I often wonder how many people see the word "university" in the title "SAS University Edition" and think you have to be a university student to download this software. Please help me spread the word: Anyone can download the University Edition (as long as you’re using it for learning purposes), and the best part is it's FREE.
I just returned from the South Central SAS User Group meeting (in San Antonio) where I attended a talk by Ryan Lafler (Kirk's son). One of the first questions from the audience was, "Is the University Edition a watered-down, restricted version of SAS?" The answer is no. The SAS University Edition – let’s call it UE – is a complete version of SAS that even includes SAS/STAT, SAS/IML, and SAS/Access. Is there a catch? Just one: you are not supposed to use the SAS University Edition for commercial purposes.
I could go on and on about how awesome it is that SAS offers this option for learners, but the title of this blog includes the word "tips" so I better get going and tell you a few. First of all, to obtain your free copy of SAS, click here.
...or, even easier, just type "SAS University Edition" into Google or whatever search engine you use.
Here's another good tip: If you are using UE to learn SAS, follow the installation instructions and create a folder on your hard drive called "c:\SASUniversityEdition\Myfolders" (or the appropriate form on Apple or Linux) and place your data (such as Excel Workbooks) there. Here's the reason: The virtual environment is running Linux, where file naming conventions are not the same as those on Microsoft or Apple. So, to communicate between your "real" computer and the "virtual" computer, you must set up a shared folder. (There are step-by-step instructions in the installation guides.) I should also mention that my two books, Introduction to SAS University Edition and Biostatistics by Example Using SAS Studio show you screen shots of every step in setting up UE and SAS Studio.
The last piece of information I want to share with you is how easy it is to use the Import Utility. It's even better than the Import Wizard that’s part of the Display Manager. You can import data from just about any source (Excel, Access, etc.) and for most files, you don't even have to specify the data source — the Import Utility will look at the file extension and, if it is one it recognizes (.xls or .xlsx, for example) it will perform the conversion automatically.
OK, a bonus tip. If you’re slightly older (such as myself), find a young person to give you a hand when you install the University Edition and SAS Studio! They can probably do it in half the time!