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azarins
Calcite | Level 5

We are currently running SAS 9.4 on premise.  We are aware that SAS Viya is a preferred future state, based in the cloud, and that most new functionality is being delivered with Viya.  Is there an official end of life date for SAS 9.4 on prem?  Would need to know in order to plan our transition to Viya/Cloud.

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ChrisHemedinger
Community Manager

To answer the main thrust of your question, standard support for SAS 9.4 will be with us for a long time yet. 

 

See What's Next for SAS 9 and SAS Enterprise Guide (shared at SAS Explore 2023).

 

Even after standard (full) support ends, that isn't the same as "end of life".  You can continue to renew/run such products and SAS support will answer questions, but fixes for new problems (even security fixes) aren't guaranteed.

 

For your planning purposes today, I suggest you reach out to your SAS account representative -- or start with SAS Technical Support.  They can help provide answers that relate to your particular mix of products.

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Reeza
Super User
I don't think there's an official date, but 9.3 released in 2011 is still supported today, so you'll have a while at least since 9.4 is still the 'current release'.

https://support.sas.com/en/technical-support/services-policies.html#non-current
ChrisHemedinger
Community Manager

To answer the main thrust of your question, standard support for SAS 9.4 will be with us for a long time yet. 

 

See What's Next for SAS 9 and SAS Enterprise Guide (shared at SAS Explore 2023).

 

Even after standard (full) support ends, that isn't the same as "end of life".  You can continue to renew/run such products and SAS support will answer questions, but fixes for new problems (even security fixes) aren't guaranteed.

 

For your planning purposes today, I suggest you reach out to your SAS account representative -- or start with SAS Technical Support.  They can help provide answers that relate to your particular mix of products.

It's time to register for SAS Innovate! Join your SAS user peers in Las Vegas on April 16-19 2024.
LoriGoldman
Obsidian | Level 7

@ChrisHemedinger are you implying that SAS 9.4 will be the last fully supported release of SAS? 

SASKiwi
PROC Star

@LoriGoldman - The Support Services link:

https://support.sas.com/en/technical-support/services-policies.html#4e974a97-1c93-41bf-8120-d0269200...

 

indicates that SAS 9.4 will have standard support up to 1 Jan 2025. AFAIK there will not be anymore SAS 9 releases after 9.4. 

Quentin
Super User

Just to add to the evidence that 9.4 will have a long life, there are now SAS documentation pages that refer to 9.4M8 being planned for release in Q4 of 2022.  And 9.4M8 would then have full support for 5 years (through 2027).  

 

This page on log4j  https://support.sas.com/en/security-bulletins/log4j-v1-vulnerabilities.html says "SAS intends to eliminate usage of Log4j v1 in the future release SAS® 9.4M8 (TS1M8). At this time, the estimated release date for SAS 9.4M8 is in the fourth quarter of 2022."

 

And this problem note https://support.sas.com/kb/68/071.html describes a planned change for M8. 

 

So it's coming (if slowly : ).

BASUG is hosting free webinars Next up: Mike Sale presenting Data Warehousing with SAS April 10 at noon ET. Register now at the Boston Area SAS Users Group event page: https://www.basug.org/events.
Quentin
Super User

So, I just had a meeting with our IT group that runs our 9.4 server, and they started the meeting by stating that :

"SAS 9.4 is moving from Standard Support to Limited Support in 2025 and no new fixes will be implemented after that therefore it will present a cybersecurity risk."

 

I spent the next half hour trying to convince them that they were misunderstanding the SAS support policy.  

https://support.sas.com/en/technical-support/services-policies.html#maintenance

 

They were focused on this table:

Quentin_0-1663013247860.png

I asked them to read the part above, which states that every release has 5 years of standard support:

Quentin_1-1663013321667.png

I told them that 9.4M8 was expected this year, and that it would have 5 years of standard support. They were not convinced by me, but said they would call our account rep.  Hopefully the account rep will be able to explain the 9.4 support policy to them (and won't use it as an opportunity to try to up-sell them on Viya).

 

I think the above table of 9.4 generally available dates could be made much clearer by adding the end of standard support date for each maintenance release.  As I understand this table, 9.4M0-M6 will have standard support through Dec 31, 2024, because of the 5 year grace period.  9.4M7 will have standard support through end of July 2025 because it gets 5 years of standard support.  Assuming 9.4M8 has a general availability date some time Fall 2022, it would have standard support until Fall 2027.

 

Is that how other folks read it, that each maintenance release of 9.4 will have 5 years of standard support?

 

Are other folks having similar problems with their IT groups reading this policy as saying that 9.4 is approaching limited support?

 

 

 

 

 

 

BASUG is hosting free webinars Next up: Mike Sale presenting Data Warehousing with SAS April 10 at noon ET. Register now at the Boston Area SAS Users Group event page: https://www.basug.org/events.
SASKiwi
PROC Star

There is certainly no harm in clarifying the support period for SAS 9.4M8. I too would expect that this would be five years. I expect M8 will be added to the Tech Support page once released and the full support period specified. It's just that 9.4M0 - M7 will all be at least five years old by 2025, although M7 not until Aug 2025 so that does create some confusion. 

