Susan Slaughter

Archive for the ‘Enterprise Guide’ Category

What’s Your SAS Interface?

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, Little SAS Book Series, SAS on May 12, 2016 at 7:30 am

These days SAS programmers have more choices than ever before about how to run SAS.  They can use the old Display Manager interface, or SAS Enterprise Guide, or the new kid on the block: SAS StudioAll of these are included with Base SAS.


Display Manager / SAS Windowing Environment


SAS Enterprise Guide


SAS Studio

Once upon a time, the only choices were Display Manager (officially named the SAS windowing environment), or batch.  Then along came SAS Enterprise Guide.  (Ok, I know there were a few others, but I don’t count SAS/ASSIST which was rightly spurned by SAS users, or the Analyst application which was just a stopover on the highway to SAS Enterprise Guide.)

I recently asked a SAS user, “Which interface do you use for SAS programming?”

She replied, “Interface?  I just install SAS and use it.”

“You’re using Display Manager,” I explained, but she had no idea what I was talking about.

Trust me.  This person is an extremely sophisticated SAS user who does a lot of leading-edge mathematical programming, but she didn’t realize that Display Manager is not SAS.  It is just an interface to SAS.

This is where old timers like me have an advantage.  If you can remember running SAS in batch, then you know that Display Manager, SAS Enterprise Guide, and SAS Studio are just interfaces to SAS–wonderful, manna from heaven–but still just interfaces.  They are optional.  You could write SAS programs in Word or Notepad or some other editor, and submit them in batch–but why would you?  (I know someone is going to tell me that they do, in fact, do that, but the point is that it is not mainstream.  Only mega-nerds with the instincts of a true hacker do that these days.)

Each of these interfaces has advantages and disadvantages.  I’m not going to list them all here, because this is a blog not an encyclopedia, but the tweet would be

“DM is the simplest, EG has projects, SS runs in browsers.”

Personally, I think all of these interfaces are keepers.  At least for the near future, all three of these interfaces will continue to be used.  What we are seeing here is a proliferation of choices, not displacement of one with another.

So what’s your SAS interface?


Your Resume–Selling Yourself Using SAS

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, ODS Graphics, SAS, SAS Papers, Western Users of SAS Software on October 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

Now Appearing at Western Users of SAS Software 2013Here is another presentation to which I have contributed for the Western Users of SAS Software 2013 conference.

Your Resume–Selling Yourself Using SAS

I am honored to have served as a co-author with Rebecca Ottesen on this highly original paper.  This paper shows how to use your SAS skills to create a resume that is clever, unique, and effective.

Here is an excerpt:

Your resume should demonstrate strengths and skills, cite meaningful performance metrics, quantify contributions to the organization, and set you apart from the competition, all while being concise and staying to the point.  As a SAS user, it is likely that the skill set you would like to showcase involves programming and data analysis, so it seems perfectly natural that you should use these skills to create content for your resume.  A well thought out SAS graphic or table might be the perfect selling point to catch the attention of a hiring manager.

Here is an example of a graphic showing a timeline for work and academic experience:

Your Resume

If you are at the conference, I hope you will attend our presentation Wednesday November 13, 2013 2:30-2:50pm. If not, then you can download the paper here.

Writing Code in SAS Enterprise Guide

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, Little SAS Book Series, SAS, SAS Papers, Western Users of SAS Software on October 3, 2013 at 7:04 am

Now Appearing at Western Users of SAS Software 2013With the Western Users of SAS Software 2013 conference coming soon, I am looking forward to being part of three presentations.  One of those presentations is

Writing Code in SAS Enterprise Guide

This is based on a paper written several years ago for SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1.  That paper became obsolete almost immediately.  So I’ve been wanting to update it for quite some time.  This new paper applies to Enterprise Guide 4.2, 4.3, 5.1 and 6.1.

Here’s an excerpt:

Using SAS Enterprise Guide, you can manipulate data and run reports without ever writing a single line of SAS code.  So it’s not surprising that many SAS programmers believe that SAS Enterprise Guide is only useful to non-programmers.  If you love the SAS language, why would you ever want to use SAS Enterprise Guide?

