Tuesday, 9 October 2012

NOTE: Log Searching, Beyond the Basics With Enterprise Guide

I originally intended my Enterprise Guide "Beyond the Basics" series to have just two parts, but I just had to include two recent tips from Angela Hall. In "Always learning something new, two awesome Enterprise Guide tricks", Angela relates two tricks she learned (or was reminded of) at this year's WUSS (Western Users of SAS Software) conference. Angela's first tip is a means of quickly skipping through your SAS log to find errors and warnings; the second describes how you can organise your EG projects with multiple Process Flows.

Angela's first tip is almost embarrassing. She merely points out that the Log window has its own toolbar, and there are Up and Down Arrow buttons on the toolbar which take one to the next or previous warning/error. Why didn't I know that? Why had I never noticed the toolbar or buttons?! My embarrassed is mollified by the fact that Angela admits that she didn't know either.

Angela's second tip is to point out that you can add extra Process Flows to your EG project; you can rename them to something meaningful; and you can then easily run selected parts of your project. Whilst I agree with Angela that this is a good way to organise your project, I have to point out a small disappointment that I've always harboured with regard to multiple Process Flows. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some support for links between Flows? I'd like to see two things:

1) A stepping stone icon that, when clicked, takes the user to another Process Flow. This would allow a user to follow the flow of data between Process Flows

2) When data nodes are shown on a Process Flow, EG should indicate which Process Flow created them. Again, this would help users understand the flow between Flows

Of course, even without my suggestions, Angela's tips are valuable and worth trying. Thanks Angela.