SAS users, by definition, do not embrace the mysterious.
That's one of the main reasons that they use SAS: to demystify some data or process. And so, when you (as a SAS user) have gone to the trouble of designing a process flow in SAS Enterprise Guide, you like to be aware of some basic metrics, such as "how long will it take to run?"
It's difficult to predict how long a SAS process will take to run, as it depends more upon the data than on the actual program instructions. But one thing that we're very good at is telling you how long it took to run the last time that you ran it. In SAS Enterprise Guide, you can find this information at the task level by right-clicking on the task (or program node) and selecting Properties. On the General tab, you'll see the "Last execution time".
If you want to gather this information at a process flow or project level, you can repeat these steps for each item in the flow, make a note of the "execution time", then add up the numbers (expressed in hours, minutes, and seconds) to create a grand total. This tedious assignment makes for a perfect torture device for a summer intern who, in this economy, should be grateful to have a job at all.
Or, to make the job less tedious, you could use the Project Reviewer task. This is a custom task (available for download here) that shows a summary view of your process flows and allows you to create a report from the information. The task works with SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3 and 5.1.
Features of the Project Reviewer task include:
1. A selection list with all of the process flows within your project.
2. A list of each "runnable" task; that is, program, task, query, export step, etc. Each task has an "ordinal" (its sequence in the process flow), a name, a descriptive type, the user ID of the last person to modify it, the running time for its most recent iteration, the date/time modified, the date/time created, and whether the task generated errors ("red X" in the flow).
You can sort the items in the list by clicking on the column header for the value you want to sort. Click on the column header again to reverse the sort sequence.
3. A summary of the task count, and total clock time that "running" the flow represents.
4. A Create Report button, which generates a SAS program to produce a simple report of all of the project contents, summarized by each process flow. If you have multiple SAS environments, you can use the Report server list to select which SAS server to use when processing the report.
Let me know if you find this task to be useful and whether you have any improvements to suggest.
Some final notes/links:
- Download location for the Project Reviewer task (ZIP file). The ZIP file includes the task DLL and a README.PDF document with instructions for how to install and use the task. Note that there is a different DLL for each minor version of SAS Enterprise Guide -- be sure to copy/install the correct one for your version.
- Related tip: Using the SYSECHO statement to track progress of SAS programs in SAS Enterprise Guide.
- SAS Enterprise Guide hotfix locations: 4.305 with 9.2, 4.305 with 9.3, and 5.1 - if you intend to use this task along with SAS Enterprise Guide automation (for example, in a scheduled project), you'll need the latest hotfixes for proper operation