Learning SPSS for SAS users

I wrote a post on learning SAS for SPSS users based on the chapter from Little SAS Book authors. Here is a comment on that which could be of great technical use for people wanting to use the very nice menu driven SPSS.

SPSS has a book, Programming and Data Management for SPSS Statistics 17.0: A Guide for SPSS Statistics and SAS Users that has been updated annually for about five years. It can be downloaded as a PDF file from

Besides a wealth of information on, well, programming and data management with SPSS Statistics, it includes a 35-page chapter entitled

SPSS Statistics for SAS Programmers.

The corrected link turns out to be



It is a 3.5 mb download and worth the wait.

Here is an extract from the Pdf

Reading Multiple Tables
Both SPSS Statistics and SAS support reading and merging multiple database tables,and the code in both languages is very similar.

‘DSN=MS Access Database;DBQ=/examples/data/dm_demo.mdb;’+
‘DriverId=25;FIL=MS Access;MaxBufferSize=2048;PageTimeout=5;’
/SQL =
‘SELECT * FROM DemographicInformation, SurveyResponses’
‘ WHERE DemographicInformation.ID=SurveyResponses.ID’.

proc sql;
connect to odbc(dsn=dm_demo uid=admin pwd=admin);
create table sasdata2 as
select *
from connection to odbc(
select *
from DemographicInformation, SurveyResponses
where DemographicInformation.ID=SurveyResponses.ID

Both languages also support left and right outer joins and one-to-many record matching between database tables.


Note on SPSS.com website


The SPSS site however uses registration and login , unlike the SAS.com site which is much more user friendly. In addition the SPSS website rarely seems to use the registration information as I have registered many times over the past three years and haven’t gotten any email marketing at all.SAS of course has a great set of blogs at www.sas.com/blogs which are readily accessible. If you subscribe to their newsletters ( and they have many useful ones) the product suggestions are discretely to the right column.Ironically the www.sas.com site was down when I writing this , as they were updating it for changes including the release of 9.2

On searching for Statistics 17.0: A Guide for SPSS Statistics and SAS Users on the link above, however you may get a lot of white papers and product demos , as unlike the search at www.sas.com or at other Google optimized websites , the SPSS search is mildly , mildly inaccurate.The search for these exact keywords also throws up ,ironically , white papers on text mining.

http://www.spss.com/devcentral.is a great repository technical people and not just SPSS users- it is a good and free library of papers on data mining and predictive analytics. Except for the search 🙂

Author: Ajay Ohri


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