SAS has supported calling R from the SAS/IML language since 2009. The interface to R is part of the SAS/IML language. However, there have been so many versions of SAS and R since 2009, that it is hard to remember which SAS release supports which versions of R. The following table lists recent SAS releases and the versions of R that each supports. UPDATE: Currently, SAS supports up to R 3.5.3, which was released in March 2019.
SAS ensures that each SAS release supports backward compatibility with as many previous R releases as possible. However, after a version of SAS ships, it is impossible to ensure forward compatibility. To date, the following releases of R broke compatibility with a prior SAS release:
- On Windows, R 3.3.0 broke compatibility with SAS/IML 14.1 (SAS 9.4m3) and earlier releases. The interface works on Linux. R 3.3.0 requires Red Hat Linux (RHEL) 7.1, so SAS customers who run an older Linux release might need to upgrade the operating system before they can compile R 3.3.0.
- R 3.0.2 changed an internal detail that SAS was using. SAS/IML 13.1 supports R 3.0.2.
- R 3.0.0 changed certain aspects of the external API to R. To use R 3.0.0 or later you must use SAS 9.4 or later.
- R 2.12.0, which introduced 64-bit R, changed the locations of certain libraries. To use R 2.12.0 or later, you must use SAS 9.3 or later.
An error message that you might see because of incompatible versions is "An installed version of R could not be found," although this message can also occur for other reasons.
Some software companies distribute their own versions of R, but SAS does not. Consequently, if the interface to R changes, SAS customers need to use a compatible version of R until they can update their version of SAS.
32-bit and 64-bit versions of SAS and R
I'll close with a few comments about 32-bit and 64-bit versions of SAS and R.
- If you are using a version of SAS/IML prior to 9.3, you must install a 32-bit version of R. If you are using SAS/IML 9.3 or later, read on.
- If you are using SAS software on a 32-bit edition of Windows, you must install the 32-bit edition of R.
- If you are using SAS software on a 64-bit edition of Windows, you can install either the 32-bit or the 64-bit edition of R. The 32-bit edition of SAS looks first for the 32-bit edition of R and then for the 64-bit edition. The 64-bit edition of SAS looks first for the 64-bit edition of R and then for the 32-bit edition.