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SAS® OnDemand for Academics

Commonly Asked Questions

Note: For brevity, some information below will use the shorthand "ODA" to refer to SAS® OnDemand for Academics.

General Questions

Data Questions

  • Are there data storage limits (quotas)?
    Yes. All users have 5 GB of personal data storage. This data storage includes any SAS programs and projects that you create with software such as SAS Studio as well as any personal data that you upload. Additionally, instructors have the ability to upload up to 3 GB of course data in a separate course location. Instructors can then let the students who enroll in their course(s) access this course-specific data.

    See also

  • How do I check my data storage quota?
    Sign in through welcome.oda.sas.com to view the graph(s) of your personal quota usage (located on the right side of the Control Center). The quota usage value(s) include any SAS programs or projects that you have created as well as any personal data that you have uploaded.

    Alternatively, if you want a precise value instead of a percentage, then you can install and run a tool:


    Quota Usage Tool Installation
    1. Start SAS Studio software.
    2. From the left hand side, expand Server Files and Folders and then right-click on Folder Shortcuts.
    3. Select NewFolder Shortcut.
    4. In the Name field, enter Support.
    5. In the Directory field, enter /courses/support and then click Save.

    Quota Usage Tool Usage
    1. From the left hand side of SAS Studio, expand Server Files and Folders and then expand Folder Shortcuts.
    2. Expand the Support folder.
    3. Locate the file called Disk Usage Report.ctm.
    4. Right-click on the file and then select Open.
    5. When prompted, select Run (instead of Edit or Cancel) to run the program.
    6. Review the options on the left side of the program and make any changes that you want.
    7. Run the program (press the F3 key or click the Running Man icon).
    8. Click the Results tab to review your usage results.

    See also

  • What happens if I exceed my data storage quota?
    If you exceed your data storage quota (that is, you have in excess of 5 GB of projects, SAS files, or data files), then you will receive the following error when trying to run code in your software:

    User <username> has insufficient permissions to create /home/<username>/.. Contact your system administrator to resolve.

    or

    ERROR: An I/O error has occurred on file.

    You will also see a message indicating you are over your quota when you access your dashboard in SAS OnDemand for Academics.

    To correct this issue, you must delete personal SAS files or data files that you no longer need:

    1. Sign in through welcome.oda.sas.com.
    2. Click SAS Studio to start the program.
    3. From the left-hand side navigation pane, expand Server Files and Folders and then expand Files (Home).
    4. Review the various files and/or folders and delete files or projects that you no longer need. This will reduce the amount of quota space that you are using.

    Sign in through welcome.oda.sas.com to view the graph(s) of your personal quota usage. You might need to delete more files in order to create enough space to run SAS programs, create new projects or files, or upload additional data.

    See also

  • Can I store files on the SAS Server?
    Instructors have the ability to upload and store up to 3 GB of course-specific data files on the SAS Server. The course data can then be accessed using an appropriate LIBNAME or FILENAME statement by students who have registered for that course. Instructors are provided with a unique LIBNAME and FILENAME statement for each course that they create.

    All users have up to 5 GB of storage for personal data files that they upload as well as for SAS programs created with SAS Studio. If you are a part of a course that uses SAS Enterprise Miner or SAS Forecast Server, then your project files are automatically stored on the SAS Server and count against your personal 5 GB storage quota.

    The Upload feature within SAS Studio is used to perform file uploads. For more information about uploading course data or SAS program files, refer to the Step-by-Step Guides.

  • Can I point to local SAS data sets or files using a LIBNAME or a FILENAME statement?
    No. The SAS Server is unable to access or recognize the local drives of your PC. If you write a LIBNAME statement or a FILENAME statement that references a local directory path, you will receive processing errors.
  • Why are some SAS Library icons white and others yellow?
    When you try to open certain SAS Libraries using SAS Enterprise Guide or create a data source using SAS Enterprise Miner, some of the available SAS Library icons might be colored yellow and others might be colored white. The library icons that are shaded yellow represent assigned libraries. Library icons that are white represent unassigned libraries. By default, when you expand an unassigned library by clicking on it, or assign it by right-clicking on it and selecting Assign, SAS Enterprise Guide assigns the library and the icon should change from white to yellow.

SAS Enterprise Guide Questions

  • Which operating systems does SAS® OnDemand for Academics: Enterprise Guide support?
    Please see the appropriate version of SAS® Enterprise Guide system requirements for supported Operating System information: SAS Enterprise Guide
  • Does SAS® OnDemand for Academics: Enterprise Guide require Microsoft .NET Framework?
    Yes, SAS Enterprise Guide requires third party packages. These packages should be deployed during the SAS Enterprise Guide installation.

