Chris Hemedinger reveals all the secrets to custom tasks in SAS EG

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To thousands of end users around the world, SAS® Enterprise Guide is a productivity tool for data management, analytics, reporting and SAS programming.  As many features as SAS Enterprise Guide offers, these still represent just a fraction of what people can do with SAS.

That's why a growing number of people see SAS Enterprise Guide as something else: a platform for custom features.  In this era of "apps" that accomplish focus tasks, SAS developers are looking for a way to distribute their ideas for custom features to the SAS users that they support.  And SAS custom tasks – which can work in SAS Enterprise Guide and the SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office – offer a robust method for doing just that.

For someone who is new to application development, the idea of building a SAS custom task can be intimidating.  After all, it requires not just SAS programming skills, but also the use of object-oriented programming in Microsoft Visual Studio.  You can choose your programming language (C# or Visual Basic), but you still need to step outside the traditional SAS application framework.

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The benefits are worth it.  SAS custom tasks offer almost limitless options for the user interface experience, and you have tremendous flexibility for capturing your custom business logic to help your end user to do more with SAS.

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Getting started doesn't have to be a scary experience – all you need is some guidance.  And fortunately, we've got that "know-how" ready to deliver in two forms: a SAS Press book, and a brand-new SAS Business Knowledge Series course!

The book is Custom Tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide Using Microsoft .NET, by Chris Hemedinger.  In the book, Chris introduces you to the tools you need and outlines the best practices for building good, solid custom tasks.  He also provides templates and dozens of examples to get you started.

Alan Churchill from Savian had this to say, “The meat of the book is how to create custom tasks in .NET for SAS. This is where it shines. Hemedinger lays out what interfaces are needed, how to build the .NET project, tips on debugging, and lots of sample code. For a beginner in this area, he walks them through the process. For a more experienced .NET developer, Hemedinger saves a lot of time by pointing out exactly what interfaces should be used; he then provides that all important code sample for making it happen. A great book and one I will use again and again."

In his new course, Developing Custom Tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide, Chris brings that knowledge into the classroom for a two-day hands-on experience.  You'll learn how to use the APIs and tools to build new tasks, examine lots of examples and even build your own task from scratch!  With Chris as your instructor, you'll be learning from someone who has built more tasks than he can count…and who even helped to develop the custom task framework that you'll be using.  Plus…you'll receive a free copy of Chris' book!

So, relax and let Chris be your guide to extend or customize your SAS Enterprise Guide environment to fit your needs and that of your industry or business.

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Cindy Puryear

Senior Marketing Specialist, SAS Publications

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