Note: This FAQ concerns older versions of Stat/Transfer. It is not
relevant for more recent versions.
Old Stat/Transfer: I am having trouble converting a SAS dataset to a Stata
dataset using Stat/Transfer. What is wrong?
Old Stat/Transfer: Converting SAS datasets to Stata using Stat/Transfer
Steve Dubnoff, Circle Systems
There is a new version
of Stat/Transfer available and it addresses most if not all of the
difficulties users have converting SAS datasets.
Click here for more information.
SAS transport files are the subject of most of our technical support
questions. Part of the problem is that SAS provides many names for the same
file format and a similar name — CPORT — for another format.
The only documented format, and the one recommended by SAS for transporting
data to other platforms, is the format produced by the XPORT engine. That
is the format Stat/Transfer can convert.
In addition, there are in all fairnessa number of computer/technical issues outside of SAS's control that can make what starts as a valid
SAS Transport file into an invalid one. This is especially true if the
original file starts out on an IBM mainframe or a VAX. SAS provides a
technical document on their website that outlines these issues,
of transporting SAS files between hosts.
Stat/Transfer tries to trap many of the errors that occur because the file
is in the wrong format or because it has been damaged in transport from a
different host, but, sometimes, it simply becomes confused and must stop with
the “No message available” error.
When making Transport files in SAS, make sure you use a reasonable
facsimile of the example SAS program in the Stat/Transfer manual. Do not
use PROC CPORT, as this produces a file in an entirely different format that
is readable only by SAS.
When you have trouble converting a Transport file, particularly if you did
not produce the file yourself, look at the very first line of the file. It
should say something like
HEADER RECORD*******LIBRARY HEADER RECORD
If it does not, it is not a SAS transport file, and Stat/Transfer will not
be able to read it.