Susan Slaughter

Little SAS Book Series

A Short History of The Little SAS Book

TheSASLittleBookAuthors2015_50B2101These days there are three books in The Little SAS Book family, each with a different purpose.  The original The Little SAS Book: A Primer is an accessible and easy-to-read guide to the SAS programming language while its newest sibling, Exercises and Projects for The Little SAS Book Sixth Edition gives readers practice applying what they learn from the original book.  The Little SAS Book for Enterprise Guide covers SAS Enterprise Guide, a point-and-click interface to SAS.  All three are published by SAS Press.

When we started writing The Little SAS Book in 1992, the typical SAS programmer had a shelf full of SAS manuals that could be measured in linear feet.  Sometimes they had several such shelves.  The SAS Language: Reference manual by itself was nearly 2 inches thick and weighed four pounds!  This was the environment in which we conceived the idea of a small book that would be easy to use and would cover the most popular and important features of the SAS programming language.  We named this book The Little SAS Book as a joke since, at the time, the term “little SAS book” was an oxymoron.

Our vision for The Little SAS Book was based on our experience helping people write and debug SAS programs.  The book needed to be small and non-threatening, explain the fundamental concepts, cover each topic in just two facing pages so you could see an entire topic at a glance, contain programs that are complete and executable so you could run them and see the results, include explanatory graphics, and avoid jargon as much as possible.

Next came The Little SAS Enterprise Guide Book.  SAS Enterprise Guide is a point-and-click interface to the SAS System which is another way of saying that it writes SAS code for you.  Because SAS Enterprise Guide is a graphical user interface, writing about it required a little different approach.  This book is divided into two major parts: a tutorial section and a reference section.  The reference section uses the two-page layout that will be familiar to readers of The Little SAS Book.  The tutorial chapters are longer, giving step-by-step instructions to guide new users through the most common tasks.  At first some people were confused and thought this book replaced the original Little SAS Book.  That is not at all the case!  In fact, if you write programs in Enterprise Guide, then you can use both books together.

The newest book, Exercises and Projects for The Little SAS Book Sixth Edition, contains one chapter of exercises for each chapter in the original book, plus selected solutions, and a final chapter of comprehensive projects.

Once in a while someone stops me at a conference, or sends me an e-mail message saying that The Little SAS Book has been especially helpful to them. Some people have even told me that The Little SAS Book made it possible for them get their first job. That’s the best part of writing this book–knowing that it has helped people reach their goals.

May all your data be clean,
And all your code run the first time,

Susan Slaughter

Click here to read reviews or excerpts, download data and code, or order any of these books.

The Little SAS Book: A Primer, Sixth Edition by Lora D. Delwiche and Susan J. Slaughter

First published in 1995, this new edition brings The Little SAS Book up to date. The Sixth Edition is interface independent so you can use it with the traditional SAS windowing environment (also known as Display Manager), SAS Enterprise Guide (a point-and-click interface that runs on Windows), or SAS Studio (a browser-based interface you can run on your local computer or in a cloud-based version called SAS OnDemand for Academics which is free for SAS learners). New sections have been added on PROC SQL, iterative DO loops, DO WHILE and DO UNTIL statements, %DO statements, using variable names with special characters, the ODS EXCEL destination, and the XLSX LIBNAME engine.

STC International Technical Publications Competition
Award of Excellence Winner

STC Carolina Chapter Technical Publications Competition
Distinguished Award Winner

Exercises and Projects for The Little SAS Book Sixth Edition by Rebecca A. Ottesen, Lora D. Delwiche and Susan J. Slaughter

This book contains multiple choice, short answer, and programming exercises designed to test readers’ knowledge of material learned from each chapter in The Little SAS Book.  The final chapter contains comprehensive projects that challenge readers to synthesize material from the entire book.

The Little SAS Enterprise Guide Book by Susan J. Slaughter and Lora D. Delwiche

This edition was written using SAS Enterprise Guide 7.1, and also applies to 5.1 and 6.1. If you are using a later version of SAS Enterprise Guide, much of this book will still apply, but the windows look different and there are some important changes you should be aware of. For example, starting with version 8.1 of SAS Enterprise Guide, you can open program files without opening a project. Another big difference is that there is no Tasks menu. (However, you should be able to find tasks without too much trouble. There is an Open a Task icon in the top menu bar, and a Tasks window shares space with the Servers window on the left just like in earlier versions of EG.)

STC Carolina Chapter Technical Publications Competition
Award of Excellence Winner

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