Reply To: Using SAS with NAACCR XML

Reply To: Using SAS with NAACCR XML

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#6952
AnonymousBruce Riddle
Spectator

My experiments with SAS and XML have not been very successful. The loss of SAS eliminates a very powerful tool both for basic file processing prior to loading data in to the registry database and also working with the data on export from the registry database. I have little hope that SAS will invest in a more advanced XML tool.
Here is one idea for a solution to at least create analytical files. SAS Proc Import will read delimited files with a header. This provides an option for two applications. One application is to be able to export from the main database selected variables in a pipe delimited format with a header. To make this more user friendly, the application needs a configuration page where you can just check the variables you need and be able to keep that list as a file for future use. Some users will only need to set the configuration once. Then SAS Proc Import can read in the delimited file and create the SAS data set.
The second application would read an XML file and perform the same task as above.
In both instances, one line for patient/tumor. Very few exercises require the entire set of all NAACCR variables so these analytic data sets should be fairly small.
The major advantage of this method is that you do not need any input or format statement. The significant disadvantage is that PROC Import selects the input format so sometimes you get numeric when you want character, etc.
Another version of above is write out two separate files. One file of pipe delimited data and a second file of the input format. The input format could easily dragged into a SAS program. The configuration page could allow for selection of formats. For example, I read in all dates as character since NAACCR allows date with blanks. In SAS, I can fill in the blanks before creating a SAS date that can be manipulated.
The XML file for a standard time period, 1995 to 2018, will be very large. Few registries will have the storage capacity to keep a reasonable number of these files around. The ability to easily create analytic files is very important. Finding a very convenient way to upzip, run a tool or GenEdits, and re-zip will be important.

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