Tag Archives: Tips

Post Installation Steps for WPS Workstations

We recently wrote a short technical document on a set of post installation steps that MineQuest Business Analytics recommends after you install WPS on your workstation. We are often asked what needs to be done after WPS is installed to get the greatest performance out of WPS without too much hassle.

The document walks you through modifying your WPS configuration file, moving your work folder to another drive, why you want to install R (for using PROC R of course!), creating an autoexec.sas file, turning out write caching and a few other pointers. You don’t need to to all of the suggestions, after all they are just suggestions, but they are useful modifications that will enable you to get more out of WPS on your workstation.

You can find the document “Post Installation Steps for WPS Workstations” in the Papers Section of the MineQuest website.

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest Business Analytics, LLC located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phil has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a authorized reseller of WPS in North America.

Creating a WPS Launch Icon in Ubuntu

I use Ubuntu for my WPS Linux OS and it’s pretty easy to install. However, unlike the vast majority of people out there who run it in batch mode; I like to run it in interactive mode using the Eclipse Workbench. Hence I want an icon that I can click on to start WPS. Here’s how to do it.

On the Ubuntu desktop, right mouse click on an empty part of the screen and you will get a little option menu. Click on “Create Launcher…” You will see a dialog box pop up that looks like:

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On my Ubuntu Linux Server, I installed WPS into a folder named wps-3.0.1. The directions below use that folder name as our example. You may have installed WPS into another folder so be sure to consider that when performing the tasks below.

Name: WPS 3.01

Command: /home/minequest/wps-3.0.1/eclipse/workbench

Comment: WPS 3.0.1 Linux

Click on the icon on the upper left hand of the Create Launcher Dialog Box (the little spring) and you will get a choose icon list box. Simply go to the WPS install folder and go into the eclipse folder. There you will find a file named icon.xpm. Click on icon.xpm and then click Open and then click OK.

That’s all there is to it. You should have the WPS icon installed and available from your desktop.

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest Business Analytics, LLC located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phil has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a authorized reseller of WPS in North America.

Add a Submit Batch Menu to Windows Explorer

One of the things that I find fascinating as a consultant is how different consultants and software developers design and implement their work environments. For the most part, when I go onsite, I almost always keep their vanilla setup just as they have implemented it. For my notebook and personal workstations, I customize them quite heavily.

I think customization of workstations/desktops (and workplace environments too) is fairly common for most hard-core programmers and “Rock-Star” developers. These folks tend to develop tools so they can gain efficiencies in their day-to-day tasks. Over the years, I’ve seen some amazing customizations and I try to borrow their ideas just as much as possible.

A hallmark of a great WPS/SAS developer in my mind is to be able to manage multiple tasks. Some of us can multi-task three or four projects at a time where as some others can only multi-task sequentially. I always liked that phrase and have waited years to use it in a blog! But it’s true! The easier it is to perform some task, the easier it is to automate it and gain efficiencies by running multiple tasks or jobs at the same time.

Today, I want to focus on WPS. In a WPS environment using the Eclipse Workbench, you can view logs and listings and edit multiple WPS programs while a program is running, but you are limited to running a single program at a time from within the Workbench. I know many developers, and count me in as one of these folks, who like to run tasks in the background such as a long running WPS program while I’m doing some editing in the Workbench.

In the SAS environment on the Windows Desktop, you can run a SAS program in batch by right clicking on a .SAS program and selecting “Run SAS Batch” or something similar to that. That’s something I’ve liked and unfortunately, it’s missing in the current WPS environment. So, I’ve put together some simple instructions that shows you how you can do the same thing.

In a previous blog post, I provided a windows CMD file that ran WPS in batch. I slightly modified this CMD file and named it “Submit WPS Batch.CMD” and you can find a link to it at the bottom of this post. This CMD file will run a WPS program in batch and you can easily add a Windows Explorer menu item so that when you right click on a program that has the .SAS extension, you can run this program in batch mode.

Below is the Windows Explorer Window with the Submit WPS Batch menu item added.

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The first thing you have to do to get this working is to download the submitbatch.zip file and unzip it to a file folder such as c:\temp or some other folder.

