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SAS Enterprise Guide: Updating the Metadata with New/Modified Datasets

Submitted by on 2011-12-12 – 7:35 AM 8 Comments

When working in SAS Enterprise Guide, you can access data from the metadata libraries. When you make changes to the datasets in the meta library, such as adding or modifying columns, or even deleted datasets, the metadata library does not have the data – it must be registered.  Argh – so frustrating especially if you are use to working with the normal SAS  libraries.  However, you can update the metadata library from SAS Enterprise Guide.

SAS Enterprise Guide Tricks for Working with Metadata

So here’s a simple setup of how you might find yourself in this situation.  When creating data for SAS BI Dashboard, you might want a smaller or summarized dataset to use.  For this example, there was a dataset called SOURCE in the GA_DATA metadata library.  So this dataset was changed up to create the dataset BI_DASH_SRCE.  For this example, let’s just assume it’s the most AWESOME data every created for a dashboard and not just a renamed dataset I created for this example.  


Creating new metadata

Anyway the issue is when I created this delicious dataset, it was not automagically added to the GA_DATA metadata library – I have to add it.  I can use the SAS Management Console but then I have to go open another application and that seems like such a drag.

Updating the Metadata Library

From inside SAS Enterprise Guide, you can view, update, or delete a metadata library (assuming you have permissions!)  From the Tools menu, select Update Library Metadata.

sas eg metadata lib step2

Update Metadata Library Utility

In the first step, select the metadata library you want to update. In the second step, there are 5 different options.  Select the third one to add the new dataset.  (Read the online help for explanations about the other options.)  There is an area to log in with an alternate user ID if the current user ID does not have create permissions in the metadata library.

sas eg metadata lib step3

Using the Utility


After it runs, a report is generated explaining what happened.  In this case, you see that it added the dataset.  There are now a total of 4 datasets in the library.  The dataset does not show immediately in the metadata library –  just refresh it and you can see it.

sas eg metadata library step4



Click the Code tab to see exactly what happened.  The utility ran the METALIB procedure.  If you are writing code, you can just highjack this sweet little poetry and delete the task.  


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Tricia Aanderud

Director of Data Visualization at Zencos Consulting
Tricia Aanderud is a SAS Business Intelligence and Visual Analytics consultant based in Raleigh, NC who works for Zencos Consulting. She has written several books about SAS, presented papers at many SAS conferences, and has been using SAS since 2001. Contact her for assistance with your next project.
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  • Tricia Aanderud says:

    Is this in specific situations or releases Harsh? So far I have not run into this issue – now I”m nervous I will.

  • Tricia Aanderud says:

    Yes – Chris – I have referred to that famous post of your before! Thanks for writing it because it helped me understand some fine points about the libraries. Your book SAS for Dummies also is helpful for learning more about SAS EG.

  • Tricia Aanderud says:

    Thanks Ian … I have the opposite problem – remembering I have to use the SMC. I’m use to BASE SAS where I’m pretty sure with a few well place macros and PROC TakeOverGlobe – I’ll really have some good posts. 😉

  • Ian Healy says:

    That’s a really great tip. I’ll admit to programming my brain to always use SMC for updating metadata libraries.. Will give this a go since it definitely is a time saver. Looking forward to reading your book when it comes out.

  • Tricia, great post and thanks for bringing attention to this capability. As other readers have already commented, there are some tricks to working with SAS metadata libraries. I’ve compiled a couple of comprehensive papers on the topic, one for 9.1.3 and one for 9.2/9.3.

  • Ian Healy says:

    That’s a really great tip. I’ll admit to programming my brain to always use SMC for updating metadata libraries… Will give this a go since it definitely is a time saver. Looking forward to reading your book when it comes out.

  • Harsh Gajjar says:

    Nice Post!!!!!
    please also make sure that the assignment method of library is sas EG else it won’t update..

  • Harsh Gajjar says:

    Nice Post Tricia.. But one thing also come’s into consideration about the assignment method of Library in case of SAS Enterprise guide.If the assignment method is Metadata, It won’t let you update the table .u’ll have to change the assignment method to SAS Enterprise Guide in order to update it..
    Since I had Faced this situation I used this trick Hope that helps!!!

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