Frequently asked questions about SAS 9.3 and SAS Enterprise Guide


As I write this, SAS 9.3 has not yet been "shipped", but its release is imminent. I've already heard many questions about how SAS Enterprise Guide works with the new version, so I decided to write this "Frequently-soon-to-be-asked questions" document to help sort it out.

What version of SAS Enterprise Guide comes with SAS 9.3?

Initially, you'll get SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 (known sometimes by its "deployed version" as 4.305). We call this a "remastered" version, because it already contains all of the hotfixes that have been made available since the initial release in August 2010.

Does this "remastered" version include any new features?

No, there are no new features beyond what's already in the 4.3 release. The development team is working on a new release, tentatively called "SAS Enterprise Guide 5.1", which contains many new features including a few that take advantage of new SAS 9.3 capabilities. We previewed some of these new features at SAS Global Forum 2011.

Ooh, cool! When will that 5.1 thing be released?

Do you really think that I'm going to comment on software ship schedules on this blog? Come on, you should know better than that.

Well, I had to ask. So what versions of SAS Enterprise Guide will work with SAS 9.3?

You'll need SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 to connect to a SAS 9.3 environment. From a purely technical standpoint, you can continue to use SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 and 4.2 with a locally installed version of SAS on your PC, even SAS 9.3. (That's local SAS only, with no SAS metadata environment.) Of course, we recommend SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 for the best experience. And if you call SAS Technical Support with questions about using an earlier version of SAS Enterprise Guide with SAS 9.3, the first response will probably be "use the 4.3 version."

Can I use the same SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 to connect to SAS 9.2 and SAS 9.3?

Yes. And when SAS Enterprise Guide 5.1 is released, it will also work with both SAS 9.2 and SAS 9.3.

I have SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 installed on my desktop already, working with SAS 9.2. Do I need to install a newer version to connect to SAS 9.3?

No, there is no need to reinstall the desktop client application. However, we recommend that you apply any available hotfixes for SAS Enterprise Guide before you connect to SAS 9.3. There are a few compatibility issues that have been fixed along the way. Again, if you install the version of SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 that ships with SAS 9.3, those fixes are already applied.

What happens to my current SAS Enterprise Guide if I install the SAS 9.3 package on the same desktop machine?

Okay, stay with me here... When you install SAS 9.3 with its remastered version of SAS Enterprise Guide, and if you already have SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 installed, there is a bit of magic involved. Magical deployment fairies will sprinkle the new SAS Enterprise Guide version into the SAS 9.3 "home" directory, take a peek at your "old" SAS Enterprise Guide for any recent content (custom tasks, more recent hotfixes) and move that content into the new location, and then remove (uninstall) the old version of SAS Enterprise Guide.

When it's over, you shouldn't notice any difference in how things work.

What about the other client applications? How do they work with SAS 9.3?

Here's a quick summary:

  • SAS Add-In For Microsoft Office 4.3 is included with SAS 9.3 BI as a remastered version, just like SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3. It works with SAS 9.2 and SAS 9.3 as I've described here.
  • SAS Management Console 9.3 ships with SAS 9.3. It works only with SAS 9.3. You can continue to use the 9.2 version for SAS 9.2.
  • SAS Information Map Studio 4.31 ships with SAS 9.3. It works only with SAS 9.3. You can continue to use the 4.2 version for SAS 9.2.
  • The BI web clients such as SAS Web Report Studio and SAS BI Dashboard also have a 4.31 version. They work only with SAS 9.3. You can continue to use the 4.3 versions of these with SAS 9.2.

Can SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 and SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office 4.3 work with the SAS 9.3 BI web applications?

Yes. The integration features that allow these desktop applications to create, publish, and open SAS Web Report Studio reports will continue to work with the 4.3 web clients (SAS 9.2) and 4.31 web clients (SAS 9.3).

I hope that these answers are helpful; I expect that they might raise more questions that I haven't yet thought of. Add new questions to the comments, and I'll try to revise or amend this list in response.


About Author

Chris Hemedinger

Director, SAS User Engagement

+Chris Hemedinger is the Director of SAS User Engagement, which includes our SAS Communities and SAS User Groups. 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


  1. Pingback: Enterprise Guide 4.3.1 and 9.3 Stored Processes - Real BI for Real Users

  2. Hi,

    I am using SAS EG 4.3 on a server. I need to import several csv files that are residing on a server.
    Each month a new csv file will be added to the existing ones.

