5月 172019
Did you know that you can run Lua code within Base SAS? This functionality has been available since the SAS® 9.4M3 (TS1M3) release. With the LUA procedure, you can submit Lua statements from an external Lua script or just submit the Lua statements using SAS code. In this blog, I will discuss what PROC LUA can do as well as show some examples. I will also talk about a package that provides a Lua interface to SAS® Cloud Analytic Services (CAS).

What Is Lua?

Lua is a lightweight, embeddable scripting language. You can use it in many different applications from gaming to web applications. You might already have written Lua code that you would like to run within SAS, and PROC LUA enables you to do so.
With PROC LUA, you can perform these tasks:

  • run Lua code within a SAS session
  • call most SAS functions within Lua statements
  • call functions that are created using the FCMP procedure within Lua statements
  • submit SAS code from Lua
  • Call CAS actions

PROC LUA Examples

Here is a look at the basic syntax for PROC LUA:

proc lua <infile='file-name'> <restart> <terminate>;

Suppose you have a file called my_lua.lua or my_lua.luc that contains Lua statements, and it is in a directory called /local/lua_scripts. You would like to run those Lua statements within a SAS session. You can use PROC LUA along with the INFILE= option and specify the file name that identifies the Lua source file (in this case, it is my_lua). The Lua file name within your directory must contain the .lua or. luc extension, but do not include the extension within the file name for the INFILE= option. A FILENAME statement must be specified with a LUAPATH fileref that points to the location of the Lua file. Then include the Lua file name for the INFILE= option, as shown here:

filename luapath '/local/lua_scripts';
proc lua infile='my_lua';

This example executes the Lua statements contained within the file my_lua.lua or my_lua.luc from the /local/lua_scripts directory.

If there are multiple directories that contain Lua scripts, you can list them all in one FILENAME statement:

filename luapath ('directory1', 'directory2', 'directory3');

The RESTART option resets the state of Lua code submissions for a SAS session. The TERMINATE option stops maintaining the Lua code state in memory and terminates the Lua state when PROC LUA completes.

The syntax above discusses how to run an external Lua script, but you can also run Lua statements directly in SAS code.

Here are a couple of examples that show how to use Lua statements directly inside PROC LUA:

Example 1

   proc lua; 
      local names= {'Mickey', 'Donald', 'Goofy', 'Minnie'} 
      for i,v in ipairs(names) do 

Here is the log output from Example 1:

NOTE: Lua initialized.
NOTE: PROCEDURE LUA used (Total process time):
      real time           0.38 seconds
      cpu time            0.10 seconds

Example 2

   proc lua;
      if dir:has("script.txt") then print ("exists")
      else print("doesn't exist")

Example 2 checks to see whether an external file called script.txt exists in the c:\test directory. Notice that two slashes are needed to specify the backslash in the directory path. One backslash would represent an escape character.

All Lua code must be contained between the SUBMIT and ENDSUBMIT statements.

You can also submit SAS code within PROC LUA by calling the SAS.SUBMIT function. The SAS code must be contained within [[ and ]] brackets. Here is an example:

   proc lua; 
      sas.submit [[proc print; run; ]]

Using a Lua Interface with CAS

Available to download is a package called SWAT, which stands for SAS Scripting Wrapper for Analytics Transfer. This is a Lua interface for CAS. After you download this package, you can load data into memory and apply CAS actions to transform, summarize, model, and score your data.

The package can be downloaded from this Downloads page: SAS Lua Client Interface for Viya. After you download the SWAT package, there are some requirements for the client machine to use Lua with CAS:

  1. You must use a 64-bit version of either Lua 5.2 or Lua 5.3 on Linux.

    Note: If your deployment requires newer Lua binaries, visit
    Note: Some Linux distributions do not include the required shared library It can be installed with the numactl package supplied by your distribution's package manager.

  2. You must install the third-party package dependencies middleclass (4.0+), csv, and ee5_base64, which are all included with a SAS® Viya® installation.

For more information about configuration, see the Readme file that is included with the SWAT download.

I hope this blog post has helped you understand the possible ways of using Lua with SAS. If you have other SAS issues that you would like me to cover in future blog posts, please comment below.

To learn more about PROC LUA, check out these resources:

Using the Lua programming language within Base SAS® was published on SAS Users.

1月 112018

The SAS® platform is now open to be accessed from open-source clients such as Python, Lua, Java, the R language, and REST APIs to leverage the capabilities of SAS® Viya® products and solutions. You can analyze your data in a cloud-enabled environment that handles large amounts of data in a variety of different formats. To find out more about SAS Viya, see the “SAS Viya: What's in it for me? The user.” article.

This blog post focuses on the openness of SAS® 9.4 and discusses features such as the SASPy package and the SAS kernel for Jupyter Notebook and more as clients to SAS. Note: This blog post is relevant for all maintenance releases of SAS 9.4.


The SASPy package enables you to connect to and run your analysis from SAS 9.4 using the object-oriented methods and objects from the Python language as well as the Python magic methods. SASPy translates the objects and methods added into the SAS code before executing the code. To use SASPy, you must have SAS 9.4 and Python 3.x or later.
Note: SASPy is an open-source project that encourages your contributions.

After you have completed the installation and configuration of SASPy, you can import the SASPy package as demonstrated below:
Note: I used Jupyter Notebook to run the examples in this blog post.

