02-09-2012 09:13 PM
How does SAS EG win over PC SAS with respect to an organization, end user and a programmer ? How is SAS EG cost effective compared to PC SAS? How much would be the difference in cost at enterprise level?
02-10-2012 09:37 AM
That's a question with a thousand answers, some of which are contradictory.
The benefits for programmers are generally covered in a couple of papers in the SAS Global Forum proceedings. Search for papers by Hemedinger or Fecht over the past couple of conferences.
On the other hand, we have more experienced SAS programmers who won't use it at all. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. They are also used to working with an external program editor and running programs in batch on Unix; neither of which are EGuide's strengths.
Team programming in EGuide is harder because only one person at a time can use an EGuide project file.
The benefits for end users are much more direct. A GUI interface that is friendly and that the developers can control and the end user just runs canned reports.
A group you didn't mention are analysts. That is actually where EGuide shines. I think of these as people who don't need to do heavy lifting with the DATA step and SQL. For them, the GUI and point-n-click access to 80%+ of the procedure functionality makes their lives much easier. The enterprise saves here by shortening the time from question to answer.
For the organization, you need to do a cost benefit analysis and some networking (go to the SAS Global Forum!). There are some organizations that use it as the only environment, some who do a mix, and some who don't even acknowledge that it exists.
For costs, talk to your SAS Sales Rep; nobody on this forum can answer that effectively.
02-10-2012 06:47 PM
Doc is exactly right on this one; you could start up a whole new forum, and have no trouble filling it up!
Some strengths of EGuide:
At the end user level, they run canned reports, but using facilities like Stored Processes and Information Maps they can also be given "canned" access to very sophisticated processing capabilities, without needing to know SAS.
EGuide is definitely a very powerful analytics tool. Especially if you have a handful of "power users", who know SAS and can help out the analysts who don't.
I'd like to put in a plug for the way that metadata server can be used to organize resources, and implement authorization and authentication.
If you're using EGuide to submit jobs to a SAS server, you're freeing up your local computer from heavy duty number crunching with SAS, and possibly from running high volumes of data up and down your network.
A few downsides:
No debugger (I don't like it myself, but if you do you can't use it in EGuide).
Some SAS products like IML run from display manager and can't be used inactively interactively in EGuide
SAS AF doesn't work with EGuide, but you can create interface elements as custom tasks in EGuide
I'm sure you're going to get lots more comments!
02-10-2012 07:16 PM
I wasn't going to respond to this question but, given the points you raised, I thought it best that I at least attempt to answer the question.
SAS has made it cheaper for an organization to adopt EG for some or all of an organization's employees.
Unfortunately, it can't do everything that can be done outside of it, thus the cost savings may be at the expense of what the organization can produce.
Some organizations will choose to accept the savings as sufficient rationale thus, in reality, throwing out the baby with the bath water. Sad! Both for such organizations and for SAS!
02-10-2012 07:33 PM
To get serious adoption in large organizations it needs have a method for multiple member teams to collaborate on development, validation and execution of complex systems of analyses and reports. Especially in highly regulated industries with audit trail requirements.