It turns out that there are several reasons why you might want to do just that.  SAS Enterprise Guide offers programmers a variety of ways to run code.  You can type a program like you do in Display Manager, but you can also use the point-and-click features of SAS Enterprise Guide to generate programs  that you can then modify.  In addition, SAS Enterprise Guide organizes your work into projects making it easy to find your programs, logs, and results; and the process flow diagrams show at a glance how everything in your project fits together.

However, writing programs in SAS Enterprise Guide does require learning a new environment with new windows and a new system for organizing your work.  As with any new skill, there is a learning curve.  The goal of this paper is to ease that transition by explaining SAS Enterprise Guide from a programmer’s perspective.

If you are at the conference, I hope you will attend my presentation Wednesday November 13, 2013 3:30-4:20pm. If not, then you can download the paper here.

And if you can’t attend my presentation, you may want to watch this video about coding with SAS Enterprise Guide.

Which Little SAS Book?

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, Little SAS Book Series, Publishing, SAS on May 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm

The Little SAS Book: A Primer, Fifth EditonOne of the problems that Lora Delwiche and I face as authors of two books with similar titles (The Little SAS Book and The Little SAS Book for Enterprise Guide) and multiple editions (five of LSB and three of LSBEG) is explaining how the books are different.

The two books are totally different–and complementary.

So I was delighted to see that someone at SAS Press has written a great summary comparing the various editions.

Did you know that the title The Little SAS Book was originally a joke? We explain that and give a little history on

Sunil’s Top 10 SAS Papers: Guest Blog by Sunil Gupta

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, Guest Blog, SAS, SAS Papers on February 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

Sunil's Top 10 SAS PapersI recently learned about an interesting resource for SAS users.  Sunil Gupta—a SAS Press author and consultant—maintains lists of his favorite SAS papers on various SAS-related topics.  You can peruse these lists on his page on

Here are some of Sunil’s Top 10s:

Sunil’s Top 10 PROC FORMAT/Functions Papers

Sunil’s Top 10 PROC COMPARE Papers

Sunil’s Top 10 SAS Macro Papers

Sunil’s Top 10 SAS Dictionary Tables Papers

Sunil’s Top 10 ODS Papers

Sunil’s Top 10 DATA Step/MERGE Papers

Sunil’s Top 10 SAS Certification Exam Papers

Sunil’s Top 10 SAS Enterprise Guide Papers

Sunil’s Top 10 Pharmaceutical Industry Papers

Save 30% on All SAS Publishing Titles

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, Little SAS Book Series, SAS on December 8, 2010 at 11:56 am

Still looking for that perfect holiday gift?  For a limited time you can save 30% on all books from SAS Publishing. Most of these books are a little big for stocking stuffers, but they fit just fine under a tree.  This offer expires Dec. 13, 2010 so don’t delay. Click here for details.

WUSS and My 7 Minutes and 39 Seconds of Fame

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, Little SAS Book Series, SAS, Western Users of SAS Software on November 10, 2010 at 8:53 am

I have just returned from another great Western Users of SAS Software conference.  Normally at this point I would write a summary of the conference, but this year I don’t have to.   Instead, you can hear my summary in this interview by Sy Truong of Meta-Xceed, Inc.

To hear all of Sy’s interviews at the conference, click here.

See You in San Diego

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, SAS, Western Users of SAS Software on November 1, 2010 at 10:03 am

Tomorrow I will head off to San Diego for the annual Western Users of SAS Software conference.  If you are going, please look for me.  At the conference, I will present a class and a hands-on workshop.

Half-day Class:
Introduction to SAS Enterprise Guide
Wednesday November 3, 8:30-11:30 AM
There is a charge for this class so you must be signed up to attend.

Hands-On Workshop
Introduction to Summary Tables in SAS Enterprise Guide
Thursday November 4, 5:00-6:30 PM
This presentation is part of the regular conference so there is no extra charge.  You can download the paper and data set.

Adventures in SAS Installations

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, SAS on October 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

Installing SAS 9.2 TS2M3 on four computers running two operating systems took six days and one tracking number.  Not bad, not bad at all considering my experiences with other recent releases.

When Enterprise Guide 4.3 was released at the end of August, I was eager to try out the new features for programmers.  The only problem was that in order to run EG 4.3, I needed to reinstall SAS.  (SAS 9.2 TS2M3 is recommended for people running EG 4.3 as explained by Chris Hemedinger.)  I’ve installed SAS countless times over the years, and generally speaking it hasn’t been any more complicated than following the install wizard’s instructions to insert each disk in a seemingly random (or at least inscrutable) order.

