SAS system option SORTBLKREC= improves performance when using DFSORT utility.

Document ID : KB000038926
Last Modified Date : 14/02/2018
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Poor sort performance with SAS 9.4 and DFSORT Utility.


CA MICS Sites at SAS 9.4 (TS1M3) and above and using the IBM DFSORT Utility.


The DFSORT Performance Booster is a collaboration between SAS Institute and IBM, where SAS will use an E13 exit to send blocks of data to DFSORT. DFSORT will return blocks of data using the E33 exit. The size of the blocks of records is dictated by the size of the buffer, which is set based on the available region.

Without the use of the SORTBLKMODE option, each record is passed individually.


The optimal performance is to specify SORTBLKMODE in sasprefix.CONFIG(SITE) and specify SORTBLKREC=5000 in sharedprefix.MICS.PARMS(MABATCH).

No CA MICS generation jobs are required to activate these changes.

Additional Information:

SORTBLKMODE is the default if no value is specified.

Refer to SAS Usage Note 57676: Improving performance of SAS® software with the host sort utility DFSORT (

Related Technology Document - TEC1997388 - Intermittent ABEND 0C4’s, 0F1, and 80A in CA MICS DAILY.