It looks like the SAS® 9.2 Replication Wizard has recently been deprecated. I spotted a new SAS usage note about it the other day: Usage Note 40834: The Replication Wizard in SAS® 9.2 has been deprecated.
The Replication Wizard is, or perhaps I should now say was, a feature available in the SAS 9.2 Management Console (via Metadata Manager > Metadata Utilities > Replication) that could be used to completely replicate metadata from a source environment into a target environment (such as Development to Test , Lev3 to Lev2 etc). The alternative to replication is to promote selected subsets of metadata using the import/export wizards and SAS package (.SPK) files. This selective promotion method is sometimes known as partial promotion. Although replication might sound tempting initially, in practice the import/export methods are much more versatile (as long as they support the metadata you want to promote – significant improvements with SAS 9.2).
Unlike import/export where you promote a subset of metadata, with replication you were promoting all of the metadata in one hit (with optional substitution of things like host names, ports, paths etc), completely discarding any existing metadata in the target environment. You had to configure a fair bit of infrastructure in order to use replication, perform a few manual steps and then manually promote any associated physical (non-metadata) content. It seemed like a lot of work (and knowledge) for something you would probably only ever use once or twice (if ever), so I think it’s understandable why SAS Institute would retire this feature. I don’t imagine it got used enough to warrant continued development and testing. I suspect that most people used import/export (partial) promotion almost exclusively, even for the initial promotion into a newly installed environment.
I was always a little bit worried with replication that someone might accidentally get the 2 environments reversed and totally wipe out their source environment, overwriting it with metadata from their old or empty target environment! Another good reason to backup both environments before replicating :)
One of the benefits to replication was that it allowed you to promote portal pages (which are not currently supported with import/export as far as I know). Although it sounds like a good reason to use replication, you could only ever realistically use it once due to the all-or-nothing nature of replication. After the first replication any portal changes in the target environment (e.g. Production/Lev1) would be lost on subsequent replications. I had heard a rumour that promotion of portal pages was in the pipeline but haven’t heard anything more since. Does anyone reading this know what the current status of support for portal promotion is?
I personally hope that the list of supported metadata objects for the import/export promotion facility is extended in future to include things like ACTs, Users, Groups, Roles, Servers and Portal Pages – things that don’t reside in folders. That would round it out very nicely I think.
Updated 30Sep2010: I just spotted some information about portal content promotion in the SAS® 9.2 Intelligence Platform: Web Application Administration Guide, Third Edition. You can find it in Chapter 20 Introduction to SAS Information Delivery Portal Administration under Main Tasks for Administering the Portal in the section named Promote Portal Content. It states (in part) “Beginning with SAS Information Delivery Portal 4.3, a content promotion tool is available. This tool consists of stand-alone batch scripts, shell scripts, and metadata extraction templates.”
Updated 08Oct2010: In this SAS Discussion Forum comment Technolero mentions that it may be possible to get an early (potentially unsupported) version of the portal content promotion tool by contacting SAS Technical Support.
Updated 16Dec2010: SAS Information Delivery Portal 4.3 was recently released and the SAS documentation updated. There is a link to documentation for the new portal promotion facilities in the post Updated SAS Admin Docs (inc Portal Promotion).
6 thoughts on “Farewell to the SAS 9.2 Replication Wizard”
If you want to read some more about this topic then head on over to Shane Gibson’s blog to read his post Deprecated = dead, nadda, gone burgers, elvis has left the building (and so has SAS 9.2 replication).
I recently learned that if you have ever used the SAS replication wizard in the past, your metadata is corrupt and cannot be successfully upgraded to 9.2 TS2M3 10W46.
We moved our installation from 9.13 (three machine 32 bit Windows) doing a partial promotion and exporting packages to a (single machine 64 bit Windows) 9.2 TS2M0 installation. Then upgraded the original three machine operating systems to 64 bit OS and installed SAS EBI onto the three machines. We then ran the replication wizard to move our metadata to the new installation. After a good deal of clean-up of the management console settings we were operational and have been using that system since June 2009.
When 9.2 TS2M3 10W46 was announced we decided it was time to replace our existing server hardware and upgrade our environment to the current SAS version. Since we had been previously advised by SAS technical support that using the replication wizard to migrate from TS2M0 to TS2M3 wasn’t advised or supported. We decided to install TS2M0 on the new hardware, run the replication wizard with systems at the same service level then upgrade to TS2M3 10W46. When we got to this point SAS technical support informed us that using their tool in 2009 had corrupted the metadata.
I would like to hear from any other SAS customers who have run into the same problem or now suspect their installation is in jeopardy.
Sorry to hear of your experiences. I haven’t personally experienced any metadata corruptions myself when using the replication wizard, although I do tend to use partial promotion, importing & exporting packages, almost exclusively now.
How did you resolve everything? Did you use partial promotion to export packages from your old TS2M0 installation and import them into a new TS2M3 installation?
We had a conference call with SAS yesterday. Technical support told us that R&D learned the wizard was causing problems with the metadata which effected many different areas. This is why they decided to no longer support the tool not because it wasn’t useful. I am in the process of removing all of the SAS software from my new installation then reinstall and plan to promote the entire BIP tree. Other oject will be exported to packages.
On another note I recently discovered that using JBoss 4.2GA with SAS EBI is problematic. We were originally told by SAS that JBoss was an acceptable alternative to the commercial application servers. When we started experiencing application server hung server instances. Actually users to go to the web site and see a blank page. We we attempted to RDP into that server we were told all resources had been consumed and we couldn’t log in. My only choice was to reboot the server remotely from a command prompt. Doing that would cause JBoss to overwrite the server.log and boot.log files. Preventing me from determining the root cause which turned out to be all connections had been used and new connections were being denied. When I went to SAS technical support with my logs files I was told “Oh yeah thats a well known problem with JBoss”. I’m now in the process of replacing JBoss with WebSphere.
Anybody going to SUGI 2011? Look for me at Art Carpenters presentation. I’ll be in the front row wearing my specially printed t-shirt.
thanks for this post. we had planned replication for migration. I used it before when some of the source had made changes. we wanted to use it in the future for promotion too. it looks like there is no tools too like the ones you mentioned and an update host tool too.
I meant to say:
” it looks like NOW there is other workaround tools.”