On August 18, 2020, our latest version of Base SAS, 9.4m7, was released. This article covers an overview of the key capabilities associated with this platform release and the associated product releases on this platform.
SAS 9.4 has been around for quite some time. The first release was issued in July 2013. Many of our customers are not using our current release of 9.4m6 while others are operating on a much older release. We are also still supporting OS/platforms no longer supported by their vendors, such as RHEL 6. Due to the number of updates incorporated into the current 9.4m7 release, we hope for a more accelerated migration to 9.4m7 than we’ve seen in previous maintenance releases of 9.4.
Some of the key elements and enhancements in 9.4m7 are in the following areas:
Security Integrity of SAS 9.4 is essential. In 9.4m7 SAS delivers updates to address vulnerabilities in our software and the third party and open source software we package. Security training is part of our culture and security testing is part of our process. Our customers IT and Audit teams are charged with keeping their software environments secure and “up-to-date” in order to minimize potential security vulnerabilities. To address and maintain these secure environments, SAS has implemented several measures including support for Windows Defender Credential Guard and Constrained Delegation, version updates to the SAS Web Server, SAS Web App Server, Postgres, etc., and version updates to the Java 8 SAS Private JRE and many third part Java components. SAS security updates and hot fixes are available from the Security Bulletins section of the SAS Support Downloads site. SAS delivers periodic updates to address third-party security vulnerabilities within the SAS product suite. This includes updates for common vulnerabilities and exposures reported against 3rd party components.
The longevity of the SAS 9.4 Platform release requires that we release support for new Operating Systems, Operating System features like SELinux and Browsers like Microsoft Edge on Chromium in maintenance releases. In 9.4m7 SAS is not dropping support for operating environments no longer supported by their vendors.
SAS 9.4m7 delivers the culmination of a SAS-wide initiative to identify, analyze, and correct the root causes of reported issues with the SAS Upgrade in Place process. SAS 9.4m7 is the first SAS release without Adobe Flash dependencies and the assumption is that 9.4m7 will be the target release for many customers previously using SAS products dependent on Flash. Additionally, there are new tools and documentation, deployment process enhancements, and Web App Server enhancements to improve the upgrade in place process.
SAS 9.4m7 brings with it the completion of a multi-year effort to remove Adobe Flash dependencies from over 70 SAS products and solutions. SAS products and solutions with Flash dependencies have been replaced with SAS Viya offerings, replaced with CI360 offerings, or updated with HTML 5 User Interfaces. A few SAS products are no longer available, and their functionality has been replaced with other products and solutions.
Since the November 2018 release of SAS 9.4m6, there have been approximately 125 hot fixes released and incorporated. Additionally, approximately 200 reported platform bugs and enhancement requests have been addressed. On the product enhancement front, hot fixes and bug fixes have been applied to approximately 70 offerings. This includes products in the following areas: Analytics, Data Management and SAS/ACCESS offerings, Visualization, Decision Management, and Risk.
There’s no better time than now to upgrade to 9.4m7!
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