Tuesday 15 September 2009

NOTE: New SAS Version Numbers

I'm not sure if I missed an earlier announcement on this. With the introduction of SAS 9.2, SAS have decided to use different version numbers for each product. The example given in the support note that I just saw goes as follows:

For example, your SAS 9.2 (TS2M0) installation might include Base SAS® 9.21, SAS/STAT® 9.21, SAS® Management Console 9.2, and SAS® Risk Dimensions 5.2. The release numbers "9.21", "9.2", and "5.2" are unique to the individual SAS products. If maintenance becomes available for SAS/STAT software, the product release number will increment to 9.21_M1. Or if a new release becomes available, the SAS/STAT product release number will increment to 9.22.
This change is significant because it frees SAS from the shackles of releasing all products at the same time - causing releases to move at the pace of the slowest development team.

A new procedure (PROC PRODUCT_STATUS) will provide a listing of the version numbers of the products you have installed. Of course, for client applications you can simply use the About window to find the version number. For systems with a Metadata server, the new ViewRegistry utility can be used. Frustratingly, I can't find any documentation on PROC PRODUCT_STATUS.

I am optimistic that this change will allow faster release cycles for individual products. Whilst faster release cycles aren't always a good thing, this gives SAS the opportunity to enhance individual products when there is a clear need to do so, without masking the new/enhanced functionality as a maintenance release. So, it gives SAS the opportunity to communicate more clearly with its customers about that new/enhanced functionality. That's got to be a good thing.