The trailing @ is commonly known as the column pointer. So, when we use the trailing @, in the Input statement, it gives you the ability to read a part of the raw data line, test it and decide how can the additional data be read from the same record.
- The single trailing @ tells the SAS system to “hold the line”.
- The double trailing @@ tells the SAS system to “hold the line more strongly”.
An Input statement ending with @@ instructs the program to release the current raw data line only when there are no data values left to be read from that line. The @@, therefore, holds the input record even across multiple iterations of the data step.