SAS Environment Manager: Importing events

An important goal of SAS Environment Manager is to communicate with existing software systems. This capability includes not only monitoring other non-SAS platform resources, but also means having the ability to respond to events from outside the SAS platform.  We’ve seen how SAS Environment Manager can generate an event for external consumption (see Scott McCauley’s blog  on Exporting events from SAS Environment Manager), but we can also have SAS Environment Manager import an event that was generated by an external source.

First, before we discuss methods for importing events, it’s important to understand that events are not alerts. An alert is just one type of system event among several.  Events can be any of the following:

  • log entries for errors (if log tracking is ON for a particular resource)
  • other log entries that you specify
  • server start/stop/restart
  • configuration changes (if configuration tracking is ON)
  • any alert

To generate a new external event, the source may be anything as long as it has some small programmable capability.  In this post, I will illustrate how create and import them using simple SAS data step  code. Read More »

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From tweets to chats to learning - SAS is here for its customers

SAS Customer Contact Center

SAS Cares. That’s how we want you to feel once you become a SAS customer. How do we do that? By bringing all of the support resources together with one goal in mind – helping you become a better SAS user.

The SAS Cares experience involves everything from searching on the support website to receiving one of our e- newsletters, or maybe interacting with us on social media and the communities. This handy SAS Cares infographic contains everything you need to know.

The SAS Cares challenge

What is SAS doing differently? Last year, customer-facing teams at SAS challenged themselves to identify ways to improve your overall experience as SAS software customers and to solve your inquiries immediately.

As part of that challenge, SAS conducted its own research and met with national brands with a reputation of excellent customer service.  We wanted an external perspective from our business peers to better understand how they are actively engaging customers. The takeaways were clear:

  • Customers want to communicate in the channel of their choice.
  • Timely and consistent responses are expected from the first point of contact.
  • Subject matter experts and service levels need to be predefined to prevent roadblocks in customer service.

Here are some of the ways SAS is meeting that challenge and changing the customer experience. Read More »

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5 surprises from PharmaSUG 2015

Casino night at PharmaSUG 2015I’ve had the good fortune to support the Pharmaceutical Industry SAS Users Group as their SAS liaison for the majority of their conferences since 1996.   That’s meant a lot to me personally and professionally over the years.  I’ve developed some genuine friendships with the dedicated volunteer leaders who organize the conference, and I’ve been able to indulge my armchair interest in the pharma industry up close.

Each conference I’ve supported has been memorable and unique.  Here are my top 5 surprises from this year’s conference, which was attended by over 650 SAS users, May 17-20 in Orlando, Florida. Read More »

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How SAS gets to data in Hadoop

Hadoop_logoSAS offers a rich collection of features for working with Hadoop quickly and efficiently. This post will provide a brief run-through of the various technologies used by SAS to get to data in Hadoop and what’s needed to get the job done.

Working with text files

Base SAS software has the built-in ability to communicate with Hadoop. For example, Base SAS can work directly with plain text files in HDFS using either PROC HADOOP or the FILENAME statement. For this to happen, you need:

* TAKE NOTE!  The “merged” XML file is manually created by you! The idea is that you must take the relevant portions of the various Hadoop “-site.xml” files (such as hdfs-site.xml, hive-site.xml, yarn-site.xml, etc.) and concatenate the contents into one syntactically correct XML file.

Working with SPDE data

The SAS Scalable Performance Data Engine (SPDE) functionality is also built into Base SAS. SAS can write SPDE tables directly to HDFS to take advantage of its multiple IO paths for reading and writing data to disk. You need:

Working with data in SASHDAT

SASHDAT is a SAS proprietary data format optimized for high-performance environments. The software pieces required are:

Working with data in Hive

Hadoop supports Hive as a database warehouse infrastructure. SAS/ACCESS technology can get to that data. You need:

Working with SAS In-Database Technology

The SAS In-Database technology achieves the goal of bringing the statistics to the data as a more efficient approach for working with very large volumes. In particular, the SAS Embedded Process is deployed into the Hadoop cluster to work directly where the data resides, performing the requested analysis and returning the results.

