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The SAS 9 Content Assessment Tool

Started ‎08-24-2020 by
Modified ‎08-24-2020 by
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In my previous article, I announced 9.4m7 was released on August 18, 2020.  In addition to an overview of the key capabilities and the associated product releases in 9.4m7, a relatively new feature is also available – the Content Assessment Tool.

 

The SAS 9 content assessment tool is a collection of four applications to aid our customers in understanding the makeup of their current SAS 9 system.

 

Each of these four applications serves a unique purpose.

 

  • SAS 9 inventory - SAS 9 inventory provides information about what currently exists on your SAS 9 system.  This application scans your system and counts the SAS artifacts and content.  Once complete, an inventory that lists what you have along with a count is provided.

 

  • SAS 9 profile – The profile application is used to understand the characteristics of the items that exist in your SAS 9 platform.  It provides information such as which features have been used to perform certain tasks or how your jobs were established and structured.

 

  • SAS 9 code check for Viya – The code check application provides information on what code is a candidate to move to SAS Viya.

 

  • SAS 9 system evaluation – SAS 9 system evaluation uncovers known deployment issues you might have that would cause Upgrade in Place to fail.  Information was gathered from various customers who experienced issues in the past when using this method.  SAS discovered there are some key items we can check and fix before our customers try to upgrade (i.e. an expired license or what’s installed doesn’t match the order).  The system evaluation was built to expose those issues so they can be fixed before the upgrade.  Running the evaluation is not a guarantee that every issue will be found, however it will reduce the risk that your upgrade will fail.

The SAS 9 content assessment tool is available for Linux and Windows on the Downloads page of support.sas.com.  Documentation is available as part of the download.

Comments

Thank you @briankinnebrew 

 

Already used the tool once before an Upgrade in Place, which managed to identify a couple of underlying issues of the installation before starting the UIP, which helps to address those issues before 

 

In my company we help customers with the complete life cycle of the SAS platform, and we are considering to use this tool during Managed Services client on-boarding process, and before starting any project/maintenance.

 

I wonder: often you can find incoherences in the SAS Content Server, or in the WIP database (SharedServices database mainly). @briankinnebrew , will this tool analyze and raise those flags those as well? What improvements can we find in the roadmap of this tool?

Thanks for providing these tools. The pre-requisites are rather strict : it is assumed that VA on Viya is already installed and running to display the reports ; I was expecting a more standalone product like the SMU, for instance. Usually, the assessment analysis on the source platforme takes place before migrating or even before choosing to migrate towards a certain target. In my understanding , ex post analysis are needed only for migrating contents which has been already assessed; once the target platform has been specified, qualified and installed. 

 

- is it planned to have a version requiring only SAS 9 to run the analysis and display  the results ( base-line HTML reports) ?

 

- is an AIX version planned in addition to Linux and Windows ?

 

 

Hello @JuanS_OCS,

 

What piece of the tool are you using? The System Evaluation component?  What specifically do you want to check for?

 

Thanks.

Hello @ronan,

 

The SAS 9 Content Assessment provides a family of applications to help customers understand what exists on their SAS 9 systems. It supports SAS Administrators by surfacing scanned results in reports for easy analysis. It is not a migration tool, but rather a migration planning evaluation to help customers understand what exists on their SAS 9 system.

 

The SAS 9 System Evaluation provides reports in an HTML interface. These reports are not visualized in SAS Visual Analytics.   

 

Today, development has offered to help with report creation for SAS 9 Inventory, SAS 9 Profile customers that don’t have SAS Visual Analytics. Development can’t provide an expected time frame or SLA for this report creation. Demand and development bandwidth will impact turnaround time.  When customers need this help, they must be willing to share their results with SAS Technical Support for further assistance.

 

I'm not aware of any plans to support this tool on AIX.

Hi @briankinnebrew ,

 

Thanks for you answer and clarification. I confirm that the systemEvaluation is a standalone tool, and I plan to use it sometime in the future. This is a nice addition to the documentation or tools (SDW) already provided for upgrade.

As regards the other collection of tools, I still don't see why they're provided with a strong adherence to VA on Viya only : generating static reports OOTB look a base-line feature, whether you are planning to migrate or not. Usually, you carry out the inventory task before installing the next platform, and this one might be Viya-based or not depending on its specific requirements. Moreover, with a programming-only deployment, VA is not installed though Viya (CAS) still is. I perfectly understand a new request feature takes time to be added. My comment are just aiming to help the PO & Dev team with the point of view of someone installing the best-of-breed analytics software available (SAS, namely 😉  ) . HTH.

