This is a true story. I have a friend who is a long-time SAS user, but who recently decided to go back to school to earn a graduate degree in statistics. She told me this story about what happened in one of her classes a few days ago.
The professor wanted to show the class how to do something in SAS. He double-clicked his SAS program file, but instead of opening in Display Manager as had always happened before, the program opened in Enterprise Guide. It turns out that the IT support people had updated the software to SAS 9.2 on the computer in the classroom right in the middle of the term.
The professor had never heard of Enterprise Guide before so he assumed that it was the only interface for SAS 9.2. My friend explained that you can still use Display Manager, but that Enterprise Guide is a point-and-click interface for SAS. She also explained that you can run SAS programs in Enterprise Guide. The professor tried to run his program in Enterprise Guide, but when he did, he got a message saying that there was no SAS server.
My friend instructed the professor to open SAS (using Display Manager) via the Start menu, but he couldn’t. It wasn’t there. Apparently the IT person had installed Enterprise Guide but not SAS.
So then the professor ran his example in R, and explained to the students that he likes R better anyway. So what did this class of 20-25 future statisticians learn? They learned that SAS is hard to use. They should use R instead.
I would argue that the real lesson here is that SAS is hard to install. Why is is even possible to install Enterprise Guide without having it connect to a SAS server somewhere? It ought to be impossible to make this mistake.
Thank you to Chris Hemedinger, senior software manager in SAS R&D, for contributing this comment:
Susan, thanks for sharing. We use this feedback, plus other feedback we received directly from customers at events like SAS Global Forum, to try to make SAS and Enterprise Guide easier to install and get started without requiring special knowledge. You already know that the SAS support site (support.sas.com) is a tremendous resource for answers; keep spreading the word.