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As you may already know, SAS has two new releases of SAS Visual Analytics (VA). SAS Visual Analytics 8.1 became available this March and SAS Visual Analytics 7.4 will be available in late April. Why do we have two separate releases so close together? Why didn’t we just combine all the features into one release? Well, SAS released VA 8.1 on Viya before it had all the features in VA 7.3 because VA on Viya is now the foundation for new visual offerings, such as SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning (VDMML). Viya is the new, open architecture that’s built for analytics innovation. VDMML needs self-service data preparation and visual exploration capabilities too, and SAS believes the new data mining and machine learning capabilities are ready for the market now. VA 7.4 requires SAS 9 and VA 8.1 requires the new SAS Viya architecture. VA 7.4 has everything that’s in VA 7.3, and gives existing VA customers several enhancements in a familiar environment.


 SAS VA 8.1 requires Viya, and it was built around the following key themes:


  • A redesigned user experience built on HTML 5
  • Unified exploration, analysis, and report design (think: Explorer and Designer combined into one interface)
  • Data wrangling and location intelligence capabilities
  • A new, unified, web-based SAS Environment Manager for administration

Of course, that’s not all that is new in VA 8.1. Interested in learning more? You can find more information about additional new features in our online documentation. Also be sure to check out VA 8.1 in this SAS Viya video library, which contains “How Do I” videos for you to explore, and review the Differences in the SAS 9 and SAS Viya 3.2 platforms.


Now, on to SAS Visual Analytics 7.4. We realize that most existing VA customers may not be ready to switch to SAS VA on Viya just yet. For those of you, we have the upcoming VA 7.4 release, which will be available in late April.


VA 7.4 delivers enhancements frequently requested by users to the existing user interface. Customers will be familiar with the migration utilities and steps. VA 7.4 customers will now be able to switch to the modern viewer, which has most of the features that the classic viewer in VA 7.3 has. One feature that is still not in the modern viewer is the ability for report consumers to see and change stored processes prompt values. We’ve also made enhancements to the following:


  • Calculations – an option for ignoring missing values is now available, for example
  • Dynamic text - display one or more measures, filter context, and parameter values.
  • Prompts & parameters – including parameters based on dates, multi-value parameters, and a dynamic slider control

There’s much more, and you’ll be able to check out the new features in detail once SAS VA 7.4 has been released in late April.


How do VA 7.4 features compare to VA 8.1’s? Well, they’re not exactly the same. Dynamic text, alerts, guest mode, and a few other features are currently not available in VA 8.1. Most of these features are planned to be in the next release of VA on the Viya platform. This will be VA 8.2 and planned to be available toward the end of 2017. Most customers with mature VA deployments on SAS 9 should consider migrating their existing environment to VA 7.4 on SAS 9.4, and transition their VA on SAS 9.4 environment to Viya with VA 8.2 when it becomes available.


Adding a VA 8.1 on Viya environment while keeping the VA on SAS 9 environment running is an option. If you need both, report consumers will be able to leverage them both quite easily.  The VA 7.4 modern viewer and VA 8.1 viewer have a consistent look and feel. Once a report consumer understands one, they will know the other. SAS Add-in for Microsoft Office and SAS Mobile BI will be releasing again in late April at the same time as VA 7.4. Both will be able to connect to VA 7.x on SAS 9 and VA 8.1 on Viya from a single application. If you're interested in adding a VA 8.1 on SAS Viya environment, SAS encourages you to contact your SAS account team.


Are you attending SAS Global Forum 2017 next week? If so, here are all of the SAS Visual Analytics sessions. To help you understand what’s in each new VA release, these two sessions will do just that:


Fluorite | Level 6

Hi Ricky,


After long time, Good to see the new version of Visual analytics 7.4.


Is there any beta version available of  VA 7.4 for users ?



Jayendra vainsh



SAS Employee

Hi Jayendra,


There isn't a beta version of Visual Analytics 7.4. However, 7.4 should be generally available in about two weeks, so you should be able to get it very soon. We'll announce it when it's official.



Fluorite | Level 6

Hi Ricky,


Thanks for your reply.



Calcite | Level 5

Hello all thankyou so much to make me already here and join 

Calcite | Level 5

Hi All ,


I want to check last updated date of table in SAS VA dynamic text.


Can someone help me to implement the same?





See the topic "Display Dynamic Text in a Text Object" in the SAS Visual Analytics: User's Guide:


"To add the timestamp for the most recent update of the current data source, click Target icon in the floating toolbar, and then select Table Modified Time. "

Quartz | Level 8

Hello Rick,


My current company will be migrating to SAS VA 8.1 early next year and our current version of SAS VA is 7.1, do you have the list of comparison or maybe a link where I can get a comparison of 7.1 and 8.1? Meaning we need to know what are the new features of 8.1 that are not available in 7.1 and what are the features that are supported in 7.1 that are now not supported in 8.1?


I'm researching for the migration purpose and in advance we won't use the feature that are now not supported in 8.1. Hope you could help me.





Albert, can you confirm that you will be migrating to 8.1 and not 8.2?


See this paper:

And in particular "Moving from Version 7 to Version 8" on page 11 and "What's New" on page 12.


You might also want to see the What's New topics in the product documentation:
8.1 What's New

7.3 What's New

7.2 What's New

Quartz | Level 8
Hi Sam,

We are migrating in 8.2 but it hasn't release yet. Since I am also planning to present this to my higher ups late this month I need to compare our version in an established version for the meantime which is the 8.1. I do also like to have a comparison to 8.2 but I'll be needing it later on.

Thank you for your reply.




Registration is open! SAS is returning to Vegas for an AI and analytics experience like no other! Whether you're an executive, manager, end user or SAS partner, SAS Innovate is designed for everyone on your team. Register for just $495 by 12/31/2023.

If you are interested in speaking, there is still time to submit a session idea. More details are posted on the website. 

Register now!

Tips for filtering data sources in SAS Visual Analytics

See how to use one filter for multiple data sources by mapping your data from SAS’ Alexandria McCall.

Find more tutorials on the SAS Users YouTube channel.

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