My five favorite memories of MWSUG 2014

MWSUG 2014 logo showing Chicago skyline and 25th anniversary bannerThe Chicago weather cooperated for MWSUG 2014 with nice crisp fall temperatures, clear skies and beautiful sunrises over the lake.  Aside from the weather, here are my five favorite memories of MWSUG 2014:

 1. Location-location-location. The location and venue were fabulous! Not only were we along the Chicago River with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan, but we were also close to shopping, restaurants, museums, a large Midwest SAS User Community and the SAS Chicago office. Transportation was easy with the “el” close by too. Great choice for both local users and those who travelled. Read More »

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Symbols in SAS 9.4 graphs: unlimited possibilities

Beginning with the first maintenance of SAS 9.4, you have the ability to define your own symbol markers using the SYMBOLCHAR and SYMBOLIMAGE statements. With these statements you can select a Unicode value or you can select an image file that exists on the local file system—making the possibilities for customizing your graphs almost unlimited. Read More »

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SAS High-Performance Analytics: connecting to secure Hadoop

hadoop-HPAIn this post we dig deeper into the fourth recommended practice for securing the SAS-Hadoop environment through Kerberos authentication:

When configuring SAS and Hadoop jointly in a high-performance environment, ensure that all SAS servers are recognized by Kerberos.

Before explaining the complex steps in connecting to secure Hadoop within a SAS High-Performance Analytics environment such as SAS Visual Analytics, let’s start by reviewing a simpler connection from a standard SAS session through SAS/ACCESS for Hadoop. Read More »

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Circling Google maps with SAS

I have to admit: I am biased. Out of all geometrical shapes, I favor circles the most. I am attracted to them because they are perfect geometrical figures. They are well rounded, all-around symmetrical and their shape and size are defined by just one parameter – their radius. Plus, to my taste they are just gorgeous and sweet (I am talking π here).

Geometrical fact: circles belong to a plane as opposed to spheres that exist in a 3D space, like our Earth. Notably, Google map transforms Earth (a sphere) to a plane. In other words, a Google map represents a portion of the Earth’s surface flattened to a plane.

If circles belong to a plane and Google Map is a plane, one can easily conclude that circles belong to Google map. Well—this logic bending would most definitely tick off Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory, but don’t we often arrive to desirable conclusions regardless of logic! Besides, I admitted that I love circles, and I love Google maps - do not expect me to be rational here - passion is a valuable substitution. Read More »

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Matching SAS releases with compatible OS, SAS client and third-party software

The only thing that’s constant is change. The continual cycle of computing changes leads to common questions about the effects of these changes—operating systems are getting upgraded, customers are moving to new SAS clients, upgrading to new releases of SAS, working with new Java and browser versions. All of these are occurring regularly at customer sites and usually not at the same time.

Keeping up with new releases of SAS and changes in hardware and software configurations, leads to some common questions we get in Technical Support. Have you asked any of these questions recently? Do they sound familiar to you? Read More »

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SAS and secure Hadoop: 3 deployment requirements

hadoop-config1In previous posts, we’ve shared the importance of understanding the fundamentals of Kerberos authentication and how we can simplify processes by placing SAS and Hadoop in the same realm. For SAS applications to interact with a secure Hadoop environment, we must address the third key practice:

Ensure Kerberos prerequisites are met when installing and configuring SAS applications that interact with Hadoop.

The prerequisites must be met during installation and deployment of SAS software, specifically SAS/ACCESS Interface to Hadoop for SAS 9.4. Read More »

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Configuring hardware for SAS: what you should know before you install

When SAS is used for analysis on large volumes of data (in the gigabytes), SAS reads and writes the data using large block sequential IO.  To gain the optimal performance from the hardware when doing these IOs, we strongly suggest that you review the information below to ensure that the infrastructure (CPUs, memory, IO subsystem) are all configured as optimally as possible. Read More »

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Use layering to design reports in SAS® Visual Analytics

Report design includes several phases. Granted, these phases aren’t official:  they’re more a reflection of my own thought processes and how my report designs typically unfold:

  • the initial “get the data on the screen to see what we have” phase
  • the addition of filters and prompts to assist with guided analysis
  • the definition of interactions to support drill-down and detail level analysis
  • and finally the beautification phase.

The most time-consuming phases of report design are the two middle phases.  However, when demonstrating reports to business units, it is typically the last phase, the beautification phase, that gets business user buy-in.

VAlayering1This last phase leads us to the topic of this post:  object layering in SAS Visual Analytics Designer. You can layer report objects in all releases when using the precision layout option, but SAS Visual Analytics 6.3 introduced the ability to enable or disable Selection in viewer. This object property controls whether an object is selectable, i.e., whether you can select the object container or maximize the object in the viewers. The ability to layer and flatten text and graphs is a powerful tool when putting the polishing touches on your report design.

Here’s an overview of some of the report objects that can be layered: Read More »

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SAS and Hadoop—living in the same house

hadoop-topo1So, with the simple introduction in Understanding Hadoop security, configuring Kerberos with Hadoop alone looks relatively straightforward. Your Hadoop environment sits in isolation within a separate, independent Kerberos realm with its own Kerberos Key Distribution Center. End users can happily type commands as they log into a machine hosting the Hadoop clients. From the host machine they can run processing against the Hadoop services.

But how does SAS fit into this picture? Where will the SAS servers and clients be located in relation to the Hadoop Kerberos realm? This post provides more insight into second of the four key practices for securing a SAS-Hadoop environment: Read More »

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Considering a SAS Global Forum 2015 presentation? Try an e-poster!

David_Moors_SGF2014Last year, after 15 years of benefiting from the SAS community, I thought it was time to give a little something back. So I decided to write a paper on two technologies I have a healthy interest in: SAS and Hadoop. My paper SASReduce: an implementation of MapReduce using BASE/SAS was quite a niche topic and thus made an ideal candidate for an e-poster.

The e-poster is a new format introduced at the SAS Global Forum 2014, replacing the traditional paper poster format of past years. The format of the e-poster is a bit more informal than the traditional presentation and is ideal for the first time presenter.

Are you considering a topic that works well in an interactive format? There are lots of presentation formats available for SAS Global Forum 2015. Don’t forget the call for content deadline is October 21.

Having developed and presented an e-poster, I thought I'd share some observations about my favourite session type: Read More »

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