SAS 9.2 Mid Tier Support for Windows 2008 R2

To date I had avoided Windows 2008 R2 because, until recently, it was not supported for the SAS 9.2 Mid Tier. I had read in SAS Installation Note 36616: SAS® 9.1.3 Service Pack 4 and SAS® 9.2 support for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 that support for 2008 R2 was coming with the release of the version 4.3 mid-tier apps. Now that release has happened I checked back with the usage note to see if it had been updated and was pleased to see the following:

“The subsequent delivery, SAS 9.2 (TS2M3), Revision 10w46, is now available. This delivery includes the remainder of the 4.3 release, which is the SAS Content Server and SAS Web-based clients (for example, SAS Web Report Studio and SAS Information Delivery Portal).”

Something I also noticed at the bottom of SAS Note 36616 was a link to SAS Installation Note 40501: Java 6 Update 14 or later is required when you install SAS® 9.2 in the Microsoft Windows 7 or Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 operating environments. That note points out that for Windows 2008 R2 you also have to use Java 6 (rather than Java 5) and provides the following information on when Java 6 support started:

“Prior to SAS 9.2, Rev. 09w51, JRE 1.6 was not supported. In order to use JRE 1.6, you need to install SAS 9.2 09w51 or later.”

There is an explanation of the meaning of the revision number in SAS Installation Note 35627: Determining your SAS® 9.2 release. SAS 9.2 Revision 10w46 as mentioned in 36616 is more recent (being 2010 week 46) than SAS 9.2 Revision 09w51 mentioned in 40501 (which is 2009 week 51).

So it looks like I can try out Windows 2008 R2 now – as long as I also remember to use Java 6 and get SAS 9.2 Revision 10w46 or later. As a bonus I now understand SAS 9.2 revision numbers. 🙂

Resources for Solaris and Active Directory Integration

A while back I worked with a client to implement Active Directory (AD) integration for a number of Solaris containers that made up their SAS platform. The main benefit of this was to allow all of the SAS users to use their Windows (Active Directory) credentials, the same ones they use to log into their workstation in the morning, to get access to the SAS servers on the Solaris platform. This removed any requirement to manage local user accounts, across multiple Solaris containers, as they could all be managed in Active Directory by the people who usually manage accounts. It was not a trivial exercise – it required communication with several different groups, some changes to the AD server, population of UNIX attributes for users and groups in AD and configuration of the Solaris containers, however it was well worth the effort and I would definitely recommend it.

These were the main technical resources I found useful with implementation and troubleshooting:

I hope you find them useful too.

Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions in Ubuntu

What, you might be wondering, is a post about VirtualBox and Ubuntu doing on a blog that is primarily about SAS® platform administration and metadata?

The answer to that question is that VirtualBox and Ubuntu are both platforms where I run SAS for the purposes of development, testing and exploration/learning. So, whilst not specifically related to SAS platform administration itself, these topics are related to the administration of a platform that underpins a SAS installation I use, plus this blog is a place for me to put things so I don’t forget them later. I guess it’s also possible these posts might be of use to a small niche out there that might be trying to install SAS on Ubuntu in a VirtualBox environment for non-production purposes?

I’m a big fan of VirtualBox for desktop virtualization on Linux hosts and my primary desktop/notebook operating system has been Ubuntu for a few years. Whilst I have been a VMware Workstation user for many years, I find that VirtualBox works better for me on Linux desktop hosts at the moment. VMware is definitely my virtualization application of choice on Windows and Mac OS X desktops, but when it comes to running VMware Workstation on Linux I found there were just enough annoyances (you could use the term paper cut too) when using VMware on a Linux desktop that I was prompted to look elsewhere. VirtualBox ticked most of the boxes for me.

So, down the the subject of the post, I needed to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions in a brand new Ubuntu 10.04 Server guest installation and these were the steps I needed to take.

The installation of the guest additions requires a compilation/build environment which was not present on a fresh Ubuntu server installation.

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

With the build tools now available I could load the Guest Additions software CD via the VirtualBox menu items Devices > Install Guest Additions…, mount the CD and then run the installer for 64-bit Linux platforms:

sudo mount /dev/sr0 /mnt/cdrom
cd /mnt/cdrom
sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-amd64.run

Sudo with no password prompt

DISCLAIMER: This is definitely not recommended for any type of real environment that you rely on to be secure, but sometimes when you are setting up demo/sandpit/throwaway environments you want to be able to execute commands on Linux as root using sudo without getting prompted for your password. You could just work in a root shell all the time, but perhaps you still want to use sudo so you can use your normal account mostly and save yourself from potential accidents by only using sudo when you have to.

So, disclaimer out of the way, here’s how you can set yourself up as a no-password-sudoer (assuming you start out with sudo/root access to begin with):

Add your userid to an appropriate admin group:
sudo gpasswd -a youruserid youradmingroup

Edit the sudoers file:
sudo visudo

… to add an entry to allow your admin group to execute any command via sudo with no password requirement:
%youradmingroup ALL=NOPASSWD: ALL

BTW – visudo on Ubuntu defaults to the nano editor. If you prefer vi/vim you can switch default editor with:

sudo update-alternatives --config editor

.. and select the /usr/bin/vim.basic entry.

There’s more info about sudo on Ubuntu in the community documentation: RootSudo, Sudoers and RootSudoTimeout.

That’s it… sometimes handy but also dangerous … don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

Found some SAS Enterprise Guide Custom Task development resources

I just saw an interesting SAS Discussion Forum thread relating to the development of custom tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2 & 4.3. Chris@SAS posted a reply containing a number of links to resources. Looks like a very useful list so I’m filing it away in case I have a need to do any custom task work at a later date.

I saw there is also a SAS support site page on Creating Custom Add-In Tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide with examples, templates and documentation at http://support.sas.com/documentation/onlinedoc/guide/customtasks/