I don’t think people typically think of administration as a fun thing, but it really was fun talking to SAS administrators at SAS Global Forum this year. There seemed to always be a crowd around the administration demo station. We had quite a few super demos and papers, and we had a lively discussion at the SAS Administrators’ meet-up on Monday evening.
The main buzz was around SAS Environment Manager, a new tool being introduced in SAS 9.4 that allows you to manage your SAS middle-tier and provides robust operational monitoring of your SAS environment. Everyone I talked to seemed excited and I was delighted to hear so many possible use cases.
As a product manager, my nirvana is getting to put cool software in front of customers and step back and listen to all the interesting ways they can think to use it. What I heard was confirmation on what we’d delivered was going to meet a lot of needs – especially in the “what’s going on in my environment” area. Administrators saw that they could really benefit from the proactive alerting SAS Environment Manager provides rather than having to hear about problems from their user base.
But what I also got to hear was where customers want us to expand. As an aside, it’s a bit of a weird reality I live in – always in the future – so even though SAS 9.4 is available now, I’m mostly thinking about the next several releases and what we can do. The SAS Administrators’ meet-up was a gold mine in this respect.
Many in that group immediately jumped to what they could do with a view across their various SAS deployments and were suggesting how SAS Environment Manager might not only provide a consolidated view but also help in cross-environment activities like dev/test/prod processes. It was really helpful to hear so much supporting detail since we’d already had some of these discussions internally and that will help drive development in the right direction.
I already can’t wait for the next SAS Global Forum!