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In my previous post To SAS hotfix or to not SAS hotfix that is the question, I wrote about the different approaches an organisation can take when looking at creating a SAS Hotfix Strategy. In this post, I will take you through what an organisation should take into consideration when choosing the appropriate approach.

In my experience, there are three strategies that an organisation can follow when applying SAS hotfixes. Break Fix only, Cherry Pick Fixes, and All fixes. How does one decide on which approach suits their organisation?

Selecting an Appropriate Strategy

When determining what SAS hotfix strategy a Customer should implement they should take the following into consideration:

Environments

Is there a separate physical environment that the hotfixes can be applied and tested before implementing on the production environment?

SAS Software installed

What version and products are installed? How many SAS client tools are installed and how have they been rolled out?

Resources

Does the Customer have the available resources (internal or Support partner) to install and test hotfixes at regular intervals?

SAS usage

Is SAS software used in critical business processes?

Change Process

Does the Customer have a change process, and change windows?

Other Software Patching strategies

Does the Customer follow patching strategies for other software?

Below is a guide on what Customer site attributes best suit a particular strategy.

ALL FIXES
Suitable Not suitable
There is separate environments (development/test) where hotfixes can be installed and tested A single business critical Production environment
Newer versions of SAS are installed (9.3 +) The number and location of client tools (i.e Enterprise Guide) are not known or well documented
The customer follows a well-defined change management process and has regularly scheduled maintenance windows Heavy dependency on external systems or applications
Resources are available to investigate, install and test the hotfixes on a regular basis
Aligns with organisation wide patching strategy

 

CHERRY PICK FIXES
Suitable Not suitable
N-1 or older versions of SAS are being used Resources are not available to investigate, evaluate and test the hotfixes as released
There is a flexible Change Management process A single business critical Production environment
Multiple SAS tools and solutions are being used through the customer site and are not centrally maintained Minimal organisation tolerance for unexpected issues or outages
Individual users are responsible for maintaining their own client tools
Users are always on the lookout for new features and fixes for the products they use

 

BREAK FIXES ONLY
Suitable Not suitable
A must at all Customer sites and at a minimum, this strategy should be followed.

 

As this is a guide there will always be exceptions but I think this is a great starting point for any discussions and decisions about when and what hotfixes an organisation should apply.

Barry – Preventer of Chaos

Barry blogs about how to stop chaos in your systems

You can read To SAS Hotfix or to not SAS Hotfix, that is the question or all of Barry’s blogs here.

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