07-24-2017 07:40 PM
Did you know SAS Enterprise Guide (EG) is undergoing a redesign! The redesign is to modernize how it looks and to make working in the user interface more efficient. If you use SAS EG, please take this 10 minute survey to help the SAS usability team understand how often you use each icon or button on the various toolbars.
07-25-2017 09:52 AM
Done! If you're sitting on the fence, it's an EXTREMELY EASY survey to do, and it will help make futre EG versions easier to use!
07-28-2017 01:07 AM - edited 07-28-2017 01:43 AM
I'm going to play devil's advocate here, and I hope not to come off as a troll. That's certainly not my intention.
But this is my honest feedback...
I found the survey to be a bit superficial. While I am very appreciative that the EG R&D Team are soliciting their end users for suggestions and input, there are SO many other areas where EG could be improved than which icons to remove from a toolbar or which key mappings to change.
Off the top of my head, and in no particular order:
* Improved stop functionality (like actually make it work, and stop when I click stop. I realize this may be "hard", but it's software...make it work)
* Builtin functionality to change keyboard mappings, rather than having to install a 3rd party software product.
* Search and replace across program entries
* Improved regular expression editing (see Textpad and copy its functionality)
* Improved block copy/editing functionality (see Textpad and copy its functionality)
* The ability to submit EG projects in batch (i.e. seguide <path to project> etc, not via VB or Powershell)
* When I RMB a process flow to run all the objects, expand *that* process flow, not the one above it. Or don't expand at all. (Note: I'm on EG 6.1M1, YMMV)
* Copy SQL Server Management Studio functionality when appropriate. For example, RMB Create Dataset will generate a data step or PROC SQL code (user selectable) with at least the schema of the table, if not the data itself (datalines or insert statements) (with a user selectable limit on the number lines to generate). Other code generation steps: DROP TABLE, SELECT * (hit table to expand columns), ALTER TO (i.e. PROC DATASETS to rename columns), CREATE INDEX (generate PROC DATASETS code to create indexes).
* RMB a library to get the column attributes (PROC CONTENTS) of selected datasets.
* RMB a dataset, open a designer to allow me to drop, reorder columns in place. Ok, there's the Filter and Sort task, but I want to do this FAST. (Just look at the Design table functionality in SSMS for ideas).
* If I'm in the table viewer and I accidentally hold the mouse button in the vertical scrollbar, it can take a couple minutes for EG to return control. Have some interrupt (Esc key?) that will stop scrolling.
* Improved Intellisense. If I have a variable name that begins with a keyword, EG will often munge my code. I don't get that with SSMS.
* Perhaps add some new tasks (eg. can DS2 or FEDSQL be a task in EG?). Anway, a review of all new(ish) PROCs in SAS, to see if EG has kept up with the times.
* An option to run program entries in the order listed in the Project Tree, not just by the order on the Project Layout. I often Create New Program and drag it where it needs to go in Project Explorer. But running the entire Process Flow runs in the wrong order until I change the Project Layout.
* Make it easier to link objects, perhaps via Drag and Drop? For example, say Shift-LMB-drag Program #2 and drop onto Program #1, and it makes Program #2 a "child" of Program #1. The Link window is very cluttered on a large process flow with many objects. I've never linked a Program to a dataset object created by another process flow - does it work?
* Ability to add additional folders under a Process Flow, or perhaps a Process Flow can contain sub-Process Flows? IOW a better way to organize objects in a huge project, and a better way to run just a sub-section of those objects.
* Improved parallel execution. I can only get it to work if I link my program objects. Support a setup process flow (libname statements, macros, etc) that gets submitted for all parallel processes, instead of me having to have the code external to EG and %included for each program object.
* I don't know if EG has a memory leak? But where I am now, we don't bounce our object spawner, so I can leave EG open for say a week. Invariably, for no explicable reason, it will either go into a loop or crash. I don't go a single week when I don't have to use Task Manager to kill EG. I don't get this problem with the other IDE's/tools I use, such as SSMS.
I'm sure there's more, but that's enough for now.
I'm happy for alternative/disagreeing viewpoints to my own. And apologies, I wrote the above in a hurry, sorry if some of the comments are cryptic and perhaps hard to follow.
But my main point is that I'd love the EG R&D team to consider real, substantial improvements to EG, rather than just the redesign of icons in the toolbar. (And I'm sure they are, but a more substantive survey would IMO help them prioritize those substantial changes).
07-28-2017 01:26 PM
Well, I'm going to jump right in and say that I don't see any trolling at all!
To me, these are suggestions for improvements to the product, and a great contribution to the dialog. In my experience, the nature of commercial software is that some of these will get done, and some won't, for a variety of reasons, but it's always good to have suggestions on the table. I have an outstanding suggestion since Version 2! ;-) Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to implement, and I understand why it's never been done, but that didn't stop me from requesting it!
I had a wonderful time talking to the EG team in Orlando, and I am completely certain that a lot more is on the table than just cosmetic changes. I'm sure the EG folks will be reaching out to you to discuss some of these further.
Keep up the great suggestions!
07-25-2017 10:37 AM
Thanks @MichelleHomes for posting. I noticed your tweet about this, so it was on my mind this morning. Happy to see you had posted the URL here. : ) Also happy to see SAS doing such informal, low-overhead surverys for quick user feedback.
07-25-2017 01:48 PM - edited 07-26-2017 03:38 PM
Thanks @TomKari and @Quentin for completing the survey. I received an email to let me know the number of responses has more than doubled since the social media postings which is fabulous and they'd love to get more...
As Tom says, please spend a few minutes to respond and have your say. It's your opportunity to share how you currently use E.G. and your thoughts for its future.
Agree Quentin about the low key surveys. The user experience and testing lab teams have done this for a few years. I've mainly shared SAS VA surveys in the past.
07-31-2017 05:25 PM
The survey will be closing in a day or two... thank you to those that have completed it. There's still time if you haven't done it, please spare a few minutes to provide your feedback. Thanks!
08-03-2017 01:32 PM
@MichelleHomes a huge thanks for getting this out on social media. The more data we have the better EG will be.
@ScottBass Thanks for all those great suggestions - I have captured them. We were hoping that the simple survey would trigger people to open up and give us a deeper understanding of how they perform their daily tasks. We are getting some great data.
@TomKari A shout out to you for being passionate about EG and being a part of it's future.
@Quentin SAS Communities is - as you succinctly put it - great for 'informal, low-overhead surverys for quick user feedback'; however it is not the best forum for reviewing the actual designs (copyright issues etc). If you, or anyone else, would like to be part of a small group of design reviewers, please contact me privately.
Samantha (User Experience Designer for SAS Studio and Enterrpise Guide)
08-03-2017 10:09 PM
My pleasure Sam! I was pleased to hear the number of respondents you got. I'm sure there you've got some great feedback to work with.