However, when I attempted to install SAS 9.2 TS1M0 in May 2008 it took a full two months–and that was with the active help of SAS Technical Support.  In defense of SAS, I should mention that the problems I experienced in 2008 were related to the fact that I had been running a beta version of SAS 9.2.  Betas often conflict with their own production versions, so this was not remarkable.  What was rather surprising was the fact that uninstalling the beta version didn’t fix the problem, and the problem was that the install wizard refused even to open.  It took the good people of SAS Technical Support two months to find the magic option that would convince Windows to launch the installer.   This created a desperate situation forcing me to reinstall the beta version so that critical deadlines could be met.

Installing SAS 9.2 TS2M0 in May 2009 proved even more difficult, again taking two months, this time with intense help from SAS Technical Support.  And this time I wasn’t alone as I eventually  heard from other SAS users.  One common problem involved missing Java components that caused certain features in EG not to work, but the bigger, more general problem was that the installation process was so confusing that many people installed SAS wrong without having a clue that they had done anything wrong.

This time around I was determined to install SAS on my own—if possible.

Computer No. One

The first computer I tried was a laptop with a previous version of SAS installed on it.  I popped in the first DVD and was informed that the Deployment Manager could not start because SAS was already running.  The Deployment Manager was objecting to processes like the SAS Object Spawner that had been set up to start automatically on this computer. The obvious thing to do was to open the Windows Task Manager and kill those processes.  But since I wasn’t the person who had set up those processes, I wasn’t entirely comfortable doing that.  So I called SAS Technical Support where the helpful person told me to open the Windows Task Manager and kill those processes.  He then walked me through the initial steps which seemed pretty logical, and then I continued the installation on my own.  This installation took two days, but only because of the lag involved in contacting Technical Support and waiting for a response.

Computer No. Two

The second computer was running Windows 7 64-bit and already had SAS 9.2 TS2M3 installed on it, but it did not have EG 4.3. I mentioned this to the person at Technical Support, and he said that I ought to be able to use my DVDs with the Windows 32-bit software to install EG 4.3 because EG 4.3 runs as 32-bit software even on 64-bit operating systems.  With that bit of encouragement, I popped my DVD into the second computer and waited…and waited…and waited.  I was sure something was wrong…but I waited.  Finally the Deployment Manager came back and announced that it had one thing to install on that computer: EG 4.3.  Computers are famous for doing what you tell them to do, not what you want, but here was the Deployment Manager seemingly reading my mind. Total time for installation: about fifteen minutes of waiting, and five minutes to install the software.

Computer No. Three

The third computer was the only “virgin” that did not have SAS software previously installed.  You might have expected that to make this installation easier than the others.  However, the first thing the SAS install wizard did was say that it needed to update some Windows stuff and then reboot.  It did indeed reboot the computer, but it failed to restart the install wizard. I sat in front of the computer for about fifteen minutes expecting it to restart the install wizard as soon as it was ready.  When I finally realized it was never going to do that, then I manually restarted the installation process which proceeded smoothly enough on SAS’s end.  Unfortunately, the disk copying software on the computer objected strenuously to the DVDs from SAS Institute.  Problems reading the disks were enormously frustrating and doubled the amount of time needed to install the software, but it was still completed in a few hours.

Computer No. Four

The fourth computer was an older laptop with an old version of SAS installed on it.  I popped in the first DVD, but the computer could not read it.  This drive reads other DVDs without problem, but there was something about that particular DVD that just didn’t work.  Since it was impossible to install SAS from the DVDs, the work around was to create a SAS software depot on an external hard drive, and then install from the external drive.  This was time consuming as it required finding a suitable drive and them making the depot. Once the depot was created, the installation went normally.  However, while I was out of the room, my helper chose the default install.  When the installation was done, I discovered that EG had not been installed.  By default, the install wizard will update the SAS products that you already have installed.  This seems like a reasonable thing for SAS to do, but in this case I specifically wanted EG 4.3 to be installed and that didn’t happen.  I had to start over and reinstall SAS using a custom install.  Due to the various hardware and software problems, this install process took two days.


