Since SAS 9.1.3 we’ve had the ability to write our own SAS call procedures and functions using PROC FCMP (short for “Function Compiler”). A simple example of this is as follows:

proc fcmp outlib=work.funcs.temp;
  function findname(uri $) $200;
    length name $200;
    rc = metadata_getattr(uri,'Name',name);

After running this, we should have a custom function available for use in any data step. The function listed here will contact the SAS Metadata Server using metadata_getattr and return the “Name” attribute of an object at the given URI. You’ll have to add that location to the cmplib search path (similar to adding a location to a format search path), which can be achieved by doing

options cmplib=work.funcs;

If you do so, the following data step

options cmplib=work.funcs;
data _null_;
  uri = 'omsobj:PhysicalTable/A5M6KWHB.BI00001E';
  name = findname(uri);
  put name=;

will output


because I have a table registered in my metadata called “MYTABLE” at that location.

The possibilities with PROC FCMP are seemingly endless. For example, user-written functions allow you to write recursive calls. Before FCMP, you either had to write recursive SCL which had an arbitrary stack limit of 10, or recursive Macro calls which makes calling system functions cumbersome. Learn more about it here.