SAS Customer Recognition — Thomas Orndorff
IP Network Solutions
Thomas Orndorff worked with the Federal Reserve Board from 1967 to 1999 as an IT professional. He has been a SAS Programmer/Analyst for 15 years. Orndorff continued as SAS consultant for Freddie Mac and other clients including the National Security Agency, BB&T, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Iowa Foundation for Medical Care (IFMC) and the US Census Bureau.
How long have you been using SAS®? (in years)
What SAS products have you used in the past? What products and solutions are you currently using?
Base SAS®, SAS/ACCESS® Interface to DB2, SAS?ACCESS Interface to Oracle
What is a problem you have solved using SAS?
I have solved 28 years' worth of business problems with applications programming and SAS support in federal government financial regulation, national security environments, private banking and Medicare processing. I am currently using SAS to solve problems at the Census Bureau in Suitland, MD. Most recent efforts involved importing Excel tables into SAS 9.2, uploading data to a Linux Oracle SAS process, downloading the results back to Windows SAS, merging it with the original tables, and exporting the combined data to new Excel tables supporting creation of the 2010 Census Data Dictionary process.
What is the most innovative way you have used SAS?
I used SAS in response to an assignment to maintain an old undocumented mainframe SAS kluge. I developed a generic process that automatically produced a complete cross reference and data dictionary for several extensive SAS applications. It provides documentation of all inputs and outputs (SAS and non SAS), every uniquely defined SAS variable in the application, every program where it is created or referenced, and every actual line of text it is used in. It is written in Base SAS using SQL Data Dictionary extracts and Perl regular expressions. It was originally developed on an MVS system and later expanded to include ODS Web report outputs and incorporate Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint elements for a comprehensive product. I have yet to see its capabilities equaled, particularly the display of each line of code in every program where referenced.
What is your most memorable SAS moment?
It is difficult to single out a specific moment from my extensive and varied SAS experiences. And, unfortunately, that which I am most proud of came while I was working on an assignment recently at the National Security Agency and it is highly classified. It was my most satisfying SAS achievement, to help in the defense of our country.
How has SAS changed in the time you have been using it?
I started using SAS in 1984 while working at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC. I have since applied SAS solutions on PC, UNIX and Linux platforms currently using SAS 9.2 on PC and Linux. I was also responsible through the 1990s for installation and support of PC SAS from DOS based SAS 6.04 through SAS 8.0. I was a SAS administrator in 2006 and 2007 with Software Depot installation responsibilities. I have experienced the growth of the product from the single basic SAS manual days up through the current comprehensive product lines. Throughout my SAS career, I have been able to leverage my prior experience easily into each new wave of SAS capabilities and applications, especially with Base SAS programming. My "SAS Toolbox" is very portable. The SAS certification process has helped extend my career since I obtained the SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS® 9 in 2008.
Have you ever attended a SAS Users Group meeting or SAS Global Forum? If yes, please list them.
SAS Users Group International 17 through 24, and SAS Global Forum 2010 in Washington, DC.
Has your work with SAS been influenced by any other members of the SAS Community?
Many times, many places.
If you could point a new SAS user to one resource, what would it be?
Other than the range resources from SAS itself, the SUGI/SAS Global Forum sessions and proceedings have been invaluable for specific examples and instructions in SAS products and new programming techniques. "Show and tell" works best.