FreelanceReinh
Jade | Level 19

Thanks, @Quentin, for bringing this up again. I hope I'm wrong, but that "five-year grace period" for SAS 9.4 "starting on January 1, 2020" sounds to me like overriding the (implied?) grace periods for individual maintenance releases of the product SAS 9.4.

Quentin
Super User

@FreelanceReinh wrote:

Thanks, @Quentin, for bringing this up again. I hope I'm wrong, but that "five-year grace period" for SAS 9.4 "starting on January 1, 2020" sounds to me like overriding the (implied?) grace periods for individual maintenance releases of the product SAS 9.4.


Thanks @FreelanceReinh , that's how my IT group is reading it as well. : (

 

@ChrisHemedinger , is there someone who could give an official end of Standard Support date for 9.4M7?  

 

If 9.4M7 hits end of Standard Support on July 31, 2025, then I would tell my IT group I'm right, not to worry, once M8 is released it will have 5 years of Standard Support from its general availability date.

 

If 9.4M7 hits end of Standard Support on Dec 31, 2024, then I'll need to tell my IT that they were right, and that they should start making plans now for mitigating risks of running a production SAS server under limited support, or making plans to get rid of the SAS server : (

BASUG is hosting free webinars Next up: Mike Sale presenting Data Warehousing with SAS April 10 at noon ET. Register now at the Boston Area SAS Users Group event page: https://www.basug.org/events.
Quentin
Super User

Oooh @FreelanceReinh , I found a better table.  It shows 9.4M7 is getting the full 5 years from it's release date.

As I had hoped, the 5 year grace policy is for 9.4M0-9.4M6.  

So reasonable to expect that 9.4M8 will also get the full 5 years of Standard Support.

 

https://support.sas.com/en/technical-support/support-levels.html

 

Quentin_0-1663020004150.png

I really really really hope 9.4M8 is released the fall, so that I can finally convince my IT department that SAS 9.4 isn't dead yet. : )

BASUG is hosting free webinars Next up: Mike Sale presenting Data Warehousing with SAS April 10 at noon ET. Register now at the Boston Area SAS Users Group event page: https://www.basug.org/events.
Reeza
Super User

Viya isn't so bad, assuming Studio doesn't go away as well.

Quentin
Super User
I’m sure it’s not! But as my IT group wants out of SAS, I’m not likely to talk them into Viya. But if IT does drop SAS, I’ll certainly see if I convince my boss to spin up a Viya environment for our department.

Working for a huge company is hard. We had a departmental SAS server years ago. Then IT decided to centralize everything so we had to give up our server and move to the big IT sas server. Which was great, because they managed it and we could just code. But now I think they’re tired of managing a sas server. And they’re using a misreading of SAS support policy to justify transitioning away from SAS (toward snowflake/data bricks/etc)
BASUG is hosting free webinars Next up: Mike Sale presenting Data Warehousing with SAS April 10 at noon ET. Register now at the Boston Area SAS Users Group event page: https://www.basug.org/events.
ChrisHemedinger
Community Manager

@Quentin SAS 9.4 Maint 8 is on track for release near the end of 2022. And you are correct, per the current policy, the Standard Support for M8 level would extend to end of 2027 (5 years from its release). Maintenance releases contain important fixes and improvements for security, updated operating systems, and targeted fixes (including more integration with SAS Viya). "Support policy" notwithstanding, as I type this in Sept 2022 I hope that most everyone has adopted at least Maint 6 (released nearly 4 years ago).  

 

SAS Viya is where the major investment is happening with new features and new ways to access/deploy. In addition to SAS Studio improvements for coders and non-coders, we've seen new ways to code using the official VS Code extension.

 

SAS 9.4 isn't going away soon and has no "retirement" date in the current roadmap. We know that lots of SAS customers rely on SAS 9.4, and even those who are adopting SAS Viya for certain projects still depend on their existing SAS for lots of production work. 

It's time to register for SAS Innovate! Join your SAS user peers in Las Vegas on April 16-19 2024.
Quentin
Super User

Just to keep this alive, there is still no end-of-life date for SAS 9.

 

The big news from SAS Explore is not only is there (of course) 5 years of full support for 9.4M8 (released Jan 2023), SAS is working now on the next release of SAS 9.  There was a SAS 9 table in the demo room, with a big sign "what features do you want in the next release of SAS9?"


@ChrisHemedinger shares all the details in this blog post:

https://blogs.sas.com/content/sasdummy/2023/09/29/sas-9-and-sas-eg/

 

BASUG is hosting free webinars Next up: Mike Sale presenting Data Warehousing with SAS April 10 at noon ET. Register now at the Boston Area SAS Users Group event page: https://www.basug.org/events.

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