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SAS/ACCESS® Interface to IMS-DL/I

A convenient way to access your most up-to-date nonrelational data

SAS/ACCESS Interface to IMS-DL/I brings together the resources you need for effective information delivery, and lets you put these resources to work in a dynamic, syntax-free environment. With this out-of-the-box solution, you get the power and flexibility of SAS® to analyze and present data directly from your database.

Database integrity is not at risk because SAS/ACCESS fully supports the existing security features of IMS-DL/I. Access capabilities to the database can be accomplished by as many, or as few, users as necessary.

With SAS/ACCESS Interface to IMS-DL/I, you create a view to describe the specific data you would like to access in your SAS application. There is no need to code calls or SSAs (Segment Search Arguments) to access the data. What's more, SAS/ACCESS Interface to IMS-DL/I uses existing DBDs (Database Descriptions) and PSBs (Program Specification Blocks) so there is no need to modify them. The interface will execute in either a batch region or online region (BMP). The BMP program interacts with an online subsystem called the IMS control region.

You begin by creating an access descriptor, which tells SAS the essential information about the database you want to access (i.e., the segment names, field names and data types). Then, you create a view descriptor to let SAS know which subsets of the data (typically specific segments or fields) you would like to use as input.

Once the view is created, SAS reads the data values stored in the database just as if they were a SAS data file. You are always assured that you're using the most current data because the data is read directly from the database file into your SAS application without creating an intermediate SAS data file. You save disk space because the data remains in the database. Only descriptive information is stored in the view.

Structured Query Language (SQL) can also be used to update, delete or insert data into the IMS or DL/I database you have described in your view descriptor. With SAS SQL, you can combine data from different supported databases with each other and with SAS data files to form a single output table. In addition to creating views that describe IMS data, SAS/ACCESS allows you to extract data directly from the database table and place the data in a SAS data file. You'll find these capabilities especially helpful if you are producing multiple reports or graphs with the same data. SAS/ACCESS Interface to IMS-DL/I also includes a DATA step interface engine that provides extensions to standard SAS data step programming statements. This facilitates direct calls to the IMS hierarchy from the SAS DATA step.

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