    If you would like more information, please see the above link for system requirements.

  • Can I install SAS® OnDemand for Academics: Enterprise Guide on a machine that already has SAS Enterprise Guide installed on it?
    No. If you have SAS Enterprise Guide installed on an existing machine, then you must install SAS OnDemand for Academics: Enterprise Guide on a different machine.
  • Are there any tasks that do not work in SAS® OnDemand for Academics: Enterprise Guide?
    Yes. There are currently three "high performance" tasks that do not work with SAS® OnDemand for Academics: Enterprise Guide. They may include (and are not limited to) HP Linear Regression, HP Logistic Regression, and Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Analysis.

SAS Enterprise Miner Questions

  • How do I find sample or instructor data in SAS® OnDemand for Academics: Enterprise MinerTM?
    You can access default sample data, sample data associated with SAS course materials, or data that has been uploaded by an instructor for your course (if applicable). To learn how to access this data, see Selecting Data from SAS® OnDemand for Academics: Enterprise MinerTM.

SAS Studio Questions

  • Is there additional information or usage videos available for SAS Studio?
  • SAS Studio is not launching properly for me. What is wrong?
    There are a few common situations under which SAS Studio may not launch normally:
    • You are using old files. The most common source of launch, appearance or behavior problems is your browser attempting to use old copies of files that were cached during a previous session. To ensure you are using the latest versions of these files, perform the following steps:
      1. Close any tabs that have SAS Studio currently open.
      2. Clear the cache in your browser. Each browser presents this action differently; try searching on "how to clear your browser cache" along with your browser name and version if you need instructions for your particular browser.
      3. Now try launching SAS Studio again to repopulate the cache. This launch may be slower than normal due to the browser fetching all files from the ODA servers.
      Note that the above steps will need to be performed separately in each browser you use, if you use more than one. Additionally, you may notice an option to clear site cookies grouped with the cache option. This action is not needed to resolve the situation here. However, if you choose to perform that action anyway, then you should first close all tabs using the SAS OnDemand for Academics site to end any current session you have with it.
    • You are restoring a bad tab. Certain actions available through SAS Studio may exceed the resources available to your browser or other components. Regardless of whether such actions result in actual failures or just very long delays, they create a situation where the SAS Studio application becomes unresponsive. A common example of such an action is attempting to open a very large file. Closing and re-opening SAS Studio usually does not resolve the situation. Whenever you launch SAS Studio, the application will attempt to restore any tab you had open at the end of your previous session, including tabs that caused problems during the previous session. As a result, you will usually be unable to close the offending tab through SAS Studio. However, options are available to help address and avoid this situation:
      1. First, you will need to prevent SAS Studio from restoring the bad tab. This can be accomplished by using the "Clear my saved tabs" action provided under the SAS Studio launch link on the Dashboard page. After using this action, SAS Studio should launch into a state with no tabs open except for the default new-program tab.
      2. Once you can successfully launch SAS Studio again, you can optionally choose to avoid this possibility by disabling the feature that remembers tabs across sessions. To do so, perform the following steps:
        1. Click the "More application options" icon in the top-right of the SAS Studio window (beside the help icon).
        2. Select the "Preferences" option from the drop-down menu.
        3. Move to the "Start Up" section in the preference window.
        4. Under the "On startup" heading, change the option to "Open a new program/process flow tab."
  • When using the Apple Safari browser, can I upload multiple files to a project at once?
    Yes, if you are using Apple Safari 6 or greater.
  • I don't see a change in the displayed tab width after making change to editor preferences. What is wrong?
    After opening the Preferences window, you can select Editor. You will then see a Tab width setting.

    This setting may not function when using certain versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari. Spaces are often used instead of tab characters in these Web browsers. If this is the case, then select the Substitute spaces for tabs check box within the Editor preferences.

  • Are there any search capability limitations within SAS Studio?
    Yes. For more information, see the following documentation links:

    SAS Studio User's Guide.

    SAS Help Center Tips.

  • Does SAS Studio automatically save my files?
  • Does SAS Studio save my files when I sign out or close my browser?
    Unless you are using the Apple Safari browser, you will be prompted by the application to save your files if they contain unsaved changes.

    Apple Safari prompts you only when you sign out. If you exit the browser, close the browser tab, refresh the browser page, or navigate to a different browser page, Safari will not prompt you, and your unsaved changes will be lost.

