How old is your version of SAS? Release dates for SAS software

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Release dates for SAS software

How old is your version of SAS software? The graph on the left shows the release dates for various releases of SAS software, beginning with SAS 8.0. The graph is based on a graph on Jiangtang Hu's blog that shows the major SAS releases.

As this graph demonstrates, SAS software is always evolving. Each release includes features that simplify tasks that used to be more difficult. For example, this graph demonstrates a new feature of SAS 9.4: The colors in the background of the graph are specified by using the STYLEATTRS statement in the SGPLOT procedure. This new feature makes creating the graph easier and faster. Earlier versions of SAS required a more complicated syntax to specify colors for groups.

Recently a SAS user asked me how to compute some quantity in SAS. But before I could respond, he added, "By the way, I'm still running SAS 9.1."

That addendum certainly changed my response. The solution in SAS 9.1 was complicated. A feature added to SAS 9.2 simplifies the solution. Unfortunately, the customer could not yet take advantage of the simpler approach.

At SAS Global Forum 2012, Senior Vice President of R&D Keith Collins invited the attendees to "come along with us" as SAS releases new versions of its software. Of course, in large corporations this is sometimes easier said than done. However, if you want to start a conversation at your company about upgrading to a more recent version of SAS, this graph helps to put the SAS release numbers in a historical context.

/* Approximate ship dates for major releases of SAS software.
   Ignore the day: 01JUN just means "some day in June" */
data Releases;
format Date DATE7.;
input Category $13. Release $9. Date DATE9. StatRelease $5.;
datalines;
Ancient      8.0      01Nov1999 
Ancient      8.1      01Jul2000 
Ancient      8.2      01Mar2001 
Ancient      9.0      01Oct2002 
Ancient      9.1      01Dec2003 
Ancient      9.1.3    01Aug2004 
Ancient      9.2      01Mar2008 9.2
Old          9.2m2    01Apr2010 9.22
Old          9.3      12Jul2011 9.3
Old          9.3m2    29Aug2012 12.1
Recent       9.4      10Jul2013 12.3
Recent       9.4m1    15Dec2013 13.1
Recent       9.4m2    05Aug2014 13.2
Recent       9.4m3    14Jul2015 14.1
Recent       9.4m4    16Nov2016 14.2
;
 
title "Major Releases of SAS Software and Analytical Products";
proc sgplot data=Releases noautolegend;
styleattrs datacolors=(red yellow green);
block x=date block=category / transparency = 0.8;
scatter x=date y=release / datalabel=StatRelease datalabelpos=right
                           markerattrs=(symbol=CircleFilled size=14);
xaxis grid type=time offsetmin=0;
yaxis type=discrete offsetmax=0.1;
run;

Editor's Note: This post was revised in December 2016 to include the latest release of SAS software.

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About Author

Rick Wicklin

Distinguished Researcher in Computational Statistics

Rick Wicklin, PhD, is a distinguished researcher in computational statistics at SAS and is a principal developer of PROC IML and SAS/IML Studio. His areas of expertise include computational statistics, simulation, statistical graphics, and modern methods in statistical data analysis. Rick is author of the books Statistical Programming with SAS/IML Software and Simulating Data with SAS.

23 Comments

  1. Michelle Homes

    A great visual and reference to remember. With your blogging colleague's history, I'm wondering if Chris Hemedinger may be inspired to create a SAS Enterprise Guide version graph? ;-)

  2. Peter Lancashire on

    Unfortunately SAS 9.4 requires an operating system upgrade to 64-bit Windows. You have to dig a little to discover this crucial point. Changing the operating system is usually a problem in a managed corporate environment.

    • Robby Powell

      SAS is currently evaluating providing Windows 32-bit support for a select set of SAS client applications with the release of 9.4 M1. When a final decision is made, an update will be posted on support.sas.com.

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  5. Our staffing is down by about half from where it was 4-5 years ago.
    Unless there is a security issue migrating to new versions is way down on the list of priorities.

  6. Upgrading SAS versions applying Fixes to a SAS installation is very difficult to achieve.
    Would be great when this would made easier.

    Replacing something as a mobile/tablet is very common, don't like the model->get a new one.
    Updating Windows, java etc (fixes)? These patch rounds are commonly followed.
    Replacing DBMS/major versions (or other middeware) is already becoming more challenging.

    Updating a SAS installation? Fix or release? Woh that is a real challenging one.
    The licensing questions as often with many others is not the problem.
    It is the technical part processing with all segregations of repsonsibilities where SAS is not following common accepted IT approaches, eg ITIL or the LCM with test/validate of images.
    The common reaction of IT managers is going for the SEP approach (Someone Else Problem).

    The most easy approach: making all the technical SAS issues a problem for the SAS-user. They know how to (use) SAS, so let them do all stuff. There will be no priorities anymore on that versioning and fixing part. You could make a Dilbert strip of it.

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  9. Why did you leave off the various Version 7, 6 (and subversions of 6), 5, and earlier versions than 5? This is a trip down memory lane for some of us "antiques". I remember when Version 5 came out and thought it was extra slick. ;-) Version 6 was extra nice because we could now run it on a PC with a 5 MB hard drive and 640KB of memory. Some of this was back when the SAS documentation was just one book about 4 inches thick. (We used to think the purpose of SAS was not really selling software but publishing books (all the documentation was measured in bookshelf feet)!

    • Rick Wicklin

      I left them off because no one is running those versions. However, if you want a trip down memory lane, here are the approximate releaase dates for the early versions of SAS software. In the early days, different hosts (VAX, MVS, PC-DOS) sometimes released on different dates, so all dates are approximate. For example, the 6.03 releases stretched out over a year, from HP-300 in Mar88 to PC-DOS in Jun89:

      RELEASE  DATE
      72       01Jan1972
      76       01Jul1976
      79.5     13Apr1981
      82.4     01Jan1983
      4.06     01Mar1984
      5.03     28Jul1986
      6.01     01Jan1985 (PC-DOS)
      6.03     01Mar1988
      6.06     01Mar1990
      6.07     01Apr1991
      6.08     01Mar1993
      6.09     01Oct1993
      6.10     01Oct1994
      6.11     01Oct1995
      6.12     01Nov1996
      7.0      01Oct1998
      • Gerald Pulver on

        In August 1989, when I was at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center as a grad student, I started off with some release of version 5 on the IBM mainframe (maybe an ISPF environment?). Do you know what version that would have been? 5.03 doesn't sound familiar. Maybe 5.8 something?

        • Rick Wicklin

          There were about 10 host-specific releases in the version 5 time frame (1986-1989). You are probably thinking about 5.18 on CMS (and MVS) in June 1988. SAS 5.18 was also released on VAX VMS, Primos, and AOS/VS in March 1989.

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  15. Just what I was looking for, Rick. Thanks! And from your later follow-up, I can see that I got on board with version 6.06 or 6.07.

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