Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 17:48:53 -0500
Reply-To: Mike Rhoads <RHOADSM1@WESTAT.COM>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Mike Rhoads <RHOADSM1@WESTAT.COM>
Subject: Re: Should I upgrade SAS v8.0 to v8.1
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
"IT dinosaurs" -- so is THAT why my staff bought me a "Jurassic Park" watch
a few years ago??? ;-)
More seriously, in a corporate environment there are quite a few factors
that need to be considered when making a "(when) do I upgrade?" decision,
including but not necessarily limited to the following:
1) What does the newer version fix or enhance?
2) What does/might it break?
3) What's the corporate cost and hassle factor of implementing the upgrade?
4) How soon will an "even better" version be available?
It's usually easy to get a clear fix on (1). SAS is good about providing
both Changes and Enhancements doc (for new features), as well as lists of
fixed bugs with new releases.
It's often much harder to get clear answers on (2). The new release Alert
Notes may help some, but there's no easy way to separate what's newly a
problem from what continues to be a problem. I haven't found a good way to
make this separation when searching the SAS Notes either. And, of course,
either way you can at best find out only about things that have already been
8.1 was an excellent example of this. Jack Shoemaker posted several very
informative messages last summer about problems he ran into all of a sudden
with SAS/Access to PC File Formats. Turns out that for 8.1, SAS Institute
started using OLE DB rather than DAO as the underlying technology for this
product. It sounds as though there were good reasons for doing so, but it
also wound up breaking some things. Since moving data back and forth
between SAS and Excel or Access is a very common task for us, this problem
convinced us that staying with 8.0 would be safer.
(And presumably some folks remember the Windows release -- 6.10? -- that
liked to display text backwards in Display Manager?)
If you're working in a single-user environment, doing an upgrade is not a
huge deal, and rolling back to an earlier version in the event of problems,
while never pleasant, is not a major disaster. In an environment where many
users are running SAS under Windows (and "Systems" is responsible for
maintaining and upgrading the software platform), upgrades can be a really
Obviously the lesson from this is not, "Never upgrade." Nor is the message
intended to be "Don't upgrade to 8.1" -- depending on your situation,
upgrading may be the best decision. What we wound up doing with 8.1, given
the problems that were reported, was giving it to a few users with
particular needs for some of the new features, rather than putting it out
for everyone and breaking a lot of stuff.
There are indeed some nice new features in 8.1 -- I in particular was
looking forward to the RTF improvements. On the other hand, "better safe
than sorry" is often a very useful maxim.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ray Pass [mailto:raypass@ATT.NET]
> Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 1:17 PM
> To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Should I upgrade SAS v8.0 to v8.1
> Lotsa people can give you specific reasons why you should
> upgrade. Here's
> one that makes 8.1 a must for me. There's a new NEWFILE=
> option in ODS in
> 8.1 (not in 8.0), namely, NEWFILE=BYGROUP. This gives me
> tremendous power
> in designing large drill-down ODS HTML reporting systems
> using TABULATE
> (and other PROCs) with by-group processing (see my ODS papers
> on the NESUG
> website from NESUG 2000). In general, why should you NOT
> upgrade, unless
> it's a MAJOR hassle because of IT dinosaurs, etc? I know
> that there are
> new ODS features, among others, coming in 8.2 and I encourage
> my clients to
> get there as soon as possible.
> At 12:34 PM 03/01/2001 -0500, Anna Henson wrote:
> >Hello Everyone,
> >I would like to know whether I should update from v8.0 to
> v8.1. Are there
> >a lot of differences between those two.
> >Thank you very much for your help.
> >Anna Henson
> >PS. Thank you for all your help in the past. My job would
> have been harder
> >without your generosities.
> | Ray Pass, Ph.D. voice: (914) 693-5553 |
> | Ray Pass Consulting eFax: (914) 206-3780 |
> | 5 Sinclair Place |
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