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SAS 9.4 software orders – which order is your SAS platform built on?

Started ‎10-15-2017 by
Modified ‎10-18-2017 by
Views 4,298

Reading Mark Thomas's article, which discussed automating a license update for SAS Intelligence Platform based offerings, it made me think. What information might be useful to contribute to an efficient life cycle management of the SAS platform(s)?


(Below is a visualization of the SAS platform life cycle I like to use when discussing the context of activities to get the best out of the SAS platform.)

Asset 3.png

In discussions with colleagues here at SAS, they highlighted the importance of correctly identifying software orders as part of keeping our SAS platforms updated over time.


For some of SAS's customers, they may recognize this scenario. The customer team installed the SAS platform 12-24 months previously. For one of several reasons during the time that has passed, the customer team ended up downloading different software orders from SAS.


Some of the common use cases for downloading multiple software orders include:


  • The customer downloaded the maintenance updates of the software;
  • The customer ordered some additional software to add to the existing platform;
  • The SAS and customer team realized that one of the software orders did not contain all of the relevant software so requested a new software order;
  • The customer decided to change their topology to have SAS platform split between 2 operating systems, rather than one operating system


Now let's walk through a simple example using a fictional company and how they would proceed. Let's call them "Thomas Morgan Electrical Widgets Inc." (TMEW).


One day the business and IT teams at TMEW decide to add more software to their existing platform. So what should they do first? A good starting point is for the required stakeholders to review the SAS Administration Guides which discuss the steps to add and update an existing SAS Platform. That helps folks get on the same page and reminds everyone of the high level activities ahead.


As part of these activities they should introduce/re-introduce the term "Software Order Number" to the stakeholders. They can share the useful pages on the SAS communities site and external facing page as part of those discussions. Keeping it simple, the software order number is used to identify the unique combination of:


  • the SAS software ordered
  • the site IDs associated with the order
  • what software revision number underpins the software order e.g. Rev. 940_15w33

Note. The software revision number is sometimes referred to as the "ship event". It is called out in the "Software Order Emails" sent to customers and is found within the "Internal Reference" field.


The next step for the TMEW team would be to walk through the 'adding, updating and upgrading' concepts which are discussed within the SAS(R) 9.4 Intelligence Platform: Installation and Configuration Guide, Second Edition.


The previous steps are straightforward, especially when only one software depot has been downloaded. But what happens where there are multiple SAS software orders which have been downloaded and no one within the TMEW team know for sure which software order was used to construct the existing operating SAS platform? Without knowing which software order was used to install and configure SAS, the TMEW team run the risk of:


  • updating the existing installation with the wrong software
  • not updating the existing software to the latest version
  • not being able to add the new software the customer wanted
  • inadvertently damaging the existing SAS platform

The initial reaction may be to run a proc setinit command or open the SAS Management Console to look for the information? Both methods help identify the site-IDs, but ... they do not identify the software order used. So how do we get the information?


For Windows based installations you can use the instructions in this SAS Note to get details of the specific software order used.


For Linux based installations you can use these commands:


grep last_order <SASHOME>/deploymntreg/registry.xml

grep order <CONFIGDIR>/Lev1/ConfigData/status.xml


This information can then be passed back to SAS, so they can generate a software order which meets the requirements of the TMEW team. 


And finally, the TMEW team needs to leverage the previously used deployment plan as a starting point (to add new software, update the software, migrate etc). To identify the last used plan file, take a look at SAS(R) 9.4 Intelligence Platform: Installation and Configuration Guide, Second Edition.


That's it folks! To some of those reading this it will be old news, but hopefully for some folks this will be new and useful when working to maintain your SAS platforms.


Thanks, Simon   

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Last update:
‎10-18-2017 12:06 PM
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