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Community Manager

SAS Viya is a brand new, exciting platform for analytics.  But baked into it: the ability to cooperate with your existing SAS 9.4 (or even earlier) environments, so you can hit the ground running.  




Yesterday at SAS Global Forum I was joined by Nancy Rausch (@nar_sas) and Cheryl Doninger on SAS Tech Talk.  They show off some cool examples with SAS Data Integration Studio, the new machine learning procedures, and even loading up data from a mainframe instance of SAS into the SAS Viya in-memory data store. Watch the video here.

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Calcite | Level 5

Great video, Chris.  Very informative.  I am also very excited to see the new SAS Viya forum.  I expect I will be spending a fair about of time lurking around here as the technology is deployed and matures. 🙂


I spent quite a bit of time in the QUAD asked about SAS VIya on Wednesday so I feel as though I am starting to fully understand its capabilities and application.  One thing I think would be very helpful is for SAS to provide a sample set of use cases that describe the problem SAS Viya is intended to solve, the current method of addressing the problem, how SAS Viya solves the problem and some metrics highlighting the advantageous outcomes. 


Warm regards,




Community Manager

@CharynF -- that's coming soon, I know!  Thanks for letting us know what information will help to make it all "more real" for you.

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Obsidian | Level 7

@ChrisHemedinger please adress the focus on providing tangible commercial use cases to support the story about SAS Viya - until now the story has been very inside-out from a very technology driven company.

The question is really from my point of view - to what extent does SAS Viya allow me to solve business challenges in a degree that I am not capable of on the exisiting platform. What is the key commercial application this new architecture allows me to do beyond what I am already doing.

Yes, it is nice to have a nice HTML GUI, Yes it is nice the Enterprise Miner and Visual Statistics and High Performance Datamining in the future blend into one offering - but on the other end - it still ends with the same set of capabilitites, just perhaps faster, more integrated and more powerful (but as a customer you would always expect that trend in product offering life cycles.


So basically I am requesting SAS to adress the communication and explanation of SAS Viya from an outside-in perspective. What is the business challenges that we will be able to solve tomorrow which we cannot do today. Communicating that to the public would definetely be an important focus point looking into how to embrace SAS Viya in a fairly large SAS 9.4M3 setup.


Show me the money, and you are one step closer to adaptation 🙂 

Community Manager

Hi @Jeove74, thanks for the thoughtful question.  This might be something that our product managers (maybe @MikeFrost or @FionaMcNeill) might want to weigh in on.  However, I'm always happy to provide my perspective.


I agree with you that the current SAS platform and its applications allow us to build and accomplish almost anything.  I've seen SAS users build some very impressive applications -- some based in a SAS application UIs, and some completely custom that use SAS as the data/analytical engine.  While all of this is possible today, SAS Viya is a new architecture that recognizes some new realities:

  • More high-end analytics are computationally and data intensive -- and to scale you need be able to distribute the processing when and where the demand requires.  SAS Viya is designed to be cloud-friendly which means -- regardless of where it's ultimately hosted -- you can add nodes to your environment as needed and scale back when demand is low.  That's the "elastic" pillar of the platform.
  • Data scientists expect new capabilities in machine learning and other advanced techniques, and they want these accessible to their programs.  SAS Viya provides a "code first" approach to delivering these, using new SAS procedures and actions that you can access directly from code.  Visual interfaces are also provided for users who cannot or prefer not to code.  That's different than today -- for example, the "SAS 9"-era Visual Statistics provides a great UI for in-memory analytics, but does not provide as flexible of a coding approach.  (That's not to say coding isn't possible -- check out this video showing IMSTAT.)
  • Coders want access to SAS from other programming languages.  SAS Viya provides open APIs to support Python, Lua, REST-based web calls, and more.  This allows developers to easily build apps to use SAS from whatever environment best fits the situation.

I'll acknowledge that SAS customers accomplish much of this today using SAS 9 technology, and it's a testament to the SAS architecture (and the ingenuity of SAS users) that it has been so adaptable to these needs even if it wasn't designed with these apps in mind years ago.  SAS Viya puts this modern design to the forefront.


SAS Viya is not a replacement for SAS 9, and I don't expect you'll see a push from SAS to "migrate".  Instead, you'll see new capabilites delivered in a dual path.  SAS 9.4 continues to evolve with new features -- analytical methods, database engines (a JSON engine was announced at SAS Global Forum), adaptation for use in environments like Jupyter notebook.  SAS Viya delivers new machine learning algorithms, open access via APIs, and stunning new visual UIs.  And as this original article shows, you'll be able to use SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya together, adopting the best of each at your own pace.

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Obsidian | Level 7

Hi @ChrisHemedinger


Thanks for your answer - I surely Think it was in almost due time that SAS took some steps in creating an architecture and platform that Can embrace both the legacy users of SAS - and at the same time welcome newer users who (looking in market offers surrounding the analytical area)  does not want to to through all the detailled coding and just want point&click.


so heads up for that push - it Will make it much easier for us an customer to understand your product portfolio going forward - instead of having multiple products servicing the same needs 😉


my point is just that SAS viya is an umbrella that Should be your access point to a whole new pool of customers - ranging from smal-business to corporates - and approaching Them I Would expect You to communicate to customers more from Their business point of view - rather than your inside technological view on the architecture (no matter how proud You Are to have achieved SAS viya - fully understandable bevares it is an achievement from where You came from).


so keep up the good efforts on Technology - and let the marketing people do Their outside-in magic in explaining the future to future customers. And Thank You for ensuring SAS9.4M3 and SAS Viya AS brother & sister talk Nice to eachother ... Otherwise se Would have to want some time to get there 👍)


only take my points raised here in These posts AS inputs from a customer who has been Working with SAS ever since version 5 😂


All the Best / Jesper



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