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SAS 9.4 M5 reliability

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SAS 9.4 M5 reliability

All,

 

Have someone using SAS 9.4 M5, could you comment on real experience, does it have any issues? bugs, or it is good to have over M4 ? 


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2 weeks ago
Super Contributor
Posts: 451

Re: SAS 9.4 M5 reliability

Posted in reply to rajeevk241

does it have any issues? -- probably.

bugs, -- certainly

it is good to have over M4 ? -- very likely

 

SAS makes no secret that a product this elaborate and complex has bugs. It's the ones that bite you that you should be concerned about. We tend to follow an 9.4Mn update based on the changes & enhancements and not the bugs. E.g. we moved from 9.4M3 to 9.4M4 for Kerberos support in Teradata, a new version of Business Rules Manager and the new JSON support. 9.4M5 may become highly relevant if you also deploy SAS Viya. In all it's a site specific decision. based on this you may conclude that what SAS now calls a maintenance release is in fact a bit more than that.

 

Also keep an eye on the version bumps in some clients. For example Data Integration Studio will receive updates in sync with maintenance releases. Same can be true for Enterprise Miner and SAS Studio. Enterprise Guide seems to have gone rogue and follow its own lifecycle.

 

Bugs and issues are generally dealt with in hotfixes that you apply on demand. These hotfixes are also rolled up in the next maintenance release so upgrading will deal with all issues you would otherwise fix manually and some you never realized you had in the first place (the majority). As an extra you may expect new bugs with a new version as well. These are a fact of life. Don't loose sleep over them. Some actually made my life more interesting. When problems arise the learning begins. Again you will normally notice only a small percentage of them. Keep an eye on the hotfix pages; SAS is very good at communicating problems and their solutions.

 

So my advice is to fix your issues based on the hotfixes and upgrade based on the C&E docs.

 

Hope this helps,

- Jan.

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Super User
Posts: 3,309

Re: SAS 9.4 M5 reliability

Posted in reply to rajeevk241

You may find this post helpful:

 

https://communities.sas.com/t5/Administration-and-Deployment/SAS-9-4-M5/m-p/402474#M10629

 

You need to look at the benefits of "what's new" in M5 versus M4. Are there new features you really need? In my experience most SAS sites don't install every new maintenance release that comes along.

 

Where I work we tend to upgrade SAS by version. We started with 9.3, went to 9.4, and now we will probably wait for 9.5 due out in the second half of 2018.

Super User
Super User
Posts: 7,164

Re: SAS 9.4 M5 reliability

Posted in reply to rajeevk241

Coordinating SAS installation/upgrade has gotten much more complicated if you are dealing with multiple tiers and servers.  Especially if you have a lot of production code/processes that you need to support.  Our shop basically totally skipped SAS9.3 for production usage and has only just now replaced SAS9.2M3 with SAS9.4M3 as the default SAS version.

 

They just recently installed 9.4M5 (and never installed 9.4m4) and I have not had any trouble with it.  But they did tell me that they are waiting to roll it out wider because of some issues that SAS is releasing patches to correct.   I did not hear what issues the patches were fixing and I have not noticed any issues.

 

The problem with waiting to install until there is a major release of SAS/BASE is that the maintenance releases of SAS/BASE (9.4M2, 9.4M3, 9.4M4, 9.4M5 etc) are now actual .X releases of SAS/STAT and other products.  So you miss out on a number of significant enhancements to those products.

 

https://blogs.sas.com/content/iml/2013/08/02/how-old-is-your-version-of-sas-release-dates-for-sas-so...

 

 

 

Solution
2 weeks ago
Super Contributor
Posts: 451

Re: SAS 9.4 M5 reliability

Posted in reply to rajeevk241

does it have any issues? -- probably.

bugs, -- certainly

it is good to have over M4 ? -- very likely

 

SAS makes no secret that a product this elaborate and complex has bugs. It's the ones that bite you that you should be concerned about. We tend to follow an 9.4Mn update based on the changes & enhancements and not the bugs. E.g. we moved from 9.4M3 to 9.4M4 for Kerberos support in Teradata, a new version of Business Rules Manager and the new JSON support. 9.4M5 may become highly relevant if you also deploy SAS Viya. In all it's a site specific decision. based on this you may conclude that what SAS now calls a maintenance release is in fact a bit more than that.

 

Also keep an eye on the version bumps in some clients. For example Data Integration Studio will receive updates in sync with maintenance releases. Same can be true for Enterprise Miner and SAS Studio. Enterprise Guide seems to have gone rogue and follow its own lifecycle.

 

Bugs and issues are generally dealt with in hotfixes that you apply on demand. These hotfixes are also rolled up in the next maintenance release so upgrading will deal with all issues you would otherwise fix manually and some you never realized you had in the first place (the majority). As an extra you may expect new bugs with a new version as well. These are a fact of life. Don't loose sleep over them. Some actually made my life more interesting. When problems arise the learning begins. Again you will normally notice only a small percentage of them. Keep an eye on the hotfix pages; SAS is very good at communicating problems and their solutions.

 

So my advice is to fix your issues based on the hotfixes and upgrade based on the C&E docs.

 

Hope this helps,

- Jan.

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,436

Re: SAS 9.4 M5 reliability

Posted in reply to rajeevk241

Hello @rajeevk241,

 

very little to add here, I think you have got really great answers, and all of then from the very best users in the community.

 

In short, I think that a new maintenance is, in general, more mature than the earlier ones. Simple: they include all the hotfixes available on the current maintenance you have, and some other new features. And, indeed, that is what you would like to check, specially for your production systems. It also depends on the solution or solutions you have installed.

 

A new maintenance may include some new bugs, but that is what you might find on every software, right? And the more complex the software, the more likely you might find this to happen.

 

My recommendation for you would be to follow your company/IT policy, regarding major/minor versions -1/-2, and to align with your users on what they want/need, and manage the expectations by sharing the expected changes (what's new documents) 

 

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