Applications Development: SAS Data and Macros on iPhone


Did you know that our tongue possesses an average of 10,000 taste buds to differentiate between the myriad flavors? Luckily for you, at SAS Global Forum we have a wonderful array of flavors to appease your every taste bud. There is something special for everyone in the new series that I’ve started – Snapshot of The Best Papers of 2010. This series will highlight some of the tracks you will see in Las Vegas this year, give you a brief description of the sections and let you hear from some of the authors who were 2010 paper winners.

The flavor of this week is SAS Data and Macros on iPhone by Sy Truong. It won the best paper presented under the Applications Development section. This year, George Fernandez from the University of Nevada, Reno chairs this section. Every year, the field of SAS applications keeps getting bigger and better. For those presenting under this section this year, here’s an inside scoop: The winning presentation will be the one that best exemplifies how SAS can be customized, extended or used with other software packages to improve performance and sustainability.

In the meantime, I got in touch Sy Truong to find out what made his paper among the best of 2010. Truong is the co-founder of Meta-Xceed (MXI) and software designer for the firm. Here’s the lowdown from my conversation with him.

VI. Why did you pick this topic? Was there a particular business problem you were trying to solve?
ST. Mobile computing is changing how we interact with information. People are no longer constrained to their desks when needing information to make business decisions. SAS has powerful analytics, which can allow users to identify key business decisions. SAS macros are a flexible and easy way for SAS programmers to provide other users with an easy way to run sophisticated analytics with just a few parameters. This analytical power of SAS is now delivered to the iPhone, making it a powerful mobile tool that can be accessed anywhere.

VI. Is there anything you’d like to share that’s not in your paper?
ST. The iPhone is iconic and groundbreaking within its class of mobile devices. In a similar way, the iPad has created a new standard for tablet computers. My efforts in developing tools to deliver SAS macros to the iPhone are also available on the iPad. I am also working on a BlackBerry version and perhaps an Android in the future.

VI. How did you prepare for the presentation? Do you have any tips and advice for future presenters?
ST. The details of the paper are just elaborations on steps I took to develop the application. The other parts I enjoy writing about are in the introduction and conclusion sections, where I include commentary on the industry and technology. To prepare, I just become a news junky on the technology. I like papers with a combination of detailed code and tips that are combined with big-picture themes and comments about how it can “change the world.” If presenters have this balance, their paper will be well-received.

VI. What was your experience presenting at SAS Global Forum 2010?
ST. I enjoyed presenting at Seattle. It went by so fast that I did not see the trees for the forest!

VI. What kind of feedback and comments did you receive after your paper presentation? Did you submit a paper this year?
ST. People wanted more specific applications on their mobile devices rather than a large monolithic system. I think that is the nature of mobile devices. It is like a Swiss Army knife, where it can do many little tasks and not intended to have all the features in the world. I have been invited to speak about the BlackBerry version of the SAS macro program, which is extended to run stored processes. I am also invited to speak on the SAS Global Forum 2011 iPhone App – I hope to also have the iPad version ready!

You can read other papers written by Truong on as well as check out the other paper winners of 2010. And to make sure you don’t miss any of the interviews or information about tracks you can expect to see at SAS Global Forum 2011, subscribe. To subscribe, click on the orange Snapshot of The Best Papers of 2010 XML button in the right nav or paste this URL into your browser ( If you are unsure how to use RSS readers, follow the instructions in this blog post, How to Get Started with Google Reader.

I’d love for this to be a dialogue, so please feel free to send me your thoughts on this post. And stay connected –my next post will bring you the winner under Business Intelligence and Analytics.

Who knew there's more to this person than meets the eye! Read more about him on Waynette Tubbs SASonality series as she chats with him further!


About Author

Viji Iyer


  1. Pingback: Business Intelligence and Analytics: Business Intelligence Competency - SAS Users Groups

  2. Viji,
    Thanks for the interesting interview blog. I think the blog is a great way of sharing a perspective from previous authors that would give insights for new presenters. SAS conferences have a cult like following. This blog is a great extension of that in anticipation for the next one in Las Vegas.

  3. This was one of my favorite papers and presentations from the Seattle Global Forum. Looking forward to Sy's presentation in April.

  4. Thanks so much Waynette! I agree with you in that there is a lot that can be learnt not just from the papers that have been presented but also the process that went into it.

  5. Waynette Tubbs on

    I think this is going to be a great series. It is so interesting to learn more about what made a topic so interesting that an author was compelled to write a paper about it - not an easy task! I can't wait to read your other interviews.
    Waynette Tubbs

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to Top