Now that this morning's Technology Connection plenary session is over (see it yourself at http://www.livestream.com/sasglobalforum), I have a much clearer picture of the range of new developments that SAS are introducing with v9.4 across 2013 (yes, not all of the following will be available in June when v9.4 launches).
With regard to cloud, SAS supports all but two of the characteristics, service models and deployment models categorised by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (http://www.nist.gov/itl/csd/cloud-102511.cfm). SAS have done a lot of work to create itegration and simplification of administration in this area. The new SAS App Centra web interface offers users and administrators a single start point for their daily activities. For users, they see alerts from administrators, buttons to launch their apps, news and useful links. When launching an app, users will be grateful for the new single signon capability that SAS have incorporated.
For administrators, SAS App Central provides the ability to define alerts (down time, upgrades, etc.), manage users, and manage environments & instances. With regard to instances, we're talking about internally hosted VMs plus off-premise hosted options including the likes of Amazon and Rachspace. The ability to keep different instances in sync with each others' software versioning, etc is incorporated. SAS recently acquired Rpath (http://www.informationweek.com/software/business-intelligence/sas-acquires-rpath-assets-to-boost-cloud/240143015) to bolster their ability to deliver in this area.
SAS App Works provides the ability to define and deploy apps to SAS App Central. Creation of apps with relative paths is fully supported in order to ease migration and promotion through separate environments.
In the area of business visualisation, Visual Analytics is the poster child for SAS. Now at version 6.2, SAS are maintaining a fast pace of development, incorporating more and more statistics and analytics techniques and presentation techniques.
For decision management, SAS have the new Decision Manager which provides the ability to create and then analyse decision flows. The Business Rule Manager is also new, introduced in December 2012.
In Data Management, we saw demonsration of capabilities for creating and workflowing a data remediation queue and the management of the lifecycle of data. As with administration, the Data Management Console unifies and integrates capability (some new, some old).
Finally, high performance analytics procedures (PROC HPxxxx) will be shipped as stadard components of SAS/STAT, SAS/ETS, Enterprise Miner, etc. As their names suggest, these PROCs offer high performnce tht is calable and requires no code change as your SAS architecture chnages and introduces new capabilities that the PROCs can make use of and thereby increase performmance and reduce run times.
So, the Technology Connection offered plenty of headlines that interested me, are of relevance to my clients and that I shall be investigating further. Plus, I'll be trawling the demo and sponsor area to see what's new with 3rd party suppliers such as Futrix and Metacoda. So much to do, so little in which to do it! SAS Global Forum 2013 is looking terrific already.