SAS In-Database technology for Hadoop is constantly evolving and adding new features. With SAS 9.4, the SAS Embedded Process provides SQL passthrough, code and scoring acceleration capabilities, as well as support for SAS High-Performance procedures. To get started, you need:

But that’s not all.  The SAS Embedded Process is incredibly sophisticated and can offer something else: asymmetric parallel data load to the SAS High-Performance Analytics Environment. To enable that, you also need:

Note that SPDE is on that last list. Without the Embedded Process, SAS can stream data from SPDE tables using the serial approach to the LASR Root Node. When the Embedded Process is available, then it can coordinate the direct transfer of the data from each of the Hadoop data nodes to their counterpart LASR (or other HPAE) worker nodes – that is, it enables concurrent, parallel data streams between the two services!

For more information on which technique SAS is employing to move data in a given situation, refer to “Determining the Data Access Mode” in the Base SAS 9.4 Procedures Guide: High-Performance Procedures.

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ODS PDF destination in SAS 9.4: Come take a look under the hood!

ProblemSolversIf you have programmed with SAS in the last 15 years, you have probably had a reason to share your SAS results in PDF format. The ODS PDF destination, much like a well-designed car, has evolved over the years, offering progressively nicer features like security, enhanced image formatting and embedded fonts. I think you’re going to like what SAS 9.4 has to offer!

Let’s discuss three key SAS 9.4 improvements to this beloved, reliable and top rated ODS destination:

  • Pearl default style
  • ODS LAYOUT statement
  • ODSLIST and ODSTEXT procedures

Read More »

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PharmaSUG 2015: Transformation is a key topic

PharmaSUG 2015 logo with sea turtle image and Orlando 2015Last night over 640 SAS users from 12 countries met in Orlando for a great opening session at PharmaSUG 2015. Elizabeth Dennis from EMB Statistical Solutions and Syamala Schoemperlen from Alcon, a Novartis Company are this year’s co-chairs. They lined up a wonderful venue as well as content for the conference. Read More »

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SAS Visual Analytics:  Localize your reports to support multiple languages!

Do you support a multilingual reporting audience? This is a fast-growing requirement for many of you,  and now your SAS Visual Analytics reports can be easily configured to support any number of languages.

From SAS Visual Analytics Designer, there is an option under the File menu called Localize Report. This brings up the Localize Report Text dialogue. This dialogue lists all of the available items and their values that can be translated into a different language. Keep in mind that you cannot translate the data surfaced in the report, but you are able to translate almost all text that appears in the report, such as object labels, tooltips and other descriptive text. Read More »

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PharmaSUG 2015—the lucky 22 gear up to attend

PharmaSUG 2015 logo with sea turtle image and Orlando 2015Actually, luck had little to do with it. The twenty two recipients of Student Scholarship and Junior Professional Awards are attending the Pharmaceutical Industry SAS Users Group (PharmaSUG) from May 17-20 because of their qualifications. This marks the fifth year that PharmaSUG has offered these special programs, which are funded by SAS and managed by PharmaSUG volunteers Richard Allen and Ellen Brookstein. I spoke recently with Ellen to learn more. Read More »

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Weather forecasting with SAS-generated Google maps

Photograph of Northern Cardinal in snow stormThe Earth is flat. At least as far as Google maps are concerned. Don’t just take my word for it though. Bring up a Google map onto your computer screen and make sure of this with your own eyes.

Now, when you got comfortable with that revolutionary concept, here’s another one: weather is weird. You’d know this firsthand if you live in the East of the United States, where the first week of March brought almost a foot of snow and record-low temperatures well below freezing (like 10-15 F°). This didn’t seem to concern the cardinal that made its way into my backyard igloo during the March blizzard in misguided hopes of Spring.

Combining weather and Google maps seems to be so natural since weather is a property of a particular location at a given time. Of course, weather changes in time, but if we can connect and stream weather data into a location on the map, wouldn’t that be cool?  Whether you want a broad, synoptic view of the weather forecast over a country or a continent, or you are just interested in the current weather conditions in a particular locale, I see possible business applications in any field that relies on weather forecast—agriculture, aviation, tourism, vacation and trips planning to name a few. This application would also provide access to the weather information around the globe. Read More »

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SAS administration and architecture—highlights from SAS Global Forum 2015

I was privileged with the opportunity to present a couple of papers at SAS Global Forum 2015 in Dallas, Texas this year.  While there, I was also excited to attend presentations with new and inventive approaches for working with the administration and architecture of SAS solutions. This is a collection of just a few of my favorites. Read More »

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