SAS XPORT Transport Format

Douglas Bates
Sat, 11 Dec 1999 09:16:24 -0600 (CST)

A colleague pointed out that the United States Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has adopted a transport format defined by SAS
Institute as a standard for electronic submissions of data.  As a
result, this format has been openly documented.

The URL for the documentation on the format is

Information on the FDA standards for Electronic submissions is given at

Has anyone written code to import data stored in this format into R?

Saikat DebRoy and I started reverse-engineering the format before our
colleague pointed out that it was openly documented.  It was a rather
interesting exercise because floating point format is _not_ an IEEE
format, it is an old format with a base 16 exponent, no hidden bit,
etc.  It takes me back to the days of punched cards, IBM mainframes,
JCL, ...

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