Using Windows PowerShell to connect to a SAS Metadata Server


SAS Integration Technologies provides a flexible platform to create all types of apps, from simple utilities to full-blown applications. As part of the research for my SAS Global Forum 2013 paper (Create Your Own Client Apps Using SAS Integration Technologies), I've been trying to invent some useful examples that you can run from your Windows desktop. In this post I'll cover how you can use Windows PowerShell plus the SAS Integration Technologies client to connect to a SAS Metadata Server.

Creating objects with SAS Object Manager

When working with the SAS Integration Technologies client, you need a way to create the objects that represent the connections to the SAS services. For that, you must use the SAS Object Manager.

The SAS Object Manager includes a class named ObjectFactory. As the name implies, the "object factory" class is where your subsequent objects will be created. In our examples, we will use the ObjectFactoryMulti2 class to create the connection to the SAS server for use in our applications. After creating that connection, you can use methods on the connection object to get to the other services we need.

To get started with the SAS Object Manager in Windows PowerShell, use the New-Object -ComObject command.

$objFactory = New-Object -ComObject SASObjectManager.ObjectFactoryMulti2

Before you can connect to a SAS server, you must define its attributes to SAS Object Manager. A SAS server has several attributes: a host name, TCP port number, and a Class Identifier. The Class Identifier is a 32-character GUID (unique ID) that indicates the type of SAS server that you expect to connect to.

How to Find the Correct Class Identifier
If you search you may be able to find a "lookup" table for the Class Identifier values to map to the specific types of SAS servers. However, the most reliable source for these values, and usually the easiest to access, can come from SAS itself by way of PROC IOMOPERATE. Here is an example program:

proc iomoperate;
   list types;

Here's an excerpt of the SAS log, which contains the values:

SAS Metadata Server 
    Short type name  : Metadata 
    Class identifier : 0217e202-b560-11db-ad91-001083ff6836

SAS Stored Process Server 
    Short type name  : StoredProcess 
    Class identifier : 15931e31-667f-11d5-8804-00c04f35ac8c

SAS Workspace Server 
    Short type name  : Workspace 
    Class identifier : 440196d4-90f0-11d0-9f41-00a024bb830c

You use the SAS Object Manager to create a ServerDef object, and then use the CreateObjectByServer method to establish the connection. You name the SAS Metadata Server port (which is 8561 in a default installation) and the SAS Metadata Server value for the ClassIdentifier. Here is an example:
$objFactory   = New-Object -ComObject SASObjectManager.ObjectFactoryMulti2
$objServerDef = New-Object -ComObject SASObjectManager.ServerDef
# assign the attributes of your metadata server
$objServerDef.MachineDNSName  = ""
$objServerDef.Port            = 8561  # metadata server port
$objServerDef.Protocol        = 2     # 2 = IOM protocol
# Class Identifier for SAS Metadata Server
$objServerDef.ClassIdentifier = "0217E202-B560-11DB-AD91-001083FF6836"
# connect to the server
# we'll get back an OMI handle (Open Metadata Interface)
$objOMI = $objFactory.CreateObjectByServer(
        "sasdemo",  # metadata user ID
        "Password1" # password
Write-Host "Connected to " $objServerDef.MachineDNSName 
catch [system.exception]
  Write-Host "Could not connect to SAS metadata server: " $_.Exception
  exit -1

CreateObjectByServer returns a connection to the SAS Metadata Server, sometimes called OMI (which stands for "Open Metadata Interface" and is easily confused with IOM). In the above example program, the connection is in the PowerShell variable named $objOMI.

Most metadata operations require that you know the metadata ID for the repository in which your metadata resides. For most applications that's the Foundation repository. Even though it has a standard name ("Foundation"), the ID value can differ in each installation. So the next step is to use the GetRepositories method to find the ID value for the Foundation repository.

The GetRepositories method returns information within an XML-formatted structure, which you must then parse to get the information you need. Here is an example result from the GetRepositories method:

 <Repository Id="A0000001.A5B4FV3C" 
    Name="Foundation" Desc="" DefaultNS="SAS"/>
 <Repository Id="A0000001.A5Q23NT1" 
    Name="BILineage" Desc="BILineage" DefaultNS="SAS"/>

The nugget of information that you need from this example is A0000001.A5B4FV3C, which is the ID for the Foundation repository in this installation. Fortunately, Windows PowerShell provides an XML data type that makes it easy to filter and parse. The following code segment does the job:
# get list of repositories
$reps="" # this is an "out" param we need to define
$rc = $objOMI.GetRepositories([ref]$reps,0,"")

# parse the results as XML
[xml]$result = $reps

# filter down to "Foundation" repository
$foundationNode = $result.Repositories.Repository | ? {$_.Name -match "Foundation"} 
$foundationId = $foundationNode.Id

Write-Host  "Foundation ID is $foundationId"  

There! The connection is made, and you know the Foundation ID. The next step is to use the metadata API methods (such as GetMetadataObjects) to retrieve useful information from the SAS Metadata Server.

I'll describe that in my next post, but if you want a sneek peak you can see the complete code for the example here (hosted on GitHub).

Related links

Using Windows PowerShell to find registered tables and columns in SAS metadata
Running Windows PowerShell scripts
Build your own SAS data set viewer using Windows PowerShell
Example of using Windows PowerShell to query SAS table metadata from SAS Metadata Server (GitHub)


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.

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  1. Gabriela Nanau on

    this might sound like a really silly question, but how do I get this installed?

    If I try it on my computer I get this error (which I kind of expected...):

    PS C:\WINDOWS\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0> $objFactory = New-Object -ComObject SASObjectManager.ObjectFactoryMulti2;
    New-Object : Retrieving the COM class factory for component with CLSID {868CEB5F-4D78-43FC-96B4-F5B6C0341151} failed due to the following error: 80040154.
    At line:1 char:25
    + $objFactory = New-Object <<<< -ComObject SASObjectManager.ObjectFactoryMulti2;
    + CategoryInfo : ResourceUnavailable: (:) [New-Object], COMException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : NoCOMClassIdentified,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.NewObjectCommand

  2. Pingback: Using Windows PowerShell to connect to a SAS Workspace server - The SAS Dummy

  3. Thanks Chris - great resource!

    One question - is it possible to connect without passing a username / password? eg, somehow using IWA and the identity of the account running the .ps1?

    We'd like to avoid the need to store passwords where possible (although we have a workaround which involves secure folders).

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