Step 2 is to go to a folder that has an existing WPS program and right click on a file that has the .SAS extension and select “properties” from the context menu. Click on “properties” and then select the “Change” button. The “Open With” selection box will open.

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Click on “Browse” and navigate to the folder that you saved the Submit WPS Batch.CMD file and select that program and then click OK. You will see that the properties box for the program will have the following attributes. Type of file: SAS File (.sas) and Opens with: Submit WPS Batch.

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The only other modification you need to do is edit the Submit WPS Batch.cmd. Make sure line 12

SET wpsloc=c:\Program Files\World Programming WPS 2

points to the proper folder where WPSI.EXE is located.

That’s all there is to adding a menu item to Windows Explorer so that you can submit a WPS program to run in batch in the background and have the log and lst files be placed in the folder where the submitted program resides.

Link: Submit_WPS_Batch.zip (1,488 bytes)

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest, LLC. and has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and a reseller of WPS in North America.

WPS Tip – Dynamic Help

Here’s a neat little tip that was shared with me by a Customer Support/Sales Engineer from WP a few months back. It’s Dynamic Help and it allows you to have a help window open and by clicking on keywords in the editor you will see an updated help screen on that topic and any related topics.

Ctrl + F1 – Opens Dynamic Help.

Click on any keyword in the editor and you will see the dynamic help window update with links for that keyword and other possibly related links.

 

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If you drill down into the help system, you can click on Related Topics at the bottom of the help window to return to the primary Dynamic Help  screen.

Interfaces such as the Eclipse Workbench quickly make it obvious to anyone who uses them that it’s advantageous to have a large widescreen monitor. Having a widescreen monitor makes programming in WPS a more enjoyable endeavor because it allows you to have numerous Workbench windows open simultaneously but you still have focus on the editor itself.

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest, LLC. and has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and a reseller of WPS in North America.

WPS Tip – RegEx Testing

One of the nicer things about WPS is the extendibility of the Eclipse Workbench. You can extend the Workbench by use of plugins. There are lots of plugins available that you can use but you need to understand one restriction that is currently in-place. That restriction is that you can only install a plugin to the WPS environment by manually copying the file into the Eclipse directory and NOT by using the Software Updates method.

There are a couple of plugins that I have in my environment but the one I want to show you is a regular expressions tester. Since WPS supports the language of SAS, and that includes Regular Expressions using the PRX functions, having a RegEx Tester is quite convenient.

You can download and install the RegEx Tester plugin from Stephan Brosinski web site at: http://www.brosinski.com/regex/

Choose “Download the most recent version as a zip file” and simply follow the installation directions he provides at the bottom of the page. Once you have it installed, the RegEx Tester will appear on the right hand side of the Workbench. Below is a screen shot of some demo text as it appears in the RegEx Tester.

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There are a number of web sites that offer tutorials on Regular Expressions. Two websites offering tutorials on Regular Expressions can be found at http://www.aivosto.com/vbtips/regex.html and also at  http://www.regular-expressions.info/index.html

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest, LLC. and has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and a reseller of WPS in North America.

WPS Tips – Start a New Session

As most of you who have been using WPS via the Eclipse Workbench already now, you can submit a WPS program and instantly start modifying code, view the log window or listing window without impact to your existing session. You can even start a new program editor all the while your WPS program is running in the background. Try that with the SAS DMS!

One thing you can’t do is submit a second WPS program while you are running a program in an existing session. But here’s a neat trick that allows you to run a second program simultaneously and take advantage of all that horsepower of your PC. By simply starting a new WPS session you can run another WPS program while your first one in session #1 is executing.

To do this, simply go to the main menu and click on Window and then select New Window. A new WPS session will start-up with all your existing programs in the Project Explorer Window

 

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About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest, LLC. and has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and a reseller of WPS in North America.

WPS Tip – Turn ON or OFF Line Numbers

 

Here’s a quick tip for you. Did you know that you can turn on or off line numbers in the editor via a pop-up menu?

From the editor window move your mouse to the left margin area and then click your right mouse button. A pop-up menu will appear that will provide you with the ability to turn ON or OFF line numbers. There’s also a Preferences selection that you can click to set other parameters such as color coding and the number of spaces for a tab.

 

 

EclipseLineNumbers

 

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest, LLC. and has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and a reseller of WPS in North America.

 

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