Until SAS® 9.4 Maintenance 8 was released, SAS  Institute announced the main level of support of SAS 9 until

the 1st of January 2025. Any SAS 9 user would have to move to SAS Viya before that date.

The good news is that thanks to the release of SAS 9.4 M8on the 31st of January 2023, customers using SAS 9 can remain with full support for five years, as long as the SAS systems get updated to its latest Maintenance release, M8.

Of course, support is not the only driver for a required update. M8 includes many long awaited improvements. M8 addresses several security vulnerabilities, including:

  • the upgrade of Log4j to version 2;
  • Java has been upgraded to version 11;
  • the SAS internal PostgreSQL has been updated to 14.2;
  • the SAS internal OpenSSL has been removed. SAS used now the SSL libraries from the operating system itself;
  • multiple Apache updates;
  • hundreds of third-party jar updates;
  • Spring;
  • introduction of Pervasive Encryption for z/OS;
  • and many more

As usual, support to new Operating Systems has been added, and some Operating Systems are not supported anymore (in particular, because Java 11 does not support many OS versions1).

 For the SAS Admins: 
  • Tomcat will be replacing the tc Server;
  • Geode will replace Gemfire;
  • SAS Remote services is removed;
  • Slide_webdav will replace Jackrabbit webdav;
  • Atomikos Transaction Essentials replaces Atomikos Extreme Transactions.

As a very important note, support to several products has been removed.

Some notable examples:

  • SAS ODS Graphics Editor, SAS ODS Graphics Designer and SAS/SECURE;
  • SAS/GRAPH ActiveX Control and SAS/GRAPH Java Applets for Web Servers;
  • SAS/ACCESS to ADABAS, Aster and HAWQ ;
  • SAS BI Portal, SAS Information Delivery Portal;
  • SAS Clinical Standards Toolkit, SAS Genetics;
  • Several SAS Customer Intelligence products: SAS Digital Marketing, SAS Marketing Automation / Optimization, SAS Real-Time Decision Manager;
  • SAS Data Loader for Hadoop Spark Engine;
  • SAS Enterprise GRC;
  • and others.

Not all SAS products and solutions are immediately available on SAS 9.4M8, some of them will be released in the coming months. Note that, as mentioned above, some SAS 9.4 Solutions will not release on SAS 9.4M8 at all. Their upgrade path is to the Viya platform or CI360.

All in all it is good news for the SAS users that this new Maintenance Release, SAS 9.4 M8, extends the period of primary support by SAS, and it includes a many security and software improvements, which will satisfy the requirements from any Security Officer. On the other hand, some components are being removed too having a path towards SAS Viya, and internal third-party components are changing as well.

OCS Consulting and OCS Life Sciences can support all SAS users to determine and plan the best roadmap to move ahead in the short and long term, and we can support you with the upgrades and migrations, following best practices.

Should you be considering to upgrade to SAS 9.4 M8 or to SAS Viya, on-premises or on the cloud, you can contact us at sasm8migration@ocs-consulting.com and we will get back to you.

If your the current Operating System where SAS is being hosted does not support Java 11, you cannot perform an upgrade-in-place. Then you must first migrate your SAS system to a machine running an operating system supported by Java 11 and SAS 9.4 M8.