- Targeted (not limited) to phase-III clinical studies in pharmaceutical research RS/642 facilitates development, coding and maintenance of tabular reporting.
- It is a highly interactive collection of macro modules providing transformation methods for study emergent datasets making use of all the information available in the description part of the dataset processed. The user is provided with (an) output dataset(s) containing character columns with standard names and externally controlled attributes.
- RS/642 provides subroutines that care for data types, formats, labels, headers, missing values, loops and more. Runtime generated information used to control processing is kept in standardized data structures using macrovariable lists (mlists), SAS formats and datasets.
- Input data structures may need some form of preprocessing as well as output data structures may need some postprocessing to perfectly meet requirements. RS/642 already supports these steps to some extent by providing condense, struct and missline functions.
- The system is aimed at serving as a base for an extendable system that provides mechanisms for shaping input datasets, processing calculations and generating SAS datasets with ready made text content.
- RS/642 interacts with and makes use of other programs, modules, systems and datasets available. Communication and information interchange use SAS macrovariables, environment variables from the operating system and data structures compatible with the SAS System.
- Input data streams will require preprocessing in general by assigning formats and labels. Output datasets will need postprocessing using merge and set operations mainly.
- Module size is kept small (three screen pages at maximum) for maintainability and avoids hard-coded references to any application related information like data types, labels and formats.
- Coding style makes broad use of automatic documentation and generation of meta data and lookup tables at runtime.