I ran into some problems, but this release is a winner.  If you haven’t already installed SAS 9.2 TS2M3 and EG 4.3, you’ll probably want to check it out.

Just be aware that by default the installer will update only the products you have currently installed.  So if you want to add something that you haven’t installed before—perhaps EG 4.3 or the ODS Graphics Editor—then you’ll need to choose the custom install and select those products.

Using Enterprise Guide on Windows 7

In Enterprise Guide, Everything, SAS on September 20, 2010 at 9:57 am

I recently got a new computer with a new (to me) operating system—Windows 7.  I’m one of those diehards who stayed with Windows XP (and even with Office 2003), refusing to switch to Vista.  This is a big change.  I feel slightly dazed and disoriented because everything works so differently.

So you can imagine how comforting it was when I got SAS Enterprise Guide installed (both EG 4.2 and 4.3) and found that everything looked familiar.  More than that, everything worked!  I was able to open my data sets and run my projects.  Everything was the same as it had been on Windows XP…until I tried to edit a data set.

When I tried to switch to update mode, a window popped up displaying an error message telling me that the data set “cannot be updated because its encoding does not match the session encoding or the file is in a format native to another host, such as WINDOWS_32.”

At this point I should confess—what now appears obvious to me—that because Windows 7 is a 64 bit operating system, it makes sense that data sets from Windows XP (a 32 bit system) might need to be converted.  At the time it was not obvious for a number of reasons.  First of all, I have lots of experience switching from one version of Windows to another, and I have never before had to convert data sets. I figured a .sas7bdat file…was a .sas7bdat file…was a .sas7bdat file.  Adding to the confusion is the fact that Enterprise Guide is still a 32 bit application even when running on Windows 7.  More important, I had (as I have previously mentioned) already opened my old projects in EG without any problems.  I could open my data sets.  I could run my projects.  Why should editing a data set be a problem when I could do everything else?

The problem, ironically, is that CEDA is so good.

CEDA (Cross-Environment Data Access) is the feature that allows you to access SAS data sets in formats that  are not native to your computer.  And it’s so good that it is practically invisible.  And when you open a SAS data set in a Data Grid in EG, there is no SAS log telling you that SAS is using CEDA behind the scenes.  CEDA allows you to view data sets, and to use data sets, but apparently CEDA cannot be used to edit data sets in EG.

Based on the error message, I figured I would need to convert my data sets, but an internet search turned up no confirmation of this.  I had some guesses as to how to do it, but I wanted to be sure I knew the officially recommended method.  I decided to contact SAS Technical Support.

The helpful person at Technical Support asked me a few questions, asked me to run a Data Set Attributes task (that’s PROC CONTENTS for you programmers), and then recommended that I use the Export task to export my data set using the Win_64 format and open it again.  When I followed this advice, EG deleted the data set.  That’s right the data set was completely gone.

Fortunately, restoring that data set was a simple matter.  At that point, I decided that maybe trying my own method wasn’t such a bad idea after all.  I ran this highly sophisticated program.

DATA ‘c:\path\filename‘;
SET ‘c:\path\filename‘;

It worked!  When I told the helpful person at Technical Support this, he replied that I could also use PROC MIGRATE.

LIBNAME oldlibref ‘c:\oldpath‘;
LIBNAME newlibref ‘c:\newpath‘;
PROC MIGRATE IN = oldlibref OUT = newlibref;

This also works and has the distinct advantage that you can convert an entire library at once.

Then I received this suggestion from Chris Hemedinger:  Use the Upload task in EG. This method also works but requires two steps since you must define the libref before you open the Upload task.

So there are at least three ways to convert your data sets for Windows 7: using a DATA step, PROC MIGRATE, or the Upload task in EG.  The first two, of course, will work in Display Manager; all three will work in EG.

Notes added November 11, 2010

Everything I said in this post on September 20 is true, but a few clarifications are in order.

1) There is both a 32 bit and 64 bit version of Windows 7.  If you are running the 32 bit version, then, of course, you will not need to convert your data sets to the 64 bit format.

2) It has been reported to me that it is possible to install the 32 bit version of SAS Foundation on a computer running the 64 bit version of Windows.  If you do that, I am told, then you do not need to convert your data sets to the 64 bit format.  I have not been able to test this myself because I am running the 64 bit version of SAS.