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SASKiwi
PROC Star

@Quentin - That is indeed excellent news! Could it be that SAS 9.5 is resurrected from the grave along with the promise to break through the 32 character limit for table and column names?! I live in hope...

 

I also think it is a smart move to support Enterprise Guide on Viya. There appears to be a growing trend among SAS customers to go "hybrid". That is to retain SAS 9.4 for core business use and well as adding Viya to the mix for more specialist roles. That way you remove the pain of migrating existing applications to Viya so that platform can be used for its new analytical, reporting and modelling capabilities. That's certainly the approach we are taking where I work. 

Quentin
Super User

@SASKiwi definitely, keep hope alive! 

 

At the SAS 9 table at SAS Explore in the Demo Room I asked for longer variable names, and they said "oh yeah, people have been asking about that for a while." So maybe we'll get lucky.  (But I'd be surprised, because I think they'd have to rewrite a LOT of stuff to make that work).  They also said when we want something added to SAS 9, we should call tech support, and ask them to submit a feature request.  I had never heard of that before, but sounds like a feature request from a user submitted via tech support may carry more weight than SASware ballot items.

 

I assumed the next release would be 9.4M9, and they said they actually haven't decided yet whether it would be 9.4M9 or 9.5!  It just depends how much they add.  I would be thrilled if it's 9.5, that would send a strong message of support for SAS 9.

 

In general, I left SAS Explore much more positive about the future of SAS 9 than I was before SAS Explore. The message of support for SAS 9 was clear both on the main stage and in private side-conversations. I think it's incumbent now on us as users to communicate to our companies that SAS is committed to supporting and enhancing SAS 9.

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SASKiwi
PROC Star

@Quentin - Indeed. I will be broadcasting the message in my organisation loud and clear from Monday! It completely validates our chosen SAS road map. We haven't turned our backs on Viya, but IMHO it needs improved user interfaces. The over emphasis on CLIs (Command Line Interfaces) is a big turn-off for me. I thought I left those behind when I left mainframes...bringing back EG is a great example of this. Long may it continue.

Quentin
Super User

I just got my annual call from someone in my company's IT dept telling me that SAS 9 is end of life in 2028.  I explained the SAS support policy to them and sent them links.  I'm hoping there will be an official announcement at SAS Innovate about the next SAS 9 release.

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 There are more maintenance releases planned for SAS 9. I don't know if roadmap/schedules will be shared at SAS Innovate, but hope so!

 

But my guidance in general is that "end of life" communications are a specific part of a product lifecycle. If a product is put into an "end of life" status, then customers will be notified well in advance and support documentation is updated. You cannot look at the support policy and the "standard support" timeline and infer that anything beyond that is "end of life".  Still, I understand how IT organizations might refer to what they CAN'T see in a policy and jump to the wrong conclusion.

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ChrisHemedinger
Community Manager

@Quentin and others, I can confirm that the next maintenance release (SAS 9.4M9) is planned for 1H2025. I've updated my blog post here (which addresses SAS 9 futures as well as SAS EG -- which now supports SAS Viya!).

 

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JuanS_OCS
Amethyst | Level 16

Hi @LoriGoldman ,

 

just to complete on @ChrisHemedinger and @SASKiwi last responses:

 

I cannot say if there will be more maintenances of SAS 9.4 (probably some more yes), but I can say that after SAS 9 SAS Institute has put out there SAS Viya, which is healthy moving forward and growing. The current version for on-premises is SAS Viya 3.5, and the last version is SAS Viya 4, which currently is supported only for the Microsoft Azure cloud.

 

In short, there is SAS for a long while, as @ChrisHemedinger indicated.

 

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Juan

SASKiwi
PROC Star

@JuanS_OCS  - Nice reply. I should have been a bit more precise with my response, in that AFAIK SAS is not currently planning anymore major SAS 9 releases beyond 9.4, like 9.5 etc. There could well be more maintenance releases beyond M7.

 

It appears most development effort is focused on Viya 2020 (the official name of the latest version). One of the limitations of Viya 2020 is that SAS/Studio is the only development interface. Enterprise Guide is not supported. I find this disappointing given the major improvements in EG8. Are there any plans for more than one modern development interface for Viya 2020? And yes I know that in theory you could use the SAS Windowing Environment with Viya if you have SAS/CONNECT but I wouldn't regard that as a viable alternative.

Kurt_Bremser
Super User

Given the many deficiencies I see in Viya (just look at the numerous procedures/statements/functions not available in CAS), I see it as a nice appendix for those who want to deliver heavy-duty analysis like VA to non-SAS-savvy end users, but for close to 100% of my current work, Viya is simply unusable.

I expect that "Base SAS" will be with us for a VERY long time.

What I expect sooner or later is a version 10 (with 64 or 128 character names for datasets and variables, for instance).

 

My .02

ChrisHemedinger
Community Manager

SAS 9.4 continues to be supported and enhanced to accommodate the latest security fixes, technology changes (example: the recent removal of Adobe Flash dependencies from the stack), and integration points with SAS Viya.  As @Kurt_Bremser says, it's an extremely capable offering that many customers depend on, and not all use cases can be met in SAS Viya (yet).  The SAS support policy is designed to make the support roadmap clear so that SAS customers can plan.  SAS 9.x will be with us and relevant for many years.

 

Meanwhile, SAS Viya features/capabilities are introduced in regular "continuous delivery" fashion, usually with monthly releases.  Currently SAS Viya runs in the Microsoft Azure cloud, but more providers and options (including on-premise options) are in the roadmap.  A great way to stay informed: subscribe to the SAS Viya Release Updates board.  New "shows" each month with links to the details for What's New.

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