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Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

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New Contributor
Posts: 3

Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

Hope this isn't inappropriate for this forum as this is a non-technical question.

I recently moved from an employer that had the full SAS EBI package, with 9.2, Enterprise Guide 4.3, etc.  Really grew to like EG!  Now at a small shop using only Base SAS 9.1.3 with SAS/STAT.  Old-school SAS programming - not even supposed to use the Enhanced Editor.  Transition has been painful.

I would like to make a case for moving to EG, but will need some good numbers to back up my claim that EG would make us much more productive.  Is there any documentation out there that provides evidence to support my claim?  Argument needs to be a compelling one to justify the cost.

Many thanks!

Super User
Posts: 19,160

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

What's the logic behind not using the enhanced editor?

Are you talking about moving to a server versus stand alone install on desktops? Otherwise AFAIK EG is included in the install as well.

Having a server is definitely useful, but it isn't need for all companies.

PERSONALLY, I prefer BASE SAS over EG and would argue for productivity gains in BASE SAS...but my 2 cents.

My most recent example was working with someone and trying to find the sparse option on the proc freq...I couldn't find it (EG 4.2) and we had to resort to multiple joins/merges instead.  Things I can do in one step in code would be multiple steps in EG. One argument is that EG is 'self documenting' but that depends on the skill of the user. I've seen some projects that are so convoluted I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole.

New Contributor
Posts: 3

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

If I understood correctly, the issue w/ Enhanced Editor was that it allows longer lines, and if code was later opened in regular editor lines get truncated?

We are Windows-server-based, but do NOT have EG or any of the other tools.  Just the bare minimum.

I'm sure if I had more time under my belt using Base SAS I might agree.  But for ad-hoc reporting especially, EG proved useful.

I see a lot of presentations touting the advantages of EG - I'm just hopeful someone has tried to quantify it.

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,792

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

Yes, lines get truncated if they are too long for the program editor. That sounds to me like a reason to force everyone to use the Enhanced Editor.

But I agree with Fareeza, in my opinion, productivity gains come with good coding, not with Enterprise Guide

Super User
Posts: 19,160

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

I'm sure if I had more time under my belt using Base SAS I might agree.  But for ad-hoc reporting especially, EG proved useful.

EG in my opinion is a beginner tool. It does basic things, but sometimes you 'll go for an option and the response will be "Yes, but you'll have to modify the code".

After too many of that you may as well switch to writing your own code Smiley Happy

Super User
Super User
Posts: 6,845

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

Truncated lines is an indication that you are not using a good coding style.  Program lines should be no longer than 80 characters. Otherwise they become unreadable by humans and hence difficult to maintain.  There is a very good reason why newspaper and magazines print articles in narrow columns.

Community Manager
Posts: 2,889

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

I can't imagine why an organization would restrict themselves, as a policy, to the old-style program editor and discourage use of the Enhanced Editor -- or -even EG -- for programming tasks.  I enjoyed the 1990s as much as the next person -- I had more hair, for one thing, and command-line, terminal-oriented tools were the best we had.  Prefix commands in the program editor are probably considered "retro" now.

SAS Enterprise Guide has been included with the SAS for Windows (Workstation) license since SAS 9 -- but it wasn't always automatically installed.  Unless your working on a non-Windows environment, the only cost should be in installing it. However, SAS 9.1.3 (cited by the original question) would require SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1.  Most of the big programmer-oriented productivity gains came in v4.3 and later.

Chris

New Contributor
Posts: 3

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

I'm afraid I don't get to set the rules, but was hoping for a paradigm shift with adoption of EG.

So, EG comes with workstation licenses but NOT with server licenses?  Would be great if I could get EG 4.3 when we move to server 9.2 (on Windows).

Community Manager
Posts: 2,889

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

Yes, on server installations (where you install SAS on Windows Server versions or UNIX or z/OS), EG is a separately licensed product .. also requiring SAS Integration Technologies in order to use it from a client PC.  If you have SAS for Windows Workstation, then EG is included and you can use it all on one machine.

Chris

Super Contributor
Posts: 386

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

Hi,

I'd like to get clarification on EG licensing:

1) SAS Workstation install (local machine):  EG is covered by the SAS Workstation license, you just need to install it.  In this scenario, EG is just a substitute for DMS?

2) SAS Server install (remote machine):  EG is not covered by the SAS Server license.  It is a separate license for each machine on which it is installed, and requires SAS Integration Technologies on the server machine.

3) SAS EG installed on Citrix:  If we have SAS EG 4.x installed on our Citrix server (managed by IT, not me), and assuming we're already license compliant:

   A)  Are there any licensing issues with installing EG 5.1 on that same server?  Typically there are no additional costs with upgrading SAS software - just checking this is the same with EG?

   B)  Are there any technical issues with EG 5.1, EG 4.3, and EG 4.2 on that same server?  My understanding is that EG 5.x and EG 4.x can co-exist on the same machine.

   C)  Any other licensing issues with EG on Citrix?  Since (as I understand it) EG is a per-user license, I assume we need one license per each user that is given access to EG via the security settings in Citrix???

(I'm trying to push our IT department to install EG 5.1 on Citrix since EG 5.1 projects aren't readable with EG 4.x, and it may be a while before all end users have access to EG 5.1.  Citrix could be a good interim measure.).

Thanks,

Scott

Community Manager
Posts: 2,889

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

Scott,

Leave it to you to ask the tricky questions!

I'll try to answer, but as some of the details may depend on software bundling with certain SAS solutions and differences among regions, the best source of information will be your SAS account rep.

