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.