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Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

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Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

Please help me!
I've been programming in SAS over 20 years. I'm not arrogant or profess to know it all. Our Company Support area did not renew any Full Client versions of SAS(v9.1.3). We have been told that we have to utilize EG(4.1) from now on. They keep telling us that SAS code can be run through code no w/ no difference.
This is a totally bogus statement!
How can I strip down this EG overhead to a bare bones level?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Frustrated as "H" "E" double hockey sticks!
ps EG does not replicate SASGraph!
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Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

Dear dear, we may hear more of this in the future as code hounds like you and me are caught up in migrations of this type.

There are very good reasons for making the change; financial ones that keep companies viable and employing people is one of them. But to say that migration is transparent is often misguided. The Enterprise SAS server model is different to the client licence model in a number of critical ways, and the insertion of a server is the major stumbling point.

It is entirely true that a handful of Binford 6100 servers can deliver processing power to 50 work stations that far exceeds their individual capability, and at a lower TCO. One place to maintain libraries and data, one place to apply hotfixes, one place to tune performance etc. Indeed it deviates back to batch processing on a mainframe where all these things happened before we went to individual computers.

Limitations include that it is a server and contexts change. So an Excel spreadsheet on your workstation is largely invisible to the server, system commands are locked down to prevent fun and games by playful users and so on. This includes DDE and a number of other techniques we have developed over the years, and there will be some work making changes to existing code.

However, I have demonstrated SAS/Graph through E.G. to users who have now moved to this from Excel because the power of the product is more readily available to users since they don't have to learn as much code as I did to start with the product. The capability to share an environment means projects can be shared more easily, and efficiency is improved when more code and project sharing takes place.

My client is still trying to get ODBC working properly, and we are yet to get far enough along with our migration to know whether we are close, or whether we'll turn a corner and find something else. Generally though, if you can code it in SAS, you can run it on Enterprise Guide, and making that statement true may involve a little work with your IT administrators.

This is an Enterprise Guide forum, and problems using E.G. generally belong here, so post some specifics when you come upon a hurdle.

Kind regards

David
Trusted Advisor
Posts: 2,114

Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

Sounds like a mis-guided attempt to save money.

First, get a copy of Constable's "SAS Programming for Enterprise Guide Users", it covers a lot of the links between SAS and EG.

You can just use file --> open --> code to insert a complete SAS program into EGuide. It is there as a shortcut, so you can edit it with your favorite text editor in windows (or Unix, with a samba connection) or with the EG built in editor. Then you can just run it within the eguide environment (you'll have to define a SAS server in eguide to run it).

I actually find EG quite convenient to prototype an application, then export the code, so I can refine/expand it with a professional editor (I prefer GNU EMACS) and bring it back in to EG run it. I still tend to do my data in from scratch, I get a lot of messy data to read.

I like the way the process flow diagram can help keep all the pieces together (note you can have multiple process flow diagrams in one project) and I use the "send to" --> "email as part of project" to bundle multiple outputs and send them on to me or my users.

I'm not sure what you mean about the SAS/Graph comment; EG uses the SAS server to run all the graphics.

We may be "old dogs", but there truly are some productivity savings for us in EG. Don't fight it, adapt it to your needs.

Doc
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Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

Well spoken Doc, that is very often the case, and is misguided because the code conversion costs are hidden.

I like E.G. for my less experienced colleagues because of the sharing, the ability to add free text notes, the cleanliness and version control of the project paradigm, the code walk throughs for tasks like Graphs and code that is a little neater than some of the freeform spaghetti I have seen.

I dislike E.G. when I have to remember to provide lists of internet shortcuts to this forum, Chris Hemedinger's excellent SAS Blog and the SAS Online documentation. I'd rather they were on the Help tab.

Kind regards

David
SAS Super FREQ
Posts: 8,820

Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

Hi:
One of my fellow instructors recently had to teach a class originally designed for Display Manager in EG and here are some of his comments on what he did to change the look and feel of the environment:
"Has anyone noticed how much you can make EG look like the Display Manager. I selected an option under Tools/Options/General called 'separate document windows'. Windows in the work area can be floated and moved just like in display manager. You can continue to submit code and it simply shows the latest log and output in the listing window. I moved the server list to the list to share border with the project explorer so it looks much like the SAS Explorer and Results viewer. Kind of amazed me."

I suspect that your discomfort/issue with SAS/Graph has to do with the fact that 1) EG automatically wraps ODS HTML around your choices (if you design your graphs from the pull-down menus) or in a code node without ODS statements and 2) EG automatically uses the "client-side" ACTIVEX, ACTXIMG drivers. In this instance, there can be some collision between your "classic" SAS/Graph color, symbol and other statements and the style template that is being used by the "client-side" drivers. One thing you can do is explicitly code a driver into your GOPTIONS, like JPEG or GIF.

Even if you put a plain old PROC GCHART or PROC GPLOT into an EG code node, EG will automatically wrap HTML around your code and use the default driver and the results may not be what you want. When you move to a client-server model for processing, it makes sense that EG would "want" to use a client side driver for graphics production -- think of where the code is executing and where the WORK library and GSEG catalog live -- they are up on the server. And the place where you generally want the graphs are down on the client.

I prefer to explicitly code my own ODS HTML or ODS RTF or ODS PDF statements in an EG code node, but not everyone feels that way. I tend to use permanent libraries more on the server, instead of stashing things in Work. But generally, when I have graphs to start from scratch or need to use a STAT proc that I don't use all the time, I find that EG is an enormous help just from the standpoint of helping me out as a code generator. (and has a much nicer interface than SAS/Assist).