    I would like to create a macro that will identify the number of csv files, import them to SAS EG 4.3 and finally concatenate them in one master SAS data set.

    I believe that PIPE do not work with SAS EG.

    I would very much appreciate your help.

    Kind regards


  3. Chris.

    Maybe a "tip" to the Guide's guys...

    For me, isn't so easy to upgrade to Guide 4.3. I had a 9.2 TS2M2 release and use "SAS Roles" in SAS Management Console. Because of this release, the roles works well only to Guide 4.2. The 4.3 version ignore the roles...

    I did a test in another env, where a 9.2TS2M3 release is installed. In this case, the roles works only for Guide 4.3...

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      Yes, the role metadata is version-specific. I believe that tech support can help you to get additional EG versions registered in metadata, but it's a manual process and not facilitated by the software deployment tools.

  4. chris~
    i work on sas enterprise guide 5.1, and can i use enterpirse guide 4.3 to open it? and does it work?


    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      No, EG 4.3 cannot open a 5.1 project. In general, earlier versions of Enterprise Guide cannot open project documents from later versions.

  5. A connection could not be made to the SAS Metadata Server but is required for the current operation. Please see your administrator.

    Whats the solution

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      Sri, this could be any of a number of causes - network issue, credentials problem, or others. I advise contacting SAS Technical Support or else your local SAS administrator, if you have one.

  6. Philip Coltharp on

    I am working with a new installation of SAS EG 5.1. I've noticed that in my installation of EG, when I view a dataset, my installation only has the Data>Append Table as the only available "action" for the data set (or any dataset). Where my EG 4.3, and my work mate's EG 5.1, has 15 more avaiable actions under Data plus actions under "Describe", "Graph" and "Analyze". Is there a quick fix to this? If I need to put a help ticket, how might I describe this problem to make it more clear to the those whom will respond to it?

        • Aanchal Nandwani on


          I am a SAS administrator and new in this domain.We are using SAS 9.3 and Enterprise Guide. 5.1.
          My users are not able to save their Guide projects in their local system but only in the SAS Folders.

          Could you tell me what permission need to be changed and where so that they are able to save their projects locally as well

          Thanks in advance

          • Chris Hemedinger
            Chris Hemedinger on

            The only two reasons that I can think of for this:

            1. You have roles/capabilities restricted for users in the SAS Metadata Server. It is possible to disable "save local files" with this feature, but personally I don't advise it.
            2. Or, your users are accessing SAS Enterprise Guide via a terminal server like Citrix or remote desktop, and don't have access from EG to their local system.

            If you can't resolve it, I suggest contacting SAS Technical Support. Also -- as I'm sure you're aware -- SAS 9.3 and EG 5.1 are old versions (released in 2012). Even if you can't update your version of SAS, you can use a later version of SAS Enterprise Guide. SAS Enterprise Guide v8.2 can work with SAS 9.3.

  7. SAS 9.3 automatically converts illegal characters in variable names to an underscore when importing from an SQL database, when I run the same SAS code in EG 5.1 it fails due apparently to 5.1 not converting those characters. Is there some way around this issue?

  8. Hi Chris,

    We have installed SAS 9.3 on a new server, but we also have other older servers that still run SAS 9.2 and SAS 9.1.3. Most users *(like me) have EGuide 4.1 and 4.3 installed on their PCs. However, even though EGuide 5.1 has been tested in isolation and is working fine, when technology added EGuide 5.1 to my PC as a pilot test, all 3 EGuides stopped working.

    When launching EGuide 5.1 it comes up with "Fatal error : CLR error: 80004005"
    EGuide 4.3 says "Attempted to read or write protected memory"
    EGuide 4.1 comes up with some Common Language Runtime Error.

    Can you please tell me if all 3 EGuide versions can peacefully coexist (we run Windows XP on our PCs)

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on


      All three versions of EG can coexist on one machine.

      The error you see indicates a problem with the .NET runtime. EG 4.1 uses .NET 1.1, 4.3 uses .NET 3.5, and 5.1 uses .NET 4.0. Each version of EG is "pinned" to a specific runtime version, so you need all 3 runtimes in order for all versions of EG to work on one machine. I suggest installing/repairing each of those .NET runtime packages to see if that helps.

      • Thanks Chris, I think we are getting close, all 3 versions have been installed to a fresh machine and 4.3 and 5.1 work fine. 4.1 worked fine until we installed the other 2, now 4.1 gets the following error ....

        File or assembly name SAS.OCT.OlapClientEngine, or one of its dependencies, was not found.

