ESM and S9CA: Useful Tools for Migration from SAS 9 to SAS Viya


Change is hard and can be a bit scary. We tend to resist change as we get comfortable with our routines and how things work. However, many times we fail to see the benefits of that something new. Imagine if we didn't move from MS DOS to Windows? If we'd chose beta over VHS? If we still drove station wagons instead of SUVs? I could go on, but I think you get the point. Change is many times beneficial and necessary, even if it's different.

So, this brings me to the topic of migrating from SAS 9 to SAS Viya. Much has been written on the benefits of SAS Viya, so I'll not cover that here. What I do plan to pass along is that SAS has created many helpful tools to ease the migration. I'll cover two of these tools in detail: the Enterprise Session Monitor and SAS 9 Content Assessment.

Enterprise Session Monitor (ESM) and SAS 9 Content Assessment (S9CA) are part of the Ecosystem Diagnostics Family providing glass view into your SAS Environment. 

Key features of ESM include maximizing resource utilization, substantially increasing your effective operating capacity through advanced batch schedule optimization, performance tuning, and enabling cooperative resource sharing. Moreover, S9CA is a collection of applications designed to help you understand your SAS 9.4 deployment and content, gather and prepare SAS 9.4 content for migration, and import SAS 9.4 content.

ESM and S9CA work together offering a complete picture of your SAS Environment, but can also work independently. ESM provides capacity planning information which helps in the sizing of SAS environments. The SAS 9 Content Assessment provides information on the types of artifacts in your SAS Environment.  Together, ESM and S9CA provide information on how to successfully migrate from SAS 9.4 to SAS Viya.

Let's explore some of the features of each tool.



ESM provides the following information:

  • Number of Distinct SAS Users
  • SAS Users consuming resources
  • Capacity Report – CPU. Memory, I/O and sessions
  • Sizing Reports
  • Reports for proactive migration of jobs and users to SAS Viya
  • SAS Jobs being executed
  • Real-time workload identification
  • Self-service administration


S9CA provides the following information:

  • Counts and collects data about what exists on the SAS 9 system
  • Granular details about selected artifacts
  • Validates code will migrate to SAS Viya
  • Finds internationalization issues in SAS programs
  • Prepares results for reporting
  • Summaries SAS 9 logs steps to analyze SAS Code for optimization
  • Counts the number of users for SAS application on SAS Workspace Servers
  • Analyzes SAS 9.4 system and configuration details to identify known deployment issues.

How it works


A prerequisite for ESM installation and configuration is an ESM server and agent. The agents connect to the server. There are various tools like proc-mon to collect the data. The ESM server receives events from the ESM agents at a rate of every two seconds. The impact to the servers with ESM agents is less than 20 percent of one CPU. The ESM agent's data is stored in a Postgres database for historical reporting. The ESM Maintenance Utility is installed and used to extract data from the agents.


There are many applications that make up the SAS Content Assessment Tool. For example, the inventory application counts SAS artifacts defined to the SAS Metadata Server, SAS Mid-tier and the file system. The profile application provides more granular details for the SAS artifacts i.e., Enterprise Guide Projects, Enterprise Miner, Stored Processes etc. After each application runs via the command line, the published application creates an aggregated data mart for reporting.  After each application runs, the published application is used to create an aggregated data mart for reporting.  By default, Personal Identifiable Information (PII) data is obfuscated when the publish application runs, so this information is protected.



Customer and SAS Activities Time Commitment Notes
Install/Config 4 hours/per environment If SAS resource is involved.
ESM Extraction After 7 days/1 hour After 90 days/1 hour



Customer and SAS Activities Time Commitment Notes
Install/Config 1 hour/per environment Ensure to get the latest version of the software
Execute each application Time depends on Data being scanned  


Data Collection


ESM collects data on these SAS platforms

  • SAS x
  • SAS Viya 3
  • SAS Viya 4


SAS artifacts scanned by S9CA

  • SAS code
  • SAS Stored Process
  • SAS Enterprise Guide
  • SAS Enterprise Miner
  • SAS Catalogs
  • SAS Object Spawner
  • SAS Workspace Server
  • SAS Metadata Server
  • Number of SAS data sets

As mentioned earlier, they can work independently, but they are better together. Together, ESM and S9CA assist with knowing the state of your SAS Environment and make the migration process to SAS Viya from SAS 9.4 straightforward.


About Author

Ursula Polo

Solutions Architect

Ursula is a Solutions Architect within Global Technology Practice. She has worked at SAS over 15 years supporting SAS Grid for Platform and SAS Scheduling. Ursula has co-authored and authored two SAS Global Forum Papers, SAS Technical Support Top-Five Lists for SAS® Environment Manager on SAS® Viya® and Best Practices for Scheduling in SAS® Viya®, respectively and wrote a number of troubleshooting documentation and blogs.

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