(1) - Yes, with SAS for Windows Workstation, EG supports the "local-local" setup -- EG is local, SAS is local, and no metadata server needed.  EG can be used as a replacement or complement to Display Manager.

(2) - When SAS is on a central remote server (server-grade OS, whether Windows or otherwise), EG is a separate license -- per-seat.  SAS Integration Technologies is required on the server.  That's how EG talks to the remote server from your desktop.

(3) - On Citrix or Terminal Server -- these are usually server-class OSs so the Windows Workstation licensing doesn't apply.  You would need to license SAS for the server-class machine as usual.  If you want to use EG on the same machine, you need the EG licenses for the number of seats you intend to use.  But you can save on configuration steps -- EG can be used with the SAS install with no metadata server or IntTech, as long as EG and SAS are on the same machine.  Of course, with no IntTech you don't have access to all of the benefits of a centralized SAS administration.

Technically EG 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 5.1 can all be on the same machine.  EG 4.1 can talk to SAS 9.1.3 or SAS 9.2/9.3 (local-only), and EG 4.2, 4.3, 5.1 can work with SAS 9.2 or SAS 9.3 (though I recommend EG 4.3 or 5.1 if you have 9.3).

Chris

PROC Star
Posts: 1,291

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

I'm also curious why the enhanced editor would not be allowed.

Sounds like you have PC SAS now, right?

EG is part of the usual install, with PC SAS.  So if you really like EG as a programming editor, you could still use it, no?

If the rule is "All code must run in PC SAS", you wouldn't want to use "EG-only" features/tasks (such as process flows), but you could still get a lot of what you might like from EG, and in the end the .sas file would look the same as one written from PC SAS.

--Q.

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 2,114

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

What jorttx didn't say is what his company wants him to use as an editor.  If they only have windows server SAS, then using the enhanced editor takes CPU and memory from other activities.  If they use a desktop based (non-SAS) editor and batch-SAS, then the use of the server is optimized (of course, at the expense of the personnel).

Doc Muhlbaier

Duke

Super User
Posts: 19,160

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

If they were that sensitive about usage of the server then EG wouldn't be faster.  Any instance I've worked on EG has been slower than BASE, but that makes sense to me because of the overhead of all of the options it uses and the type of interface.

PROC Star
Posts: 1,146

Re: Enterprise Guide Productivity Gains?

Hi,

 

Here’s my take on this very interesting subject.

 

I believe that the benefits your organization will see from
using Enterprise Guide (EG) instead of the Display Manager interface (DM)
depends on a number of factors. I'll try to explain my views:

 

The SAS language requires a programming mindset

 

The SAS language, as used in DM and in the code editing
window in EG, is a programming language. As such, to use it effectively people
have to acquire sufficient programming skill, either through formal education
or "in the trenches". When advising non-programmers about how to
solve problems using SAS, I frequently try to explain that some things that can
be done in SAS are very suitable for non-programmers, some are on the border,
and some absolutely fall into the domain of "programming", and require
that training and mindset.

 

Experienced SAS programmers will see minor benefits from
using Enterprise Guide

 

If the people in your organization already program using the
SAS language, and your company is willing to invest in the required training
and development, you won't see huge productivity benefits from using Enterprise
Guide. You'll be in a similar situation to me; I have many years of experience
with SAS, and I am also very familiar with EG. I like EG, I feel that my
productivity is improved in the following ways:

 

  • When I am using a server environment,
    particularly accessing data in non-SAS environments like databases, having all
    of the connection and inter-machine communication handled by EG takes much less
    time that setting up SAS/Connect and SAS/Access code, with accounts, passwords,
    server names, and all that stuff.
  • Personally, I like the style of code that EG
    supports, of having a number of small code nodes connected in a network. I
    believe that it keeps the code cleaner.
  • I find it much quicker for a lot of the tasks in
    EG to use the point-and-click interface instead of typing the code.

     

But these are quite marginal benefits. Take EG away, and
life goes on swimmingly. Maybe I’m five to ten percent faster because of these
benefits, but they’re not world-shakers. Offset against these benefits are the
costs associated with learning EG.

 

You can do much more in the SAS programming language than
with Enterprise Guide

As many of the posters in this thread have pointed out, the
range of things that can be done in SAS code is infinitely greater than the
things that can be done using only the point-and-click EG tools. This is by
design, and is comparable to any other situation where a vendor supplies both a
powerful programming tool and a “user-friendly” interface. EG does, however,
compare very favourably to other easy-to-use BI tools like MicroStrategy, Business
Objects, and Crystal Reports.

 

Enterprise Guide can make non-programmers into valuable
resources

The reason my organization reaped incredible benefits from
using EG was that we took a different approach. We needed to conduct a huge
number of analyses of our Census data, many of them simple, some of them
extremely complex. Using EG greatly increased the number of people who could
undertake this work, with much lower training and development costs.

 

When you have a situation where you can assign fairly easy
jobs to less-experienced EG users, supported by experts, and save your experts
for the tough jobs, you will see an absolute explosion in productivity. Plus,
you’ll be able to find the people you need to get the job done (having much
luck finding and hiring large numbers of SAS expert programmers recently? Us
consultants make a KILLING because you can’t!)

 

Conclusion

So, to conclude, if you have a small SAS shop, already have
your SAS developers, and don’t have a big workload, using EG may or may not
bring small benefits. On the other hand, if you have a big workload, and don’t
have enough SAS developers, having EG users do much of the work supported by
SAS experts can be an absolute game-changer.

 

Hope you find this useful,

 

  Tom

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