Book Review: Web Development with SAS by Example

Title: Web Development with SAS by Example, 3rd edition
Author: Frederick Pratter
Publisher: SAS Publishing
Pages: 354 pages
Available: September 2011

This ambitious volume covers how to deliver your SAS output online from start to finish in a mere 360 pages. Pratter assumes his audience has no prior knowledge of web programming, giving a thorough introduction in his first four chapters to the basics of HTML and XML, static vs. dynamic web pages, and how the internet works along with some background history on TCP/IP, different types of web servers, and a whole host of acronyms. Chapters 5 and 6 in Part II outline different ways to access your data, focusing on SAS/SHARE and SAS/ACCESS, with examples of how to use SQL pass-through for both and information to help the reader in selecting an appropriate method of access. I found the section on OLEDB/ODBC here interesting as well. Part III goes on to introduce SAS/IntrNet, Part IV devotes five chapters to SAS BI Server, and the book concludes with some Java.

One of the strengths of this book is that Pratter throughout shows multiple ways of displaying and accessing the same data, for example contrasting various “old school” programming methods with ODS HTML statements and Proc Access vs. the newer SAS/Access interface. Such examples demonstrate how SAS has evolved since its earlier versions and may be of interest to both experienced and newer programmers. A challenge of this book is that a lot of SAS users are not familiar with administrative aspects such as server configurations, including TCP, and may find some of this material harder to understand.