Why is SAS 9.4 a big deal?


SAS Global Forum 2013 is a couple weeks in the past, but the feedback and anticipation shared by customers as they heard about SAS 9.4 are still fresh in our minds here at SAS.  As we put the final touches on the June release, the excitement we felt in San Francisco is still in the air.

To borrow a quote from Ron Burgundy in the movie Anchorman -  "I don’t know how to put this, but SAS 9.4 is kind of a big deal."   So why is SAS 9.4 a big deal?  

Presenters at Global Forum shared some of the SAS 9.4 story and there are many, many new features I could include here, but these are some of my favorites so far: 

  • Clustering  support for the metadata and middle-tier servers enabling scalability and higher availability.  Through server clustering, where multiple servers manage copies of the same data, the threat of data loss or whole-system downtime is drastically reduced. Clustering also allows users and tasks to be spread across the clustered environment to distribute the workload and improve performance.
  • Introduction of SAS Environment Manager, which provides SAS administrators with a deeper understanding of their SAS deployments  and increased capabilities to monitor and manage their SAS servers. Through a plug-in interface, SAS Environment Manager deploys software agents on each managed SAS server and interacts with these agents to gather health and availability information, perform resource control actions, collect server resource usage, and more.
  • For mobile  delivery of SAS reports, there are the new options in Base SAS Output Delivery System (ODS) EPUB support. With ODS EPUB you can output SAS reports as e-books that can be read with iBooks on the iPad and iPhone.  Additionally, support is provided for output to HTML5 and Microsoft PowerPoint files.
  • DS2 sessions and demos were highly attended as SAS programmers were interested in hearing about the new SAS programming language that allows code to be submitted from Base SAS sessions to run in-database to perform advanced data manipulation without moving the data out of the database.
  • In the Opening Session, SAS CEO Jim Goodnight explained, “SAS 9.4 allows your IT team to deploy SAS with confidence that it meets the requirements for security, authentication, scale and resiliency.”  Attendees were interested to learn more about middle-tier and metadata server clustering, scalability support and increased authentication support in SAS 9.4.
  • Goodnight’s statement during the Opening Session, “SAS 9.4 delivers cloud-friendly architecture,” added to considerable interest in the new SAS Cloud tools and technologies, including SAS App Central, SAS App Engine, SAS vApp technology and SAS Web Editor.  Cloud-friendly SAS enables rapid deployment of SAS in cloud environments, provides simple management tools and processes, and promotes innovation through a SAS cloud development platform.
  • The SAS Web Application Server embedded in SAS 9.4 reduces overall cost and complexity of SAS deployments. By eliminating the cost to acquire, integrate,  maintain and support third-party software, the SAS Web Application Server saves you money and time.  By reducing integration complexity and embedding software optimized for SAS, the SAS Web Application Server provides right-sized, integrated technology that simplifies IT management and makes your SAS environment cloud-ready.
  • Availability of High-Performance Analytics procedures (HP PROCs) to customers running on a single server. Customers will be able to leverage the performance benefits of multi-core computing as they take advantage of these new HP PROCs. An added benefit of the HP PROCs is that when you grow your SAS deployment from a single server to multiple servers, your high-performance code automatically scales to run in your multi-server, distributed environment.
  • A Decision Management user experience that combines data management, business rules management, data lineage, orchestration and more – all from within one unified user interface.

Which SAS 9.4 topic is the "biggest deal" to you? Which topics would you like to hear more about prior to the June release?

There is plenty to say about SAS 9.4.  Be sure to check back for more information!


About Author

Robby Powell


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  2. I am the best SAS analyst from University of Southern California. I primarily use SAS for Genome-wide Association Analysis of SNP data for Cancer and Diabetes Study. My expertise is running regressions efficiently for very large datasets (>100 GB).

    My recommendation are:

    1. Update SAS for Mac OS. Windows is the past and Mac is the future.

    2. Release a very simple and basic SAS app for Mac iOS. This can include data step and frequently used procedures. Imagine if people can use SAS on their iPads.

    If you do this, I guarantee your profit would sky rocket.

    • Christina Harvey
      Christina Harvey on


      Thanks for your comment. We'll see your suggestions are shared with the right organizations.


  3. Pingback: PROC DELETE: it’s not dead yet - The SAS Dummy

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