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Migrating From 32-bit SAS to 64-bit SAS

SAS datasets

SAS datasets (.sas7bdat files) created with 32-bit SAS can be read directly using 64-bit SAS. However, doing this will create some inefficiency, as SAS will be doing the conversion "on-the-fly". For improved efficiency, convert the dataset to 64-bit, using PROC CPORT/CIMPORT, discussed below.

SAS Formats Catalogs

SAS Formats catalogs (.sas7bcat files) are NOT compatible between 32-bit and 64-bit SAS. If you have formats catalogs created with 32-bit SAS, you will need to re-create them using 64-bit SAS.

  • If you have the original SAS code, simply run that code using 64-bit SAS.
  • Lacking original SAS code, export the formats catalog using 32-bit SAS, then import using 64-bit SAS. This requires you to have access to 32-bit SAS during the migration process. Be sure to complete this before your 32-bit SAS license expires! Here is some sample code:
  1. Using 32-bit SAS, export the contents (both datasets and formats catalogs) of C:\mysasdir to file transport.exp.

    LIBNAME saslib 'C:\mysasdir\';PROC CPORT LIBRARY=saslib FILE='C:\mysasdir\transport.exp';RUN;

  2. Using 64-bit SAS, import transport.exp to C:\mysasdir64. This creates 64-bit version of all datasets and formats catalogs originally in C:\mysasdir. Storing them in a new folder avoids any confusion.

    LIBNAME saslib64 'C:\mysasdir64\';PROC CIMPORT LIBRARY=saslib64 INFILE='C:\mysasdir\transport.exp';RUN;

See Transporting SAS Libraries for more information about this process.

If you regularly need to share SAS formats catalogs with others who use 32-bit SAS, be sure to send them the formats catalog in export form, or as a SAS dataset.

SAS Code

To import Excel or Access files from 32-bit Office to 64-bit SAS, you will need to install 32-bit SAS PC Files Server (included with your SAS installation). SAS PC Files Server is a Windows service that starts automatically, and is used to translate the 32-bit Office data to 64-bit SAS.

All existing SAS code to import Excel or Access files will need to be modified:

Using PROC IMPORT, substitute DBMS=EXCELCS for DBMS=EXCEL, DBMS=ACCESSCS for DBMS=ACCESS, and remove GETNAMES and MIXED subcommands.

Example 1: Import Excel file from 32-bit Office to 64-bit SAS. Note use of EXCELCS. PROC IMPORT OUT= WORK.test

DATAFILE= "drive:\path\test.xls"




Example 2: Import Access file from 32-bit Office to 64-bit SAS. Note use of ACCESSCS. PROC IMPORT OUT= WORK.test2

TABLE= "tablename"




Using LIBNAME, add PCFILES engine.

Example 3: Import Excel file from 32-bit Office to 64-bit SAS.

libname in pcfiles path="drive:\path\test.xls" ;

data test;

set in."sheetname$"n;


libname in clear;

Example 4: Import Excel file from 32-bit Office to 64-bit SAS.

libname in pcfiles path="drive:\path\test2.accdb";data test2;

set in.tablename; * (Access table name must be valid SAS name);


libname in clear;

For more information, see SAS/Access 9.3 Interface to PC Files Reference and SAS Usage Note 33228.