World Programming System: An Alternative to SAS

July 19, 2010 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

In an earlier post, I was mentioning two ways to reduce the SAS licence costs. The first one, Carolina, consists of translating the SAS code into Java code. However, it seems not very easy to do and the solution is not known (and thus there is no real support for it). Another solution is to interpret your SAS code using the World Programming System (WPS).

WPS is a SAS code interpreter. The main advantage of WPS is that the licence cost is much cheaper. Also, you don’t need to change your code too much (see below). This is, to my knowledge, the easiest way to make a SAS program run without using SAS. However, since WPS has some issues reading/writing .sas7bdat format, it is advised to use their own format (it is easy to transform from .sas7bdat to WPS format). WPS has its own editor which is even better than Enterprise Guide 4.2, at least for coding/debugging. Similarly to SAS, WPS support team is very helpful and professional.

However, running a SAS program within WPS is not straightforward. Here is a list of issues I had when executing my SAS code with WPS:

  • Can’t update a data set in the SAS format (need to use the WPS format)
  • Unknown fdelete function
  • Unable to use ODS PDF option
  • noquotelenmax is not supported
  • Cannot use SYSTASK
  • Format is8601dt can’t be read

For information, I’m using SAS 9.2 and I tried WPS 2.4. Finally, keep in mind that WPS can interpret SAS code, but it is not (yet) able to read Enterprise Miner generated code, for example.

For more information: World Programming System (WPS).

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15 Comments on World Programming System: An Alternative to SAS

  1. mplee on Tue, 20th Jul 2010 3:10 am
  2. i’ve been using WPS for the past three years and mostly i am happy with it as an alternative to SAS. i mostly use basic functions and procedures with no sophisticated statistical analyses. once in a while there is an option or feature that is not supported but for the price differential i can live with it. although i would rather program in SAS i just can’t justify the greater cost to my company. i recommend WPS.

  3. Sandro Saitta on Wed, 21st Jul 2010 10:00 am
  4. @mplee: Thanks for your input. By the way, have you made some execution time comparison between SAS and WPS. On my side, it was quite the same.

  5. Mplee on Sat, 24th Jul 2010 1:43 pm
  6. I have not made any speed comparisons because I’m in different job on a slower computer and do not have access to SAS. It appears to be of similar speed to me, too, though.

  7. Sandro Saitta on Sat, 24th Jul 2010 4:02 pm
  8. Thanks for the comment Mplee!

  9. KubioTwitt on Mon, 2nd Aug 2010 1:48 am
  10. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  11. krishna on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 11:10 am
  12. Can’t update a data set in the SAS format (need to use the WPS format) and is there any way how to read data sets created in sas by using wps???

    reply fast…

  13. Sandro Saitta on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 11:55 am
  14. @krishna: yes, updating a SAS dataset is one of the limitation of WPS. You need to use their format. There should be no problem to read a SAS data (at least with SAS code).

  15. Mahesh on Thu, 2nd Dec 2010 2:25 pm
  16. To Add to Krishna’s Questions. Is it possible to read or convert sas7bdat files (created using SAS 9.2 or above) into Native WPS(WPD) format.

    we have been getting error when we do so.

    And then after completing all the operations can we later convert it back from WPD to SAS7BDAT format.

  17. Sandro Saitta on Thu, 2nd Dec 2010 3:24 pm
  18. @Mahesh: yes, you can do that. This is the usual way of doing since WPS cannot update .sas7bdat files. You should ask WPS support if you can’t (they are very good).

  19. Gaurav Vohra on Sun, 20th Mar 2011 6:57 pm
  20. I recently got the evaluation version of world programming system. I had some initial problems understanding how to import excel files into WPS. The WPS support team did not provide any help.
    Once I got past the initial hurdle, I have got good results. I deal with small data sets and am using WPS for training students and professionals. Hence speed is not an issue for me.
    I tried a number of procs and got identical results as with SAS.
    I am going to continue my evaluation over the next week and post results on my blog.

  21. Sandro Saitta on Mon, 21st Mar 2011 10:42 pm
  22. @Gaurav: Thanks for your comment! I’m surprised about the support, they were quite helpful in my case.

  23. Aprenda a usar o SAS | on Thu, 18th Aug 2011 2:33 am
  24. […] melhores. Estou falando do WPS (World Programming System). Veja também o seguinte post a respeito: World Programming System: An Alternative to SAS. Se você tem interesse em aprender a linguagem mas sem gastar os rios de dinheiro para comprar uma […]

    […] WPS: An alternative to SAS […]

  25. Mahdi on Wed, 2nd Jul 2014 8:52 am
  26. Hi every body,
    I wonder if there is a free viewer for data sets created by WPS. Some thing like SASView.


  27. planet on Sat, 10th Sep 2016 1:03 pm
  28. SAS awarded damages in trial against World Programming Ltd.

    A federal jury found that World Programming Ltd. (WPL) violated its software license for SAS Learning Edition by reverse engineering portions of the product to create its World Programming System software (WPS) and using the SAS Learning Edition for production purposes. As a result, SAS has been awarded $26.4 million in damages.

    In addition, the jury found that WPL committed fraud and awarded SAS another $3 million in punitive damages. The jury also found that WPL violated the NC Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which mandates the awarding of trebled damages to SAS, with the cumulative judgment totaling over $79 million. SAS will next seek a permanent injunction against the sale or use of WPS in the United States.

    “The proof we were able to share with the jury resulted in a fairly quick verdict that validated what we’ve always known: that WPL was clearly engaging in unfair and illegal acts,” said John Boswell, Chief Legal Counsel for SAS. “This case confirms that the U.S. enforces software license agreements and that companies will be held to the promises they make in those agreements. While there are still some pending decisions to be made, we can put the bulk of this trial behind us and continue doing business as we always have – developing innovative software that makes a difference in our customer’s businesses, and in their customer’s lives.”

    SAS was represented at trial by Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP.

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