SAS data views provide the following benefits:
Instead of using multiple DATA steps to merge SAS data sets by common variables , you can construct a view that performs a multi-table join.
You can save disk space by storing a view definition, which stores only the instructions for where to find the data and how it is formatted, not the actual data.
Views can ensure that the input data sets are always current because data is derived from views at execution time.
Since views can select data from many sources, once a view is created, it can provide prepackaged information to the information community without the need for additional programming.
Views can reduce the impact of data design changes on users. For example, you can change a query that is stored in a view without changing the characteristics of the view's result.
With SAS/CONNECT software, a view can join SAS data sets that reside on different host computers, presenting you with an integrated view of distributed company data.
The following figure shows native and interface SAS data views and their relationship to SAS data files:
You can use views in the following ways:
as input to other DATA steps or PROC steps
to migrate data to SAS data files or to database management systems that are supported by SAS
in combination with other data sources using PROC SQL
as pre- assembled sets of data for users of SAS/ASSIST software, enabling them to perform data management, analysis, and reporting tasks regardless of how the data is stored.