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

SASReleases2

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 $8. Release $6. Date DATE9. StatRelease $5.;
datalines;
Ancient 8.0   01Nov1999 
Ancient 8.1   01Jul2000 
Ancient 8.2   01Mar2001 
Old     9.0   01Oct2002 
Old     9.1   01Dec2003 
Old     9.1.3 01Aug2004 
Old     9.2   01Mar2008 
Recent  9.2m2 01Apr2010 9.22
Recent  9.3   12Jul2011 9.3
Recent  9.3m2 29Aug2012 12.1
Recent  9.4   10Jul2013 12.3
Recent  9.4m1 15Dec2013 13.1
Recent  9.4m2 05Aug2014 13.2
;
 
title "Major Releases 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;
yaxis type=discrete offsetmax=0.1;
run;

Editor's Note: This post was revised in 2014 to include the latest release of SAS software.

tags: 12.1, 12.3, 13.1, 9.22, 9.3, Getting Started, Statistical Graphics

11 Comments

  1. Posted August 2, 2013 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    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
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    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 Robby Powell
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      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.

    • Posted May 30, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      That was only true for the initial release of SAS 9.4. Subsequent releases continue to support 32-bit windows.

  3. Posted August 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Nice graph Rick and thanks for trackbacking. You may modify the yaxis a little bit to show the big leap from SAS 8 to 9.

  4. GingerR
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    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.

  5. jaap karman
    Posted August 12, 2013 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    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.

  6. Gael Hammer
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Wait a minute! My personal SAS timeline starts in 1997 with SASv6: please add the category "prehistoric". ;-)

  7. Jeff Crabb
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    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)!

    • Posted September 11, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      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
      

      • Larry Madden
        Posted September 13, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        I started using SAS 76 as a graduate student. It is great to see this complete list. Times have changed.

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