        In EGuide 4.1 the dll file is located in C:\Program Files\SAS\Enterprise Guide 4\Shared Files\BIClientOLAP\1.3
        In EGuide 4.3 the dll file is located in C:\Program Files\SAS\EnterpriseGuide\4.3
        In EGuide 5.1 the dll file is located in C:\Program Files\SAS\SASEnterpriseGuide\5.1

        If I copy the SAS.OCT.OlapClientEngine from C:\Program Files\SAS\Enterprise Guide 4\Shared Files\BIClientOLAP\1.3 to C:\Program Files\SAS\Enterprise Guide 4 then it works so it seems some path variable is getting overwritten when I install the other 2 EGuides.

        Do you know what could be causing this?

        • Chris Hemedinger
          Chris Hemedinger on

          Peter, it could be that there is a bit of confusion with the SAS/SharedFiles location. There should be only one official "SharedFiles" location per machine, shared among the different versions of SAS and EG. But it's possible that during installation of one of the apps that a "rogue" SharedFiles location was created and now EG 4.1 can't find it.

          How to fix? Well, you could do what you've done with the manual copy of the files, but that may be difficult to maintain. You might need to relocate BIClientOLAP\1.3 (and some other stuff) to where EG thinks the current shared files location is. The Windows Registry may give a clue. Look at the value of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SAS Institute Inc.\Common Data\Shared Files (on 64-bit Windows, that's HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\SAS Institute Inc.\Common Data\Shared Files).

  9. Stephen Michael on

    HI Chris.

    I have this simple Proc Import that I am using in SAS 9.3, but when it takes the text file and makes it a SAS table, it truncates two of the columns to a length of 28 when there are definitely records in these columns of more than 28. Why would this occur? Is this a SAS 9.3 thing as I have run this SAS query many times before using SAS 9.2 and never had this issue.

    Here is the code:


    Thank you!

  10. I'm using SAS EG 4. My friend send a project which being save using SAS 5.1. However, I'm unable to open it using SAS EG4. Is there any way I can fix it?

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      Sorry, no. EG projects are not backward compatible with earlier versions of EG. Any release of EG can open projects made with a previous release, but not vice versa.

  11. I am have SAS EG projects created in SAS EG 5.1 version. My client machine is having SAS EG 4.3 version. When I try to open the .egp project in SAS eg 4.3 version I get the message "Unable to open the file . The project version not supported or file is from a later version" . Is there any way I can fix it ?

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      No, later versions of EG projects are not readable by earlier versions. The only solution is to install EG 5.1 on your client machine. You can have multiple versions of EG on the same machine, so you can keep 4.3 along with 5.1 if you need to make that transition.

      • i am having the same problem. the weird thing is it was working when i installed it but after A week its giving this problem.i dont know the solution.

        • Chris Hemedinger
          Chris Hemedinger on

          Chiti, are you saying that you were able to open EG 5.1 projects in 4.3? That doesn't sound correct. If you had both EG 4.3 and 5.1 installed (supported), then maybe you were using one version and not the other without realizing it.

  12. Chris;
    I'm running EG 4.3 in a SAS 9.2 environment. If I write a program and want to save it on the server, we have this option named $FPATH which only allows directories from our primary assigned group to be displayed as a place to store the program. I'm on an IBM P770 AIX 7.1 box. I think the option is set in restricted options, I may be wrong. Is there a way to have someone's $FPATH show more than one set of directories based on the number of groups associated with their UNIX user ID??? Otherwise, I've very limited to where I can store my program. Thanks in advance!

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on


      The restricted option controls the starting root where you can navigate the server file system. It's a single directory, as you know. Your admins probably have it set during a startup script, and the exact path depends on your group membership. But only one path can be specified as the root.

      However, you might be able to access the other directories by adding symbolic links (using AIX shell commands) from your "allowed" path to the other paths that you also want to access.

  13. Hi.
    Some of my users are getting: A connection could not be made to the SAS Metadata Server but is required for the current operation. Please see your administrator.
    The users re setup correctly and have all the required access to servers? They were abel to use EG up to a few days ago. This is not affecting all users.

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on


      You might have the affected users try the ITConfig tool (installed with the Integration Technologies client) to test their connections to the metadata server. If you need more guidance on this, open a track with SAS Technical Support.

  14. I have many EG projects that are running similarly on different data. I want to introduce a new section in each project.

    When I was working with conventional SAS programs, I used a comparison tool. I introduced my sections in my model and tested it. When fine, I used a comparison tool to identify the difference between old program and the new model and with the tool, I was able to copy all the sections to the programs that didn't have those sections.