I know I'm not the only one here who remembers SAS/Assist. And if you remember it too, you're allowed to grumble a bit about EG vs Display Manager. But as David pointed out -- between cost effectiveness and ease of use, EG is making a lot of friends these days.

cynthia
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Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

EG is a great AD HOC tool, and I love it for that. Even pressed a company I used to work for to adopting EG.
But, it is not a good platform for scheduled production runs.
It also lacks a lot of ability at allowing a worker to multi-task multiple projects and processes. The developers were too small minded about the size of the datasets we heavy hitters use (> 1,000,000 observations, I've regularly processed > 600,000,000 and as much as > 1,000,000,000 with SAS). Processing large datasets is one of SAS's strengths.

Hopefully the underlying server is either Unix or a Mainframe. You need to be able to log on to that box so that you can build jobs that can run from a proper scheduler -- like Control-M. Relying on your local PC's Scheduled Tasks to run production jobs is just plain ________________.

Your headaches will get worse if you have to use "Meta-Data" and the meta-data admin is not intelligent, congenial, and genuinely helpful. The EG admin can also give you headaches and frustrations.

When done well, the environment sings beautifully. But it is very complicated under the covers and can be easily sabotaged by poor design and administration.

One the biggest problems is the lack of general documentation. In the old days, SAS had the best documentation of any software product. SAS/STATS not only told you how to use their functions, it even explained a lot of basic statistics and the theory and reasons behind the various types of regressions. Where do you find that kind of education for Meta-Data? I have yet to find a general explanation of the general architectural design and reasons for the design of Meta-Data and thus why the Meta-Data server was constructed the way it was. There is nothing to build an appropriate intuitive feel for what to do and why.

Anyway, I feel your pain, and sympathize with you.

For SAS/Graph stuff. Look for the "Preview Code" button and then the "Insert Code" button.

Our EG blew up on a regular basis until we found that defining goptions in an autoexec.sas file was the cause.

Another problem we have had is that ActiveX and JavaX controls don't work as well/expected, so we have had to change the default graphics device to .gif to get proper but limited output.

I like having PC SAS on my box simply for the help documentation. EG is grossly lacking in that regard. The "Online Documentation" is slow, not always available (if the internal network ISP connections are our -- considered non-critical), and greatly cuts into a person's productivity waiting for a page to paint.

EG is meant to be a productivity tool, but it isn't as much of a one as it could be if it had better product management.
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Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

I do wonder if you're able to take a csv file of users and corresponding passwords and pump it into the metadata tier of a sas server (be it wintel or unix). Yes, theres also the metadata server, but in the absence of one, can the metadata residing in a sas server be amended or manipulated in an elegant manner?
SAS Super FREQ
Posts: 8,820

Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

Hi:
I believe this Tech Support note points you to the Platform Administration documentation:
http://support.sas.com/kb/24/294.html

But the link in the note points you to the general documentation site.
http://support.sas.com/documentation/configuration/index.html

The doc on Security Administration is here:
http://support.sas.com/documentation/configuration/bisecag.pdf
and your reference is Appendix 2: Bulk-Load Processes for Identity Management

It might not hurt to open a ticket with Tech Support so they can find out what your system configuration is and help you figure out the best method to bulk load the information you need.

cynthia
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Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

Thanks Cynthia. I've seen the install and config documentation for SAS foundation for unix environments. It mentions in page 46 in the install.pdf how to use the command line to configure user authentication (chown root elssrv sasauth sasperm), but little about how we might be able to import a list of users and passwords into the box. Granted that theres metadata server, but it would be a burden to purchase another product at this point. I am under the impression that the metadata tier must cache all this info in some cfg or text files, but this is really out of my league.
New Contributor
Posts: 2

Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

I wish that SAS would offer EG training for experienced programmers. The training they offer is explicitly targeted to non-programmers, or to those already experienced with EG. I don't want to sit through an explanation of a merge.

What am I after? A course for the new EG user that assumes that the user is well-experienced with interactive SAS. It would teach the tricks and jargon and approaches needed for that user to become as effective as possible; in short, to help experienced users get as excited about EG as its developers are. Perhaps it would be a half-day Web course, perhaps more. Our company would sign up 30 people in a blink, with more to follow.
Community Manager
Posts: 2,889

Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

We're planning a session at SAS Global Forum this year to help orient SAS programmers to the benefits of EG. You already know what you can do with SAS; we want to show you the tricks that help you get more out of EG, knowing what you know.

It's a standard 50-minute presentation slot, I think, but there will be an accompanying paper posted on the SAS support site. I'll post back to this forum when we have more information.

At the risk of a shameless plug, I'll point out that Chapters 17 and 18 of SAS for Dummies also cover this topic.

Chris
Contributor
Posts: 27

Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

There was a hands-on workshop last year at SGF on EG for the SAS Programmer. You can find it at http://www2.sas.com/proceedings/forum2007/110-2007.pdf. However once I got back to the office I tried to use EG instead of DM but couldn't keep motivated to learn the new interface. Perhaps I'll get another dose of engergy after this next SGF.
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Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

I loved the book, but I wish chapter 5 was more-in-depth, given that most bottlenecks are probably IO-centic.Its the 10th day since I've started learning about SAS, and your book was the most reader-friendly thing I've picked up so far (that includes all the white papers and the little sas book)
Community Manager
Posts: 2,889

Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

Thanks Joshua.

Check out this for more insight into I/O with Enterprise Guide:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSTa1EUpKT8

Chris
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Posts: 0

Re: Getting around Enterprise Guide(ie OUT of EG!)

Thats a cool clip. I wish there were more resources (like these) to help layman like us to adapt to the technology in a less painful manner. I recently took to investigating the nature of EG by observing the traffic generated from the PC running EG. I was quite surprised that there was alot of traffic generated between EG and SAS given that EG is merely a thin client sending the instructions (proc and data steps) to SAS and not doing any real work itself.
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