How do you work with SAS across machines?

I had in interesting and long conversation with one of the stalwarts in the SAS community the other day that somewhat surprised me. One of the things that I’ve always used with SAS on a Windows Server has been SAS/Connect. SAS/Connect is the piece of software that allows your SAS desktop session talk to SAS on the server. I’ve always liked it and use it when it’s available.

My friend pointed out that in his opinion, SAS/Connect is pretty old school and should only be considered on the mainframe and that there are many other alternatives that are better when connecting to and using SAS on a server. He pointed out that lots of sites use Citrix or Windows Terminal Server Services that do the job better with less hassle.

So now I’m wondering if the client server model that I’ve always subscribed to and worked with is deficient and outmoded. I’m curious how others who have multiple platforms, work in your environments. Do you use SAS/Connect and do you have any thoughts on using Terminal Services in place of SAS/Connect?

In using WPS on a server, there is not a similar product to SAS/Connect and that is why I wrote MQSubmit that allows you to batch submit WPS code to the server from your desktop ,notebook or netbook. My work is rarely interactive in building systems and tend to be heavily weighted towards running processes that reproducible in batch environments. How do other seasoned SAS developers work? Do find yourself moving between interactive and non-interactive models?


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2 thoughts on “How do you work with SAS across machines?”

  1. One of the things that makes me leary of using a SAS/IntrNet style implementation is that I’ve read numerous postings where folks have long running programs that eventually get timed out. I’m not sure if this is a problem with the browser or the implementation.

    Surely, there’s a way to get around that but if I run into timing out issues after a job is running for 60 seconds, then I have to consider something else.

  2. Phil,

    I have no dog in this fight (actually, I have never installed or used WPS) and I have not used SAS/Connect in years. If I had to work with a technology today for interconnect, it would certainly be web services based. A lot of interconnect today uses web services because they operate over port 80. As a developer, i can control what packages are sent and what is returned.

    To do an interop using web services should not be that difficult but it would be dependent on the license for a site. SAS/Connect or whatever WPS offers may be necessary to submit jobs on a remote server. I look at it technically and it would be easy to have a wrapper on SAS to do job submission and results retrieval using web services. Int Tech provides a lot of that today but you can also do it with SAS/IntrNet.

    At the end of the day, I think the stuff such as Citrix are for UI emulation when a lot of people simply need to submit code and get a log back (or a list). A wrapper web services architecture should work for that and be easy to get by the IT shops.

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