ODS Packages: Putting Some Zip in Your ODS Output

ODS Packages: Putting Some Zip in Your ODS Output

SAS Global Forum 2009


Packages and package templates add powerful new abilities to the Output Delivery System (ODS). Automatically create zip files and SAS packages that contain all the output generated from your SAS® program. ODS packages make it easy to e-mail your ODS output to others and can help keep your file system clear of file clutter.

With SAS® Integration Technologies, ODS packages can also publish to WebDAV, e-mail, queues, and subscriptions as well as archives.

ODS packages are also completely integrated with tagsets allowing for fully automatic generation of packages and the creation of some of the newer file formats like Open Document Format and Microsoft Office 2007.

Learn how easy it is to use ODS packages and find out how they will impact the future of ODS. 

'ODS Packages: Putting Some Zip in Your ODS Output'

I had been wanting to create this subsystem to ODS for years. I finally got my excuse when ITSV needed ODS to deliver SAS packages to it's webDAV server. Of course, I wanted zip files for completely different reasons. Zip is the format used by Microsoft Office and the Open Document Format. Before we could even think about creating those formats ODS needed a way to seamlessly create zip files, either through ODS statements or automatically in the background.  

I created ODS packages so that each ODS destination could easily connect to any package that had been opened. This made it easy to create one or more zip files simultaneously from any combination of output the SAS program was generating.

The second step was to create Package templates. A package template holds all the settings for a template so that actually using the template becomes some very simple ODS statements that anyone can do, whether they understand ODS packages or not.

The third step was to integrate all of this into Tagsets. Tagsets could then do everything in the background and create a zip file which held all the output from that destination. It all happens quietly and seamlessly. This paper explains all of that.

If you were able to be at one of my many presentations of this paper you would have also learned about Argentine tango, and how it's really not that complicated at all. As with everything, the simple things often lead to the most complex puzzles, and enable the most powerful solutions. Argentine tango and ODS Packages have that in common. Simple concepts and ideas, which can connect in many ways to create more complex systems.

As with my other presentations, the pdf version below does little justice to the original keynote version which conveys so much information in its transitions within each slide and from one slide to the next. Still, the presentation is fairly explanatory of everything that is going on with ODS Packages, Package templates and their integration with ODS Tagsets.

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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