1.   Import the SASPy package:

Openness of SAS® 9.4

2.   Start a new session. The sas object is created as a result of starting a SAS session using a locally installed version of SAS under Microsoft Windows. After this session is successfully established, the following note is generated:

Adding Data

Now that the SAS session is started, you need to add some data to analyze. This example uses SASPy to read a CSV file that provides census data based on the ZIP Codes in Los Angeles County and create a SASdata object named tabl:

To view the attributes of this SASdata object named tabl, use the PRINT() function below, which shows the libref and the SAS data set name. It shows the results as Pandas, which is the default result output for tables.

Using Methods to Display and Analyze Data

This section provides some examples of how to use different methods to interact with SAS data via SASPy.

Head() Method

After loading the data, you can look at the first few records of the ZIP Code data, which is easy using the familiar head() method in Python. This example uses the head() method on the SASdata object tabl to display the first five records. The output is shown below:

Describe() Method

After verifying that the data is what you expected, you can now analyze the data. To generate a simple summary of the data, use the Python describe() method in conjunction with the index [1:3]. This combination generates a summary of all the numeric fields within the table and displays only the second and third records. The subscript works only when the result is set to Pandas and does not work if set to HTML or Text, which are also valid options.

Teach_me_SAS() Method

The SAS code generated from the object-oriented Python syntax can also be displayed using SASPy with the teach_me_SAS() method. When you set the argument in this method to True, which is done using a Boolean value, the SAS code is displayed without executing the code:

ColumnInfo() Method

In the next cell, use the columnInfo() method to display the information about each variable in the SAS data set. Note: The SAS code is generated as a result of adding the teach_me_SAS() method in the last section:

Submit() Method

Then, use the submit() method to execute the PROC CONTENTS that are displayed in the cell above directly from Python. The submit method returns a dictionary with two keys, LST and LOG. The LST key contains the results and the LOG key returns the SAS log. The results are displayed as HTML. The HTML package is imported  to display the results.

The SAS Kernel Using Jupyter Notebook

Jupyter Notebook can run programs in various programming languages including SAS when you install and configure the SAS kernel. Using the SAS kernel is another way to run SAS interactively using a web-based program, which also enables you to save the analysis in a notebook. See the links above for details about installation and configuration of the SAS kernel. To verify that the SAS kernel installed successfully, you can run the following code: jupyter kernelspec list

From the command line, use the following command to start the Jupyter Notebook: Jupyter notebook. The screenshot below shows the Jupyter Notebook session that starts when you run the code. To execute SAS syntax from Jupyter Notebook, select SAS from the New drop-down list as shown below:

You can add SAS code to a cell in Jupyter Notebook and execute it. The following code adds a PRINT procedure and a SGPLOT procedure. The output is in HTML5 by default. However, you can specify a different output format if needed.

You can also use magics in the cell such as the %%python magic even though you are using the SAS kernel. You can do this for any kernel that you have installed.

Other SAS Goodness

There are more ways of interacting with other languages with SAS as well. For example, you can use the Groovy procedure to run Groovy statements on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). You can also use the LUA procedure to run LUA code from SAS along with the ability to call most SAS functions from Lua. For more information, see “Using Lua within your SAS programs.” Another very powerful feature is the DATA step JavaObject, which provides the ability to instantiate Java classes and access fields and methods. The DATA step JavaObject has been available since SAS® 9.2.


SASPy Documentation

Introducing SASPy: Use Python code to access SAS

Come on in, we're open: The openness of SAS® 9.4 was published on SAS Users.

8月 032015

With apologies to this candy advertisement from the 1980s:

"Hey, you got your Lua in my SAS program."
"You got your SAS code in my Lua program!"

Announcer: "PROC LUA: Two great programming languages that program great together!"

What is Lua? It's an embeddable scripting language that is often used as a way to add user extensions to robust software applications. Lua has been embedded into SAS for some time already, as it's the basis for new ODS destinations like EXCEL and POWERPOINT. But SAS users haven't had a way to access it.

With SAS 9.4 Maintenance 3 (released July 2015), you can now run Lua code in the new LUA procedure. And from within that Lua code, you can exchange data with SAS and call SAS functions and submit SAS statements. (Running SAS within Lua within SAS -- it's just like Inception.)

Paul Tomas, the developer for PROC LUA, presented a demo of the feature and its usefulness in a recent SAS Tech Talk:

Paul also wrote a paper for SAS Global Forum 2015: Driving SAS with Lua.

Like many innovations that find their way into customer-facing features, this new item was added to help SAS R&D complete work for a SAS product (specifically, the new version of SAS Forecast Server). But the general technique was so useful that we decided to add it into Base SAS as a way for you to integrate Lua logic.

PROC LUA can be an alternative to the SAS macro language for injecting logical control into your SAS programs. For example, here's a sample program that generates a SAS data set only if the data set doesn't already exist.

proc lua ;
-- example of logic control within LUA
if not sas.exists("work.sample") then
    print "Creating new WORK.SAMPLE"
	sas.submit [[
	  data work.sample;
	    set sashelp.class;
   else print "WORK.SAMPLE already exists"

First run:

NOTE: Lua initialized.
Creating new WORK.SAMPLE
    data work.sample;
      set sashelp.class;

And subsequent runs:

NOTE: Resuming Lua state from previous PROC LUA invocation.
WORK.SAMPLE already exists
NOTE: PROCEDURE LUA used (Total process time):
      real time           0.00 seconds
      cpu time            0.00 seconds

Unlike other embedded languages (like PROC GROOVY), Lua runs in the same process as SAS -- and not in a separate virtual machine process like a Java VM. This makes it easy to exchange information such as data and macro variables between your SAS and Lua programming structures.

If you have SAS 9.4M3 and have time to play with PROC LUA, let us know what interesting applications you come up with!

tags: Lua, SAS 9.4

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