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There is a bug in SAS that aggressively limits the length of variable names and cripples SAS's ability to interface with any well maintained literally name database.

@Quentin  - You got it!

Community Manager

As I shared in a different thread, SAS Viya is evolving quickly and introducing more deployment options so that SAS 9.x users could use it for their SAS work with little modification to their code/processes -- in the cloud or on-prem. In the meantime, SAS 9.4 continues to receive important updates for security and changes related to its dependencies (operating systems, Java runtime, etc).  Product revisions and solutions still release on top of SAS 9.4, and the SAS product support policy (up to 5 years of standard support from date of general availability) applies to these. Another way to say it: we expect that SAS 9.4 foundation "and friends" will be with us for a long time yet.  But SAS 9.4 probably won't be the delivery vehicle for huge changes like adjusting the rules for variable names.

Obsidian | Level 7

Five years later, and this is still being discussed...says all you need to know about SAS. Whether you're using Viya or 9.4 or whatever else, SAS is not worth the investment. I've successfully transitioned my work out of SAS to open-source despite being in a very SAS-heavy organization, and I couldn't be happier. Many others in my organization are following suit, and as those who grew up with SAS retire, I think we'll start to re-evaluate why we're spending so much for SAS when there are better (and free) solutions out there.    


@mark4  - Open-source tools have their place and many SAS sites use them, like yours and I have no problem with them when they are used appropriately.


However intelligent businesses are not going to run business-critical processes or satisfy regulatory requirements running on free, unsupported software. Fortunately I work for an intelligent business.