  • How do I avoid losing my work when using SAS Studio?
    SAS Studio auto-saves any previously saved program file every 30 seconds. To change the interval or turn this feature off, see the Customizing the Code Editor.

    Additionally, you can avoid refreshing your Web browser. This will result in a loss of any work that has not been saved. Most Web browsers provide a warning to let you know that your work will be lost if you choose to proceed with a page refresh/reload.

  • I have uploaded a file using SAS Studio, but am receiving errors when calling the file in my code. What is the issue?
    If the file (or files) that you uploaded were created using Microsoft Windows or Macintosh operating systems, then the issue could be related to the file format. SAS Studio processes files using Unix.

    To resolve the file format compatibility issues between Windows, Macintosh, and Unix, you will need to include a FILENAME statement that uses the TERMSTR option.

    If you are using a file created with the Microsoft Windows operating system, use the TERMSTR=CRLF option, such as in the following example:

    FILENAME cars "~/Projects/data/cars.txt" TERMSTR=CRLF;

    If you are using a file created with the Macintosh operating system, use the TERMSTR=CR option, such as in the following example:

    FILENAME cars "~/Projects/data/cars.txt" TERMSTR=CR;

    The file names and paths listed above are for example purposes only; your values might vary. For more information about SAS syntax, refer to SAS Studio Documentation.

  • I am trying to upload a file, but it doesn't appear to be working. What is wrong?
    If the file that you are trying to upload is larger than 1 GB, then SAS Studio is unable to upload the file. Try using smaller files.

    Alternatively, if the file is large, your Web browser could be timing out or your wireless connection might not be ideal. Consider trying a smaller file size or verify that your wireless network is working properly.

JMP Questions

  • What operating systems are supported for JMP®?
    Please see the JMP® System Requirements for more information.
  • Can I Connect to the SAS Server using JMP® Software?
    If you have a copy of JMP® software (Version 11 or greater) and you are in the United States, then you can use JMP® to access SAS® OnDemand for Academics resources. For more information, see Working with JMP®.

Regions Questions

  • What is a region?

    While SAS OnDemand for Academics is presented as a single web site, the site actually consists of multiple instances of SAS distributed around the world. This is necessary to ensure that every user will receive reasonable performance regardless of his or her geographic location. The location of each instance is referred to as an ODA region.

    While some parts of ODA are shared across regions, other parts are limited to a single region due to technical restrictions. Most notably, file content (both home and course files) usually only exists in the region associated with each user. Similarly, metadata made by applications, such as project or library definitions, is created only in the region being used at the time.

  • What is a home region?

    Your home region is the region that your account has been configured to use. When you first register an ODA account, the region that performs that registration automatically becomes your home region and is the region that you are expected to use consistently. Due to this, it is important that the region used during account registration reflect the best choice for your typical location. Users should not choose a home region based on temporary locations like a training room or lab unless the account will be exclusively used from that location.

  • Can I change my home region?

    Currently, the home region for an account cannot be changed after the initial registration. Several situations that may motivate this question are discussed in later entries below. If your own situation is not covered by the information provided here, then technical support can be contacted for further assistance if needed.

  • Can I use a different region while I am traveling?

    No. This would still be changing your home region (just temporarily), and hence the answer to the previous question still applies. When traveling, you should continue to use your normal home region.

  • How do I know which region I am using?

    When signing in through welcome.oda.sas.com, you will select the region to use. If you cannot remember your home region, you can choose any region and use the Register or Check Account action to lookup your account details. If that page attempts to initiate registration instead, then your SAS Profile is not yet registered. In that case, simply close the browser window or tab to abort that registration process.

    The region being used is then identified in two places within the regional pages. First, all regional web pages report the region name in the upper right section of the page header, above the blue banner. Second, the login page for each region reports the region in the page footer. Specifically, look for the message "Status shown for region: " at the bottom. The name of the region is given after the colon.

  • How do regions impact courses?

    In most cases, a course instructor and all enrolled students will be from the same region naturally due to residing in the same geographic location. In that case, regions require no special consideration during course planning. However, courses involving multiple regions can arise from other situations including:

    • on-line courses
    • travel by students or instructors

    As the hosted applications are generally configured for individual rather than collaborative use, file access is usually the main issue for students from other regions. In particular, these students will not be able to access any shared course files provided by the instructor since that shared directory naturally only exists within the instructor's region.

