Monday 8 June 2015

NOTE: 9.4, What's New - Becoming Newer Month-by-Month

If you're attending SAS Forum UK in London this week (or Manchester later this month), you might not be expecting to use it as a means to find out what's new in V9.4, after all V9.4 was released in summer 2013, so we can't really call it "new" anymore. There have been a couple of maintenance releases, but the most recent of those was M2 at the end of 2014. Well, you might be in for a surprise if you take a look at the What's New in SAS V9.4? manual. Many SAS customers don't know that SAS releases new features on an almost monthly basis... maintenance releases don't just bring fixes.

To illustrate what I'm talking about, jump to Appendix 2. Documentation Enhancements in the What's New book. You'll see the following list of "maintenance releases" and you'll then see what was new in each release.

May 2015 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_15w20)
April 2015 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_15w16)
March 2015 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_15w12)
February 2015 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_15w08)
January 2015 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_15w04)
November 2014 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_14w47)
October 2014 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_14w41)
September 2014 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_14w36)
August 2014 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_14w32)
June 2014 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_14w23)
May 2014 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_14w19)
April 2014 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_14w14)
March 2014 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_14w11)
December 2013 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_13w51)
November 2013 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_13w45)
October 2013 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_13w40)
September 2013 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_13w36)
July 2013 (SAS 9.4, Rev. 940_13w30)

There are far too many new features for me to list them all here, but below I have listed just a few highlights from the May 2015 release that might be of interest to the majority of readers.

  • Add-In for MS-Office 7.11
    • Increased integration with Visual Analytics
  • Visual Analytics 7.2
    • Ability to include parameters in URLs that link to individual reports
    • Functional integration with Visual Statistics (though Visual Statistics remains a separately-licensed product)
    • Import data from Google Analytivs, Facebook, and MapR
    • Able to add page numbers when printing to PDF
  • Enterprise Guide 7.11
    • Support for Visual Analytics 7.2
    • Export Visual Analytics reports to PDF
    • Use of a where expression for filtering in the data grid viewer (hurrah!)

Of course, you may not want to be upgrading your production system on a monthly basis, nor perhaps your development environment. But if a new release contains features that have real business value to for your site, be sure to check-out the Upgrading manual before ordering the software and double-clicking the setup module.

The latest version of SAS is V9.4 maintenance 2 (M2). M3 is expected to be available next month, and I've heard it will contain some significant new features plus noteworthy enhancements to the installation & upgrade process. So, upon its release, take a good look at what it offers - it won't just be bug fixes.