Should you care about 64-bit applications?

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Question: Is there a 64-bit version of SAS Enterprise Guide?

Answer: SAS Enterprise Guide is a 32-bit application, even with its most recent release. As such, it is still completely supported on any 64-bit Windows machine, but it runs in the 32-bit subsystem (also known as WoW64 – short for "Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit"). Many of your other business applications, including Microsoft Office*, still run as 32-bit applications.

A 32-bit process cannot load or call any 64-bit modules within its process. That's a Windows architecture rule. So SEGuide.exe cannot load any 64-bit drivers or providers – it simply won't see them, in most cases.

But SAS Enterprise Guide does not communicate with SAS in-process. It talks to SAS out-of-process, where SAS is its own separate application running on the machine (SAS.exe). There is no restriction for a 32-bit application to talk to a 64-bit application across process boundaries, so this Just Works. SEGuide.exe can talk to a 64-bit SAS process running on the same machine or on a different machine (Windows or UNIX box). And a 64-bit SAS process can load 64-bit ODBC drivers or data providers, if needed (but it cannot load a 32-bit driver).

People often ask for a 64-bit version of SAS Enterprise Guide. And I know that we will offer it, someday. But it isn't as urgent as some might think, since it's the SAS process that performs all of the data access and computations, and so that's where we really exploit the 64-bit architecture.

* Microsoft does offer a 64-bit version of Microsoft Office 2010. But most organizations do not yet use it because it cannot interoperate with 32-bit add-ins (including the SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office), ActiveX controls, and data providers.

Related posts about 64-bit topics

Myths about 64-bit computing on Windows
Are 64-bit client applications twice as good as 32-bit applications?
How do I export from SAS to Excel files: Let me count the ways
Top gotchas when moving to 64-bit SAS on Windows

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About Author

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.

16 Comments

  1. Chris,

    Thanks for this timely post. I have just upgraded to Windows 7. My old projects open just fine, but for some reason I cannot edit my old SAS data sets. When I select Edit > Protect Data, I get the usual prompt about switching to update mode. When I click OK, I get this message

    "Enterprise Guide is not able to open this data set in update mode; it will remain, or will be opened, in read-only mode.

    The open data operation failed. The following error occurred. [Error] File EC100020.WORLD cannot be updated because its encoding does not match the session encoding or the file is in a format native to another host, such as WINDOWS_32."

    Do I need to convert my SAS data sets to a 64 bit format?

    I am able to see my data, and my old project runs fine. So why can't I edit my data?

    Thank you!

  2. Chris Hemedinger on

    Susan,

    Yes, possibly, if you are using SAS for Windows x64.

    Right now you can view the data thanks to CEDA. See:

    http://www2.sas.com/proceedings/sugi31/225-31.pdf

    and

    http://blogs.sas.com/sasdummy/index.php?/archives/176-Finding-the-FOREIGNers-in-your-SAS-environment.html

    You can use the EG Upload Data Set task to "move" your data into a SAS library, and it will convert the data to the SAS encoding as needed. Then you could use the Download Data Set task to copy them back to another directory for safe keeping, if you want.

  3. Chris,

    I was watching a demo of a new microsoft product and they were definitely emphasizing the performance boost for using Office 64-bit for the particular app (PowerPivot). I use 64-bit Office but have not tried AMO. I did hit a snag on Blackberry software but that is another matter.

    When does SAS plan on supporting 64-bit Office with AMO?

  4. Chris Hemedinger on

    Alan,

    It's being looked at for the next release. Can't really pin a date on it just yet, but I know that we'll be monitoring the adoption of 64-bit Office from our customers and, if they need it, we'll try to provide a 64-bit SAS Add-In as soon as we can.

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  6. Chris, a year passed, does the latest SAS AMO support 64-bit Office 2010? If not, will the next release of AMO support 64-bit Office 2010?

  7. Pingback: Are 64-bit client applications twice as good as 32-bit applications? - The SAS Dummy

  8. If SAS going to roll out their SAS EG5.1 64 bit, please make sure that it will be able to communicate or call odbc or jdbc 32 bit driver since a lot of enterprise use an old database engine such as oracle 10g that does not support 64 bit.

      • Anton Sugito on

        yes, i do know that there is a 32 bit version of sas, but for some reason my IT dept is not ready yet to install sas 5.1 32 bit on my computer. Strangely enough they are ready for rolling sas 5.1 64 bit version. I dont know why they more prioritize the deployment of 64 bit sas eg 5.1 when our database oracle is still 10g 32 bit. at the moment i use sas eg 4.1 32 bit bcoz that is the only 32 bit version that is available to me.

  9. Pingback: The top gotchas when moving to 64-bit SAS for Windows - The SAS Dummy

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