    For cases where the instructor's course data directory is not used to share content with students, the concern can be ignored. Outside of practical considerations like the availability of the region and timing of its maintenance periods, all students should have a similar experience. Such situations typically involve enrolled users receiving course materials directly from the instructor by other means (email, file sharing site, etc.) and then individually uploading the files into their home directories as needed for the course work. Some instructors prefer to embed course data into their example SAS code by providing data steps that load the data through a datalines statement. Regardless, the course definition in this case mainly exists to manage the enrollments and access to needed applications, neither of which are impacted by using multiple regions.

    For cases where the instructor's course data directory is used to share content with students, that instructor can request through technical support that those shared files be copied to the other regions being used by those non-local students. Copying files in this way is a manual process that only copies the state of the files at the time of the request. In addition, the time needed to perform the request will vary. Additional requests will also be needed if the primary copies of the files in the instructor's region are later changed. Hence, a best practice in this situation is to finalize the course data content and request this copy well before the related coursework is scheduled to begin. Delaying the request risks delays that may impact the course due to the material being unavailable in the remote regions. If you are an instructor and need to make such a request, please provide the following information to technical support:

    • your account name
    • the paths within the course data directory that you need copied
    • the other regions where copies of the data are needed

    When handling situations where a course might involve multiple regions, communication and planning are the key factors. To avoid late discovery of issues, the following practices are recommended:

    • Instructors: If you intend to provide course content through the ODA servers, clearly indicate that in the course information and identify what region that content will be accessible through. Also indicate whether accommodations for other regions have already been made. Be mindful of modifying that content afterwards.
    • Students: For any course you are taking that provides course content through the ODA servers, make sure to ask which region the content will be available through and compare it to your home region. If they do not match, inform the instructor as early as possible so that accommodations can be made.

  • What is guest access?

    Due to technical issues relating to previous versions of the site design, some users who existed before the release of welcome.oda.sas.com may have personal content in regions other than their home. To provide them the opportunity to retrieve or re-create that content in their home region, those other regions will remain available for limited use until Summer 2020. This limited access is called guest access, and only enables the use of the already available applications in each region. Guest access is not provided to extend access to users who did not previously have access.

    Important considerations concerning guest acess:

    • All normal operations, including application usage, should be done only through your home region
    • Users should only use guest access when they believe they have content to retrieve from that region.
    • Remember that guest access is only temporary. Take action promptly! Once the guest period expires, the content that exists in other regions will be removed and access blocked.
    • Content does not need to be removed from the non-home regions. Just focus on copying or reproducing any content that you wish to keep. We will clean up the non-home content after the guest period ends.
    • Unwanted materials do not need to be retrieved. Just ignore them.
    • Guest access is for retrieving existing content only. Do not make new content outside of what might be needed to simplify the task of retrieving or reproducing your existing content.
    • Attempting to access or use a region through guest access will only work correctly if you previously accessed it. If you experience errors when accessing a region, it likely means that your account never used that region. Hence there is no content to retrieve and you should stop the attempt.
    • Accounts created or registered after the release of welcome.oda.sas.com should never attempt to use guest access since this issue only applies to older accounts.

Forecast Studio Questions

  • Why does Forecast Studio now have a personal environment instead of a course-based environment?

    Support for course-based shared environments ended on May 15, 2018. Shared environments existed only in the course instructors' home regions, and provided no means of accommodating students from other regions. Course instructors also could not fully manage these environments as they needed to. As there was no way to correct the various problems identified over time, a different approach was needed.

    With the newer personal environment option, each user authorized to use Forecast Studio is granted the ability to create/destroy a single forecasting environment for personal use. The environment files reside under the special my_forecast_environment directory in that user's home directory and the environment is labeled Personal Environment: account-name. This environment is not visible or accessible to any other user making it a private workspace.

  • How do I manage my personal environment or check its status?

    The Manage your personal environment link can be found within the Forecast Studio entry under Applications on the Dashboard page. Clicking on this link will take you to the management page, which will report whether your personal environment currently exists. That page will then also present either the Create or Delete action as appropriate.

    Note that deleting the environment will permanently remove all content and configuration associated with it, including files. The environment can then be created again, but no prior content or other customizations will be restored. Instead, the new environment is created with the default configuration and no projects. Hence, deleting and re-creating an environment is a quick way to reset the environment back to its original starting state.

  • Why does Forecast Studio report "Unable to find an environment that is accessible by the current user." when I launch it?

    This message means that your personal environment has not been created yet. See the earlier entry on managing this environment for details on how to create it.