This new HTML tagset was a chance to explore a bit. Mostly, it was a consolidation of the many things I've written about in the last decade. This tagset has scrolling tables and website integration, it has a floating table of contents that can be a drop down menu or a tree. It has the panelling capabities of the HTML Panel tagset Dan Heath and I wrote back in 2003. 

The funny thing is that as powerful as this HTML tagset is, it still isn't what it should be. HTML 5 is here. JQuery, JSON, Moo Tools, Ajax, and php are all common tools that anyone creating web content and reporting would expect to have at their disposal.  Back in the mid 90's the ODS HTML destination was cutting edge.  It's not anymore. And this tagset isn't either. But it is a lot more powerful than the one that ships with SAS. Download this tagset from my repository and create some nice HTML reports.  It'll tide you over until I release my next HTML tagset that is going to knock your socks off.

Enjoy this presentation which shows how to use the many features of this newer HTML tagset while also exploring the evolution of the running shoe, from barefoot, to super cushy, and back again.

Get the paper and the example code!

Everything is available in my GitHub repositories.

This paper, as with all of my SAS papers, is available from my SAS-Papers github repository. The example code for this paper can be found in my SAS-Examples github repository.

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