I am interested in hearing from companies that have migrated to SAS Enterprise Guide as their SAS front end for analysis and reporting. What are your experiences?
Also, Enterprise Guide seems geared towards the efforts of an individual analyst and not so much to the group effort required for analysis and reporting of clinical trials data. How have folks worked around the fact that Enterprise Guide bundles all objects into a single project file? How do you work with that single project file in a multi-user development environment?
I have visited several pharma and biotech customers using EG. Usage has been primarily in marketing/sales analysis and phase II-IV drug development. The ways it is being used:
1) As a tool to enable business analyst (MBA, MS, etc.) types to use the SAS system for data management and analysis. The Add-In is beginning to take over in this area. It is more limited than EG, but often enough for these users.
2) As a means to simplify access to the work of SAS programmers for data management teams. It is seen as very useful for data management validation queries and running those side by side with the production code in a single app.
3) As a means to accellerate the work of SAS Programmers/Statisticians. Two separate approaches here:
a) SAS Programmers and Statisticians use EG as a validation tool for independent verification of the results in their production code.
b) Some companies are developing custom tasks for their standard safety and basic efficacy tables so that entry level programmers and statisticians can easily build these. Another approach here is front ending their standard macro libraries as custom tasks or stored processes in EG.
Traditional code developed or added to an EG project can be kept in an external location as a .sas file (either accessible via shared drives or via the file directories accessible via the SAS Server.) A project can be opened concurrently via multiple users, but only the first person to open it can resave the project. However, code nodes can be saved by a user regardless of whether they can save a project as long as noone else had that code opened (similar to external editors like DMS.)
Practically, the best way to solve this is to divide a project amongst the team in several EG projects. Once work is complete, one user (the team lead) can open the projects as multiple EG sessions and very quickly cut and paste the objects into one master EG project. While not ideal, this is a pretty easy way to avoid conflicts while under heavy development with a minimum of housekeeping at the end of the project.
Finally, SAS code is still typically run external to EG with the companies "standard" validated SAS environment for the final production run.
If you are interested in talking in more depth about this, please let me know.
I was very interested in Stephen's reply since we are in the process of migrating from a Windows Citrix server version of SAS to a UNIX version of SAS. We are very disappointed with the interactive environment SAS has on UNIX via the Exceed client and would like to utilize Enterprise Guide to bridge the gap.
The major problem is with the 'project' concept of EG. I would like to generate traditional SAS code(.sas files) and submit it similar to interactive SAS on the Window environment.
If we are able to develop and submit code outside the 'project' concept and utilize the Enhanced editor and the work data sets our interactive SAS needs would be fulfilled by EG.