    I don't see any equivalent tool in EG for programs that are stored in the EG projects. It would be nice to also be able to compare some process flows, data and logs. It is very combersome to compare visually the projects.

    Is there a way to open an EG project with an XML tool. We also used to work with SAS programs stored in SAS catalogs. This is no more available in EG. Using SCL, we were able to convert those catalog program in SAS tables and then we were able to scan and compare the code. It there a way to read an EG project and to convert it in a searchable and comparable format?


  15. We are using EG as a programmer tool. We are looking at the same habits as we had with Base SAS. We know this is different, but it is lacking some functionalies that were so useful. We try to cope without them. Maybe SAS could help.

    For example, we used to define a filename SASPGM pointing to the Windows folder SASPGM that contained all our programs. When we needed the program, we just typed
    %include SASPGM(ExtractData.SAS);

    We still can do that within EG, but what we need is that the project (or the process flow) to use this way of addressing the programs. It is a logical addressing instead of a physical addressing. It doesn't seem useful at the first glance, but it is crucial in development, testing and production environments.

    What is also lacking is a filename list in the server tree. We already have a libname list and a folder list. We used to have an extensive use of folder filenames. This is great when you have undetermined raw data files that are stored in a Windows folder or when you want to put your HTML results in a Windows folder.


  16. Vinayak Alwal on

    I want to build query for the fixing the length of the column in required length format. E.g the Customer name is "Stephen" only - Stephen is 07 the digit of lenth but customer name column is required in 40 digit of length including in blanks spaces... and if the column is empty eventhough column should be in required 40 length of the column. If more than the 40 character then system only pic the starting 40 characters.

    Another query is required in numerical field where the numerical value is 05 digit of length(length is flutucate any time) only but I require the column in required 13 digit of length with starting digit to be fill with 0's. E.g value in column "1000" but output should require in "0000000001000"

    Please help to how build this query in SAS EBI 4.3 version

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on


      Wow -- very specific needs!

      For the first case, you can use the TRIM() or COMPRESS() function to modify the column you're comparing against so that the padding spaces don't play into the query. For example:

      WHERE TRIM(t1.CustomerName) = "Stephen"
      /* or, to account for case differences */
      WHERE UPPER(TRIM(t1.CustomerName)) = "STEPHEN"

      For the second case, you can use the Zw. format to add leading zeros to an output. Example:

      SELECT OutNumber as t1.Number FORMAT=Z13.

      If using SAS Enterprise Guide, the Query Builder provides methods to specify functions in the Expression Builder, and formats in the column properties.

  17. I have a SAS AF question. I know this blog is about EG, but maybe you or someone can help me.
    I have an AF catalog. I run it on a Linux server using an Attachmate ReflectionsX emulator. If I run it in 9.1 the screens look fine and are normal size - about 6x8". If I run it in 9.3, the screens are all smaller, so are all of the components. the screen is about 5x7 - about an inch smaller all around. SAS has not been able to help me with this. The checkboxes are too teeny to even see. Have you or has anyone out there experienced this? If so, how did you fix it without recoding the whole app?

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      Debby, I haven't personally seen that. But we can see if other readers might have. SAS Tech Support is usually the best hope for something like this -- but with all of the moving parts (including an X-windows emulator) it might be difficult to track down. I'm guessing your Linux version is also different between 9.1 and 9.3? Or is it the same host?

  18. Dear Colleagues,

    I am using SAS EBI 4.3, I have field details like 1234abc11111, 675abc22222, I like to ectract only alfabet in seprate column. which function can help me to do so.


  19. I am fairly new to SAS EG so I apologize if this question is trivial to some. I have over 10M records that came to me by a vendor concatenated with an alpha character as the delimiter. I am trying to separate the data and cannot figure out how to do this in SAS EG. In Excel, I could do "Text To Columns" and set the delimiter as the alpha character the vendor used. Does anyone know the name of the function in SAS EG that could do this? Below is an example of the data I need to split (delimiter is a capital "i" and a little hard to see).


    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest method is probably DATA step using the SCAN function to find each "word" separated by the I, and then use INPUT function to read that character string as a number into SAS. Then OUTPUT the result so that each number appears in its own record. You can post the question to SAS Support Communities and a fellow SAS user will provide you some sample code to accomplish it.

      • I was able to use a SUBSTR computed column to pull only the first 10 characters to the left of the delimiter.

        Thank you so much.

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