Overview and Installation
EZRTools;) is a collection of edit macros, templates, and other Multi-Edit customizations that allow Multi-Edit to become a great editor to work with SAS. Now don't get me wrong, Multi-Edit is a great editor (I know I've seen and used a lot across many platforms, Mainframe to the lowly PC, MVS to Unix). The good one's are customizable and extendable, and having that level of complexity take a while to learn.
So with years of experience with ISPF Edit and VI why move to a new editor. Bad phone lines, busy connections, and slow response time. If you work away from a good ISDN connection or direct link even better your response time can best be described as being outstanding, as of 10 years ago. Work a bit on a dedicated PC and that remote connection (with your PC pretending to be a VT100) seemed even slower. SAS is now available on the PC, and a resourceful person can do a lot toward simulating production data on the "DASD Farm in a box" hard drives that come with most PCs. Downloads have become darn fast. Many of you are on the road and work out of a laptop. High speed processors and large chunks of dedicated RAM now allow code to be tested on a PC often faster than on the Mainframe (especially after production starts in earnest for the evening). Nowadays it makes sense to do your development and testing on the PC.
So now you are at the PC. Have you ever used one of the IDE's that come with many C, C++, etc. packages sold for the PC? Looking at the editor available with SAS 6.x for the PC (just like the one on mainframe) you will feel ill, or green with envy. In these specialized IDE's the various tools that you'd expect on the mainframe are closely tied with the compiler and editor. Yet they lack the ability of the mainframe environment to customize them to the particular job you are doing by just hacking out an edit macro or ISPF Clist. Yes these IDE's have pages of check boxes to select this optional behavior or that, but most do not allow you to make your own tools that operate within the edit environment.
Those clever folks an Multi-Edit Software Inc. (MESI) have given us the best of both worlds. Their product Multi-Edit combined with EZRTools;) can become and IDE for working with SAS on the PC. Moreover it has the customization level you get from the ISPF or Unix shell environment. By combining their fine editor with EZRTools;) 's language definitions, templates, tools, and ties to the SAS system you can increase your productivity. At the high end, with a copy of the SAS system running you can develop, test, and fix at PC speeds while keeping your work local. At the bottom end you can do complex editing tasks and then upload your results for testing on the host computer.
Both ISPF Edit and VI have features that many programmers often overlook (mask and line exclusion in ISPF, abbreviations and find- and-print in VI as examples). These features or their functional equivalents are available in Multi-Edit. Many of the tools that come with EZRTools;) create short-learning-curve access to these powers in ways specialized for working in the SAS language.
Multi-Edit must be installed first. To install EZRTools;) refer to the readme file that was shipped with the installation.
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