 

Ronan

Hi @briankinnebrew ,

 

we used all of them out of curiosity, but I am referring to the SAS System Evaluation, as I suspect this is the tool that analysis the status of the system prior upgrading. Is this correct?

 

While I understand SLAs and ETA would not be clear, did you have the chance to see if you could share with us the current road map of the tool?

 

As side comment, I share @ronan 's question. It is a pity that there are no current plans for AIX, given the fact of the marketing put in place for IBM systems (the new Power9) on-prem and the Azure cloud.

Hi @ronan,

 

Thank you for your feedback.  I'll forward your comments to the tool developers.  As far as AIX support, I'll enter a feature request so it can be considered for support in the future.

 

Thanks.

Hi @JuanS_OCS,

 

Yes, the System Evaluation Tool analyzes the current system to identify potential issues that may interfere with the upgrade process.

 

Unfortunately, I do not have an externally facing roadmap for the tool at this time.  As I mentioned to @ronan, I will enter a feature request for AIX to be supported.

 

Thanks.

Hi @briankinnebrew ,

 

thank you, it would be useful to have it available in AIX as well.

 

Regards, Juan

Hi @briankinnebrew,

 

On behalf of all of us AIX Power9 peeps: will we be able to benefit from this at some point in time?

 

Regards,

-- Jan.

Hi Jan @jklaverstijn,

 

I entered a feature request a few months ago requesting AIX to be added as a supported platform.  As of now, I do not have a time table for when it will be added but our R&D department is aware of the need from our customers.

 

Cheers,

Brian

I have question about users that can run it.

In the documentation it is said that only Installer user account can be used. When in Windows the user is not available can the user with admin privileges on the server can be used?

(task is with SAS 9.4 on Windows)

@TeTe_BEC I haven't used the Content Assessment Tool so far but my experience of SAS on a Windows platform is that any user account with admin privileges can run this type of admin tool.

@TeTe_BEC. Which application in the tool are you running?

@briankinnebrew For now I'm looking for information after reading the documentation. I'll be doing inventoryContent and systemEvaluation for sure.

I'm preparing to in place upgrade from M6 to M7 and I'm new to this particular environment. 

@TeTe_BEC:
A warning will be issued in System Evaluation that the install user doesn't match the user running the tool. Some tests may fail and you may not be able to roll up all the content you would usually get.

Inventory will probably be all right as long as you're using a metadata admin account for the metadata side.

It appears that @briankinnebrew was able to come through for us AIX folks! My company is getting ready to perform a UIP from M5 to M7 on AIX and expected not to be able to use the Content Assessment tool, as it was not available for AIX when I last checked in early March. However, I was reading @ScottMcCauley's 12-16-20 article regarding the tool, which contains a link to the Content Assessment download page. Something told me to click on the link and there I discovered that just this month (April 2021) they released a new version of the applications and they've included a 64-bit enabled AIX platform version. Perfect timing for my company! My thanks to Brian for submitting the request to the SAS devs and to the devs for finally including us AIX folks in the mix.

 

The ReadMe file for the AIX version indicates that, "The AIX version of SAS® 9 Content Assessment supports only the SAS® 9 System Evaluation, SAS® 9 Inventory, SAS® 9 Profile, SAS® 9 Publish Assessed Content, and SAS® 9 Code Check applications. The AIX version of SAS® 9 Content Assessment does not support the SAS® 9 Gather SAS Code, SAS® 9 Import Enterprise Guide Projects, or SAS® 9 Import Packages applications."

 

@jklaverstijn

@JuanS_OCS

@ronan 

Hi @TBarker 

 

Good news! Many thanks for the heads up.We had postponed our M7 upgrade and will now be able to use the tool in our next attempt.

 

Regards,

- Jan.

Thank you @TBarker ! 

Indeed @jklaverstijn , they are very good news! 

 

This is a fantastic tool and I am happy to hear it can be finally used in AIX as well 🙂

Thanks @TBarker . 

Hello, is there a similar tool for local desktop installation of SAS?

This tool runs on Windows as well as Linux and AIX.
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‎08-24-2020 04:18 PM
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