Custom tasks that do the job

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Andy wrote in the NOTE: blog that he's stumbled upon a few custom tasks to extend features in SAS Enterprise Guide. He wondered aloud whether there might be more "free" tasks out there, available for use by anyone who can find them and download them.

The answer is: You betcha!*

Custom tasks provide a great way to fill a gap: to provide a feature that isn't built into SAS Enterprise Guide, to facilitate a process that is unique to your industry or organization, or to help create a bridge to SAS from a data source or process that isn't easy to get to from the SAS programming language. It's also a useful mechanism for us at SAS to provide early access to a feature that we're considering for the production version of SAS Enterprise Guide.

Here is a list of several useful tasks, some of which have been featured on this blog before. Some of the tasks were built for SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1, but they should run without changes in the 4.2 version. However, the tasks that were designed for the 4.2 version require 4.2 or later -- they won't work in 4.1.

  • Create a SAS format from a data set (4.2 only): lets you use the contents of a data set (from discrete values/labels or range values) to create a format.
  • Build a Top N report (4.1 or later): lets you click a few buttons to create a useful report to measure the top -- whatever it use you need to measure.
  • Run PROCs on your Facebook friends (4.2 only): this one is for fun, but it's an example of how a custom task can communicate with an external source (Facebook) and bring the information into SAS.
  • Import SPSS, JMP, and Stata files into SAS (4.1 only): this is an example of a useful feature that we previewed with SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 in a custom task, and it's built into 4.2.
  • Open Data in JMP (4.1 or later): If you have SAS Enterprise Guide and JMP installed, this task provides a simple way to launch JMP with a selected data set -- even if the data is on a remote SAS server or database library.
  • Create KPI dashboards (4.2 only): created by Bill Sawyer in SAS Technical Support, this task drives the new GKPI procedure to create interesting indicators for use in your reports.

Custom tasks are simple to download and deploy. Check this sasCommunity.org article for some instructions.

* Translation: yes, there are more free tasks.

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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.

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