SAS 9.2 and SAS Enterprise Guide on 64-bit Vista

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64-bit computing has arrived to the mainstream desktop (and even laptops). Can you even buy a 32-bit Windows PC anymore? I mean from a store (not a garage sale)?

At work, I've just been issued a shiny new Windows box with the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Vista installed on it. My mission: to determine whether I can use this thing to do my job. In my job, I write a lot of code (not as much as I'd like), I answer a lot of e-mail (more than I want to), and I run a lot of SAS (which I like just fine).

To be clear, I do not expect a 64-bit OS to enhance my ability to send e-mail. So I haven't tried that yet.

The first applications that I installed were SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1, SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2, and the 64-bit version of SAS 9.2 for Windows. (I need both versions of SAS Enterprise Guide because I support customers for each. The two versions can coexist peacefully.)

How did it go, you ask? I think it went great.

SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 relies on Microsoft .NET 1.1 with SP1, which I installed "by hand" rather than let the SAS system requirements wizard try it for me. I am a trained professional and I like to stack the deck towards success. The installer complained a little bit to tell me that there might be some incompatibilites with .NET 1.1 and 64-bit Vista. Knowing SAS Enterprise Guide like I do, I don't believe that there is a big risk there. Those incompatibilities are an issue more for web applications running under Microsoft's web server, so that doesn't affect our desktop client application.

SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2 and SAS 9.2 for Windows x64 installed with no problems -- as expected, because we at SAS advertise this as a supported configuration.

SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 and 4.2 will run on the 64-bit platform but as a 32-bit application. It relies on the WOW64, or 32-bit subsystem. That's okay, because SAS Enterprise Guide is a client application that relies on SAS to do the heavy lifting with crunching numbers and accessing data. SAS 9.2 for Windows x64 runs as a native 64-bit application, which means that it can take advantage of the larger address space and other 64-bit goodness.

With no further tweaking from me, I now have SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 talking to my local 64-bit SAS 9.2 (refer to this entry to see expected limitations) . And I have SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2 talking to my local 64-bit SAS 9.2.

I don't think that we advertise official support for SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 on 64-bit Vista. It's a configuration that has come along in the time since we originally tested and released the software. I offer this anecdote to prove that it can work.

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Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies.  He also hosts the SAS Tech Talk webcasts each year from SAS Global Forum, connecting viewers with smart people from SAS R&D and the impressive work that they do.

11 Comments

  1. Alan Churchill on

    This is very encouraging Chris. I have shied away from a 64 bit OS due to uncertainty on the SAS side. Frankly, I haven't had time to test it out so this helps me a lot. Let us know if you encounter any baubles along the way.

  2. Fred Janssen on

    Very good news. How hard is it for state government customers to get 64-bit 9.2 (in addition to the 32-bit version because not all of our machines run the 64-bit OS)?

  3. Fred, you'll have to talk to your SAS account rep about that one. It's a different SKU, for sure -- licensed specfically for Windows on x64.

    Chris

  4. Hi Chris,

    It would be interesting to see what kind of speed and performance increase one would gain by switching from SAS 9.1 on 32bit Windows with 3GB ram to SAS 9.2 on 64bit windows with ,say, 32GB RAM.

    I analyze data sets with say 500.000 row 100 columns. I do things like simple data steps, proc SQL's, Proc freq/univariate/ proc logistic and bootstrap stuff.

    In other words can I convince my manager to buy a new PC

  5. When using SAS EG with 64 bit Vista many people have a problem with it not seeing a local computer, asking for a profile and getting caught in this loop of annoyance. Everyone else, including me, was able to fix this by going to the SAS site, downloading eguide64Local.exe and running it.

    However, there is ONE person who that did not work for. I don't know why. Is there a plan B ?

  6. AnnMaria,

    Sorry to hear about the Loop of Annoyance. Yes, I have a plan B, and I'll send it to you. If it works for you, then I'll post it for general use.

    With the SAS 9.2 Maint 2 installers, this actually should work correctly "out of the box". Previous to that the installers would usually register things correctly, but it can depend on the order of installation. Because there is a 32-bit and 64-bit section of the Windows registry, and EG uses the 32-bit area while SAS x64 uses the 64-bit area, sometimes they are not in synch.

    Chris

  7. Hi Chris,
    I would like to know if SAS 9.1 (or 9.2) 32-bit works on windows 7 home 64-bit (of course with no advantages in having a 64-bit machine).
    My office has only a 32-bit version and we have a new 64-bit PC.
    Thanks
    Paolo

  8. Pingback: This list goes to 11 - The SAS Dummy

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