Wednesday 9 December 2009

NOTE: Are You In Need Of Support?

You'll have noticed that I'm a fan of SAS 9's thin-client and visual coding tools. Indeed, my clients are fans of any technology that offers lower total cost-of-ownership (TCO) and greater self-service capabilities.

Web Report Studio (WRS) is certainly a candidate for offering lower TCO and power to the users. Chris Hemedinger (aka The SAS Dummy) used his blog this week to encourage participation in the WRS forum on the SAS support site.

In my experience, the SAS support site is a much over-looked resource at many SAS shops. For clients who have not yet benefited from being regular visitors to the SAS support site I usually highlight:

  • The support home page ( where you'll find the latest highlights
  • The R&D communities ( which are now known as the Knowledge Base / Focus Areas. These "communities" are populated with information direct from the developers at SAS. They can be your first sight into new features such as Microsoft Project data conversion macros (introduced into SAS/OR in V9.1.3 release 2), earned value macros (currently experimental), and ODS LAYOUT (much of which is pre-production in V9.2). Some areas are more active than others; the Base SAS area seems the most active, and this is somewhat explained in Paul Kent's mission statement for the Base SAS area. If you don't know Paul, he is Vice-President of R&D at SAS
  • The search box on the support home page. This offers you instant access to SAS's vast support database. Check here before you call Tech Support; someone's probably reported your problem already!
  • The SAS Bookstore ( I've said before that books are the cheapest and can be the most effective training you'll ever get. The SAS Bookstore offers a huge raft of choice (from SAS Press and other publishers)
The SAS web site contains a great deal more than the marketing content that's accessed via Use as your entry point and you'll see a whole new vista of information...