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st: Re: Stat/Transfer v. Dbms/Copy

From   Roger Newson <>
Subject   st: Re: Stat/Transfer v. Dbms/Copy
Date   Mon, 01 Dec 2003 14:59:19 +0000

At 10:25 29/11/03 -0800, Mike Hollis wrote:
I've been a very satisfied user of Dbms/Copy for a number of years.  I was
sorry to see that SAS has acquired the program, and I am especially
distrubed at the prospect of having to pay both a version upgrade fee and a
not so optional annual "maintenance" fee to obtain patches and technical
support.  I'm considering Stat/Transfer as an alternative, and I would be
interested in the experience of others who have made the switch from
Dbms/Copy to Stat/Transfer.

I use Dbms/Copy maily to convert files between Excel, Access, Oracle, SAS
and Stata.  (It's the inability of my current version of Dbms/Copy to handle
Stata v. 8 files that's forcing me to either upgrade to Dbms/Copy v. 8 or
switch to a different product.)   I use both the interactive and the batch
modes of Dbms/Copy, and I need something that has a batch program capability
similar to Dbms/Copy.  I would also like to have the ODBC drivers for Oracle
and Access built into the the program--the way Dbms/Copy operates--rather
than having to purchase separate drivers for these programs.

All opinions and advice would be greatly appreacted.
Mike seems to imply that DBMS/Copy now has a batch program capability, and seems to be concerned that maybe StatTransfer hasn't. He should not worry on this issue, because StatTransfer has not only a batch program capability, but also the option of being called from the command line.

I have never actually been a DBMS/Copy user. However, I considered becoming one way back in 1998, because one of my colleagues used it and liked it. I decided that I preferred StatTransfer because StatTransfer had (and has) the option of being called from the command line in DOS, whereas DBMS/Copy could only be launched in graphical user interface (GUI) mode. The command line option made it possible for me to write the Stata -stcmd- package, downloadable from SSC, which was also being distributed with Stat/Transfer the last time I updated my Stat/Transfer. (I use the latest version, which is StatTransfer 7.0 02.) The -stcmd- package allows the user to call StatTransfer in batch mode from within Stata, and therefore to write a do-file that reads a SPSS or SAS data set, which is useful if you do this on a regular production basis and don't want to do it manually via the GUI.

I hope this helps.


Roger Newson
Lecturer in Medical Statistics
Department of Public Health Sciences
King's College London
5th Floor, Capital House
42 Weston Street
London SE1 3QD
United Kingdom

Tel: 020 7848 6648 International +44 20 7848 6648
Fax: 020 7848 6620 International +44 20 7848 6620
or 020 7848 6605 International +44 20 7848 6605

Opinions expressed are those of the author, not the institution.

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