Enterprise guide for SAS coders.(Part 2 – Exempli Gratia)

by | Mar 1, 2013

Once upon a time SAS released (into the wild) Enterprise Guide (EG), an all things to all people  tool, allowing SAS users to continue writing code or to start using a range of Wizards and Tasks to write code for them. When  EG came out people did not know what to do with it (me included), now after many  years and many versions the software is mature and powerful, however I still think people are not 100% sure how to get the best out of it. Sure anyone can string together a handful of tasks but a messy project flow containing tasks can be just as awkward to read as a page of messy code. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of using EG
Pros

  • EG generates your code
  • It’s easier learning to use a GUI than a new code language
  • Visual process flow
  • Easy to import/export data

Cons

  • Can be slower
  • Uses higher level of local resource
  • Generates (some say) unwanted wrapper code

 
To be honest I don’t like using base SAS any more. If I am doing anything Ad Hoc,  like quick checks, queries or imports EG is pretty unbeatable. However when you get situations where EG is being used as a Production tool then I know that a page of code would actually be better suited to the task. I think the key strength of EG is that you don’t need to be a wiz coder to be able to use it, I have seen brand new SAS users be able to build magnificent projects in weeks from having the software installed.
SAS is a funny tool set as it sits in murky ground between being a user tool and a developer tool, EG bridges that gap and if the developers and the less technical users can follow a few simple principles then they can use the tool in the same way even though their skill level is different…more on that in part 3 – How to get the most out of EG

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