Anyone else concerned about the lack of development efforts into SAS EBI, in particular Web Report Studio? Any word on what we can look forward to, or has the Visual Analytics platform now consumed all development efforts so that there is no interest in R&D (not to mention fixing significant deficiencies) for passe technology such as SAS EBI? Do you really expect customers to take up Visual Analytics when even installing a maintenance release on a server results in platform administrators tremble in fear at the consequences?
Tell me it isn't so SAS.
Thanks for your post and for giving us a chance to respond to your concerns about SAS Enterprise Business Intelligence and Web Report Studio. I’ll start by saying it's important for you to know that we’re wholly committed to the future of our BI portfolio. Visual Analytics is a really exciting step for us; it 's also a complementary solution to our flagship EBI products, not a replacement. It does lots of great stuff and gives users
new ways to look at enormous amounts of data. But EBI has great features, too, that aren’t currently available in Visual Analytics, like dashboards, OLAP etc. Many users, like you, have asked how Visual Analytics differs from existing solutions. These are the conversations we want to be having with users as we roll out any new features and / or entirely new products.
You’ll be hearing more from SAS about our entire Business Intelligence portfolio in the coming weeks. I'm sure you're aware of many of the current resources out there regarding EBI, but I thought I’d include the links below just in case (and for the benefit of other users reading this post).
-The Products and Solutions pages on support.sas.com. Not all SAS products are listed here, but many of them are and we’re adding new ones all the time. There are pages devoted to WRS and Visual Analytics, for example, and they include info on current releases plus training, books and other resources.
-Our recent SAS Talks webinar presented by authors Angela Hall, Tricia Aanderud and SAS Training expert Eric Rossland about what’s new in BI (we got questions about the relationship between BI and Visual Analytics
during the Q&A portion of this event).
-Angela Hall’s blog, “Real BI for SAS Users.” You can see in her April 30th post a list of pointers to information about some of the various mobile options available to SAS users, including BI, JMP, Visual Analytics and others.
We are actively planning for enhancements to both EBI and WRS that will be released over the next 9-12 months. We'll post to this forum when the new features are available.
Thanks for your considered reply.
Apologies for the terse nature of my original post.
The frustration for me is seeing Visual Analytics with a version number 5.1, SAS Enterprise Guide 5.1, SAS Microsoft Add-in 5.1, yet, the web based BI clients are stuck at 4.3. It is especially frustrating seeing the Flex based BI Dashboard now released over a year ago, with the promise of seeing similar slick interfaces not eventuating for WRS. What’s more, clients such as Information Map Studio prevent the use of 9.3 stored processes. I really think that SAS should take a step back, consolidate their technologies, and provide some stability and consistency amongst their EBI platform – too many disparate versions and interfaces, and way too many issues that we, as administrators and users, have to work around because they are not being fixed. Visual Analytics is not just another license, or another product that needs to be installed – a whole new hardware infrastructure is needed to exploit its functionality.
I am also very disappointed at hearing that it will be up to 12 months before I see an update to the EBI platform, and there is no doubt this is all due to a re-prioritization by SAS of its development to new technologies. It will be interesting to hear what SAS has to say about the Business Intelligence Portfolio in the coming weeks.
Good to hear from you! We met a couple of times at past SAS Global Forum events.
I'm sorry you haven't been notified of any EBI server developments this year -- they are definitely out there. Probably the best place to start for a "one-stop shop" is the archive of Rick Styll's SAS Talks webinar: Overview - New Features for SAS Enterprise BI Server | SAS
I don't know if you'll be attending SAS Global Forum in San Francisco this year, but there will be a number of EBI presentations and a panel discussion about EBI/VA. If you're not planning to attend the event, you should definitely check out the proceedings. As 9.4 begins to roll out later this year, you can expect to see more details.
If you aren't already receving information about SAS Talks, please consider going to the main page SAS Talks and clicking "subscribe" in the upper right-hand corner. That will allow you to be aware of all thse technical webinar topics in advance.
I would also like to add that we always try to include What's New in our product documentation as well. For a list of what's new in the latest release of Web Report Studio, for example, you can find that here: SAS(R) Web Report Studio 4.31: User's Guide. Of course, you don't get the benefit of Rick's witty repartee with this version. But, feel free to "hear" his voice while you read through the documentation.
ok i watched the sastalk, with what's new for 4.31M2, a number of welcome enhancements.
it also talks about ebi server 4.4, scheduled for 2013 and sas94. what's new for this version? i haven't found the subject on the program for sasgf13(?), i only found:
> Paper 060-2013
> What’s New in SAS® Enterprise Business Intelligence for SAS® 9.3
> Rick Styll, SAS
the fact that's it's called 4.4 and not 5.1 gives me the impression it will be a minor update.
is there a roadmap?
Ralf and Bart,
I've spoken with my colleague Rick Styll. His revised Global Forum paper will have the content you're looking for. His paper currently posted in the proceedings has been revised and we're trying to see if there's a way to get it posted prior to the conference. If so, I'll let you know via this thread but worst-case is the information will be available shortly after Global Forum.
Ralf and Bart,
Thank you both for your interest in this topic. The PDF for paper 060-2013 - What’s New in SAS® Enterprise Business Intelligence for SAS® 9.3, which I will be presenting on Wednesday, has examples for all of the new features that were added to the EBI Sever 4.31_M2 release. You will also find a preview of the enhancements being made for EBI 4.4 on pages 22 and 23. I hope this is helpful.
If you are planning to attend SAS Global Forum next week, you'll find more information about the panel discussion Memsy mentioned above by reading the abstract for SAS® Business Intelligence Development Roundtable: SAS Business Intelligence Solutions Portfolio and....
Interesting to see this question keeps popping up.
Maybe SAS should re-consider how they communicate (or not) this type of information, as the lack of information seems to generate a lot of speculation that is/could be harmful to SAS' reputation in this space.
Barry, thanks for information you shared via the paper on SGF2013. Based on this paper and other information sources I assume the investments that are being made in the EBI web clients (WRS, BID, IDP) will be little the coming months / years as compared to the investments in Visual Analytics.
EBI (and VA) web clients will continue to be supported and enhanced based on customer feedback for the foreseeable future. So, if you have specific requirements that you think need to be added to EBI Server (or VA), please raise them up -- either to Tech Support or to your SAS account team.
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