SAS arrays—be not afraid!

SAS Technical Support Problem SolversArrays are a powerful SAS programming tool. They can be used to simplify coding for repetitive calculations, to transpose data and to evaluate variables in a non-sequential manner. Sometimes users are intimidated by the term array, but in SAS, an array is simply a grouping of variables that lasts for the duration of the DATA step where the array is defined.

In this blog post, I’ll provide the code and explanations for using SAS arrays to solve these common programming problems:

  • Find the closest value to a constant value in a group of variables.
  • Determine which variable in a group meets certain criteria and report corresponding variables.
  • Transpose data and manipulate a group of values.

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Which SAS Migration Utility do I use?

During a migration to a new release of SAS software, the SAS Migration Utility is used to analyze and package your source software. There are two ways that you can get the SAS Migration Utility. It’s available by selecting SAS Migration Utility from the Downloads page on support.sas.com. The SAS Migration Utility also ships with your SAS software order and is delivered in the SAS Software Depot. Read More »

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Junior Professional Award – helping new SAS users attend SAS Global Forum 2015

winnerRecently, I spoke with Sally Carson about the Junior Professional Award, a SAS Global Forum 2015 program for people who have used SAS three years or less. The award offers free registration, free training and lots of opportunity to learn and become involved.

This is the third year that Junior Professional awards have been offered for SAS Global Forum. Junior Professional programs started in 2009 at US regional conferences and have really caught fire. Since 2013, the SAS Global Forum program has had almost 250 applicants, and recipients have attended the conference from as far away as China and New Zealand.

Sally is a member of the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board and is the 2015 Junior Professional Program Coordinator. Developing programs that support new SAS users has been a passion of Sally’s for a long time, and the Junior Professional Program is one of her particular favorites. Here’s a little bit of our conversation: Read More »

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SAS macro errors: the answers you’re looking for

Have you ever received an error or warning in SAS macro and did not know what to do next or even where to look?  Now there is an answer! And debugging your SAS macros just got easier.

All macro errors and warnings are now documented in the SAS 9.4 Macro Language Reference, Third Edition. You can find them here:

Each error or warning entry begins with the text of the message followed by a two-colum table that lists each possible cause and a suggested solution for each cause. Here are samples from each section of the appendix that illustrate how the information is presented.

Let us know if this new feature in the SAS Macro Facility documentation helps you to investigate your own possible cause and solution for any macro error you may be encountering. Read More »

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SAS Global Forum 2015 -- content a big success!

As the team of nearly 50 peer-reviewers finalize their review and recommendations, I want to reflect on the amazing accomplishments of the SAS Global Forum 2015 teams: 

  • Nearly 700 sessions were submitted by the SAS user community and SAS experts!

Content areas from data mining to administration have been submitted for varying levels of proficiency and across many disciplines and job areas. There truly is something for all SAS users!

Popular delivery methods such as hands-on workshops, e-posters and breakouts will be complemented this year by table talks on a variety of topics of interest to SAS users.

This is an exciting and busy time for the SAS Global Forum 2015 volunteers. Please enjoy the content summary available now as we work to have the entire list online in January! You’ll have the opportunity to build out your conference agenda approximately two months before arriving in Dallas.

Now that you can see a few of the professional development and learning opportunities waiting for you, we need to get you to SAS Global Forum 2015.  Register today and invite your colleagues. Team discounts are available. There are also opportunities for student and faculty scholarships as well as Junior Professional Awards for those that have been using SAS for three years or less.

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Renewing SAS solutions: a two-step process

Did you know that applying a new SAS license file for many SAS solutions is a two step process?

Because many of SAS’ most of popular solutions (including SAS® Visual Analytics, SAS® Enterprise MinerTM and SAS® Customer Intelligence) depend on the middle-tier architecture for primary user access, information about licensed products and expiration information is maintained in metadata.  So to renew licensing properly for another year, SAS administrators need to update the SID file information in metadata in addition to updating the licensing information stored in the CORE catalog.

As SAS administrator, when you receive a new SID file, you must first apply the new license using either the Renew SAS Software utility on Windows or by running the sassetup script on UNIX systems.  This step updates the CORE catalog with licensed products and expiration dates, and it must be performed on every machine that has a Base SAS installation.

For sites that license SAS solutions, the SAS administrator then needs to run the SAS Deployment Manager and select the “Update SID File in Metadata” option.  This can be done from any machine in the deployment and only needs to be performed once, regardless of the number of machines involved.

renewsolutions

You’ll be prompted for metadata connection credentials, the configuration directory, and the fully qualified path to the new SID file.  The SAS Deployment Manager takes care of the rest and the new licensing information will be updated in metadata.  All that’s left to do is to restart all of the SAS processes to pick up the new license.

For more information

Technical Support maintains a list of all SAS solutions that require this two step process in Usage Note 49750.

Similarly, there are detailed instructions for renewing all types of SAS installations available from support.sas.com.  You can search by Base SAS release, product and product release.

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5 characteristics you meet in the cloud

NIST 5 characteristics of cloud computingIf someone asks you whether SAS runs in the cloud, there are exactly two wrong answers: "yes" and "no". Instead, this question should spark a discussion. It should be a discussion about which of the five characteristics of cloud computing they are interested in. The answers will point you in one direction or another.

If you have seen any SAS presentations about the cloud, you probably have seen this diagram. This terminology comes to us from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and more precisely, from The NIST Definition of Cloud that has been adopted by SAS.

“Why do we need definitions and standards?,” some of you may ask.  If ever there was a term loaded with hype and misunderstanding, it is “cloud”. The NIST provides us with a common language to talk about it.

In today’s installment of this three-part series, I will discuss the five essential characteristics of cloud computing from NIST, and try to illustrate them with simple examples applied to situations most would be familiar with. Read More »

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How to tune storage arrays and clustered file systems for use with SAS

For those of you who have followed my SAS Administration blogs, you will know that setting up your IO subsystem (the entire infrastructure from the network/fibre channels in your physical server, across your connections, to the fibre adapters into the storage array, and finally to the physical disk drives in the storage array) is very near and dear to my heart. Based on this desire, as my team learns information on better ways to configure the IO system infrastructure, we like to document it in new white papers, or by updating existing white papers. Read More »

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Is there a data steward in your life?

If you’re a SAS user, no matter what your role—programmer, analyst, statistician or administrator—data is important.

But I’m willing to bet that somewhere in your organization, there’s a group of people who not only care about the data—it’s their passion, their raison d’être. Whether they sit in IT or your own business unit, these people make sure that the data that runs applications and fuels analytics is fit for the purpose. Without them, your data would be a big mess.

Those rock stars of the data world are often called data stewards. They’re the go-to people when you have a question about the how data is collected, managed, stored and curated. They go above and beyond to help out their own groups – and often any others in the organization – to make sure that information is consistent, accurate and reliable.

And on Dec. 9, SAS sponsors International Data Stewards Day – a chance to celebrate those who have the monumental task of managing corporate information. Read More »

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