Migrating content from SAS 9.4 to SAS Viya

Migrating content from SAS 9.4 to SAS Viya


A lot of companies are actively transitioning to SAS Viya to boost their analytical power and most of these companies have been using SAS 9.4 architecture for quite some time to cater for their data analytics and reporting requirements. This makes proper migration a significant component for a successful transition to SAS the new Viya platform.

SAS Visual Analytics is divided into the 7.x series running on SAS 9.4 and the 8.x series running on SAS Viya. VA 8.x. offers really cool functionalities which can broaden the user options as compared to using SAS Visual Analytics based on 9.4 architecture. Some examples are CAS (Cloud Analytic Service) enablement and a brand-new look and feel via the HTML5 based interfaces; It offers a perfect upgrade for the 7.x
Leveraging the Power of Viya for your existing 9.4 content
Promotion is the process of moving resources between environments (9.4 to Viya/Viya to Viya).
In SAS Viya promotion of content within folders (like reports, data sets and libraries) is accomplished by using the SAS-admin transfer command-line interface, or via the import and export wizards in the SAS Environment content area.
The following object types participate in the promotion of contents from SAS 9.4 to SAS Viya:

  • Identities
  • Authorisation
  • Data definitions
  • Folders
  • Reports
  • Explorations
  • Stored processes
  • Supporting resources (such as themes, images, graph templates)
This process works well in the standard setting, but….
There are always challenges
A Dutch municipality wanted to move the contents of their SAS 9.4 implementation such as reports, datasets and authorisations to SAS Viya. The Development, Acceptance and Production being on the same machine (logical separation) made the promotion a challenging one and obviously an interesting one for us.

After some investigation we were able to successfully promote the contents to Viya from the 9.4 platform without impacting the existing implementation in 9.4 and by facilitating a similar DEV/ACC/PRD split on the single Viya machine. Existing processes run from the 9.4 environment would automatically determine the correct location on the Viya server. This provides a number of key benefits to the customer. For example, a developer could continually test code and load new data without overwriting existing data in the ACC or PROD environment. This increased development time significantly and increased the quality of reports being released to business users.

The process of migrating a Viya report requires the developer to manually switch the associated data table, for example from the ACC table to the PROD table. Of course this does introduce a slight risk. We managed this risk by leveraging the functionality of the SAS Viya REST API. This API provides functionality for extracting useful information from the Viya platform. In this case we used the API to fetch the metadata of reports and the associated report tables whereby any inconsistencies could be immediately highlighted. Calls to the API are performed by sending a request via a URL to the Viya system. The new SAS Drive application allows a URL to be bookmarked and therefore with one-click we could make this report readily available in the administrators Visual Analytics dashboard.

Useful links:
What can OCS offer?  
  • Hands-on experience in migrating  content from 9.4 to Viya
  • Expertise in SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya
  • Building Reports in Viya
  • CAS programming
  • Data Management in Viya