Cloud-native SAS Analytics Pro – for your Desktop!

Cloud-native SAS Analytics Pro

In August 2021 SAS released a cloud-native version of SAS Analytics Pro. This release is based on the SAS Viya Platform and provides the full features of Base SAS, SAS/STAT and SAS/GRAPH via SAS Studio – a browser-based interface that users of recent SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya server environments will be familiar with.

The cloud-native version also adds the full SAS Viya set of SAS/ACCESS products, giving you access to many data sources!

Containerisation

This new release of SAS Analytics Pro leverages container technology, which means that the concept of installing your software is no longer just a matter of running “setup.exe”. The benefits of containerisation are many and include:

  1. Ability to run on Windows, Mac and Linux
  2. A consistent environment – e.g. your install is not going to be different from your colleague’s
  3. Ease of updates – SAS regularly update and patch their software. Previously this meant finding, downloading and installing those updates. Now you just have to “point” to the release of SAS (including updates) you want to use
  4. Portability – if you get a new PC (or move from PC to Mac) you just need to copy your config across

Deploying cloud-native SAS Analytics Pro

SAS provide a comprehensive set of instructions to get up and running which involve:

  1. Installing Docker (the software used to run containers)
  2. Logging into my.sas.com to get your license and certificate files
  3. Creating a script to startup your SAS Analytics Pro environment

On the surface, this seems pretty straightforward, but in case users feel a bit hesitant or unsure (especially when it comes to creating a launch script) we have created a “launcher” process to help you out. Our process mirrors the official SAS process but we provide the script, along with a simple way to tweak the features you want to add.

SAS Analytics Pro Launcher from Selerity

The first step is to download and install Docker from https://www.docker.com/products/docker-desktop.

Next, navigate to our GitHub repository and download the source code of our launcher that matches the SAS Analytics Pro version you want to use: https://github.com/Selerity/sas-analytics-pro/releases

Extract the ZIP file to a location on your machine, e.g. C:\SAS. The final directory (referred to as the $deploy directory) will be a subdirectory of this location created as a result of the unzipping, e.g. C:\SAS\sas-analytics-pro-2021.1.4.

Now log into my.sas.com and go to the “My Orders” section. In here, expand your SAS Analytics Pro Order and then click both the Download Certificates and Download License Only links. Save the file that each link provides to the directory created when you extracted the ZIP file, e.g. C:\SAS\sas-analytics-pro-2021.1.4

Finally, open a PowerShell (or Terminal on Linux/Mac) prompt, “cd” into the $deploy directory (created when you extracted the ZIP file) and then run launchapro.ps1 (or launchapro.sh on Linux/Mac)

After a minute or so you see a message letting you know that SAS Analytics Pro is up and running!

You can now open your browser and log into SAS Studio at http://localhost:81 using the same username you logged into Windows with along with the generated password that is displayed.

Customisation

There are many ways that this SAS Analytics Pro environment can be tailored/customised and we have provided some of the key options available within the apro.settings file that comes with our launcher. This file contains comments explaining each option, which we also document in the CONFIGURATION.md file.

Hosted Option

If you would prefer to just login-and-start-using SAS Analytics Pro, our Selerity Analytics Desktop offering provides SAS Analytics Pro as-a-service, which can also be integrated into your existing IT infrastructure if required. This allows you to leverage you existing security, login credentials and code assets without needing to maintain your own SAS infrastructure. Contact us if you would like to learn more!

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