What is the WORK library?

When no library reference (a.k.a. libref) is specified along with a SAS data set name, SAS assumes you meant to reference the WORK library:

   libname in "d:\my project\data\"; 
   data new; 
    set in.children2_18; 

SAS interprets the data statement to really look like:

data WORK.new;

In your log you will see a note that looks something like this:

NOTE: The data set WORK.TEST has 21662 observations and 353 variables.


The WORK library is a temporary directory that exists on the computer that is processing your SAS program that SAS creates during your SAS session to store all temporary files.  At the end of  your SAS session SAS deletes all the files in this directory and removes the directory.



1. What is a SAS session?  Answer.

2. What computer is processing my SAS program?  Answer.



1.  A  SAS session can be either the time during which you are using SAS interactively (you have windows of SAS open) or the time during which your program is running in batch.


2.  When you click on the SAS icon to start up SAS on your PC, then your PC is processing your SAS program.  When you connect to a Linux or Unix server and then start a SAS session or submit a SAS job, then that server is processing your SAS program.


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