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This topic explores cross-release compatibility issues and any related changes and enhancements.

Often in this topic, version numbers are abbreviated. For example, V9 refers to any SAS 9 release. See the SAS online documentation for full usage instructions.


A SAS/CONNECT or SAS/SHARE client can run a different release of the software than the server does. For example, this can occur if you use Remote Library Services (RLS) together with PROC MIGRATE to migrate SAS data libraries to the target installation. Or you might use SAS/CONNECT or SAS/SHARE software to access SAS files without migrating them to SAS 9.

Translation Is Transparent

All three services (Remote Library Services, Data Transfer Services, and Compute Services) transparently perform any translation necessary for encoding and data representation. For example, if you transfer a SAS file from OS/390 to Windows, the file is converted from EBCDIC to ASCII as the download executes. In addition, SAS automatically chooses the correct processing engine if cross-release access is supported.

We Love the Long Names, But . . .

A SAS file cannot contain new features that are not supported by the earlier release, and truncation rules are applied to long names. See the topic about a few SAS file features that are not supported in earlier releases.

Communications Access Methods

In SAS 9, SAS/CONNECT and SAS/SHARE software support the TCP/IP communications access method for network connections between these operating environments: OpenVMS Alpha, UNIX, Windows, and z/OS. Also, the XMS communications access method can be used between address spaces under z/OS. In previous releases, other communications access methods were supported. For information about using TCP/IP or XMS, see the SAS/CONNECT User's Guide or the SAS/SHARE User's Guide in the SAS online documentation.

LOCKDOWN Statement and System Option

The first maintenance release for SAS 9.4 added the LOCKDOWN statement and LOCKDOWN system option. With LOCKDOWN, SAS server administrators can create a restricted environment in which the SAS client has access to a limited set of directories and files. All other directories and files are inaccessible. In addition to there being access restrictions on directories and files, there are restrictions on how SAS/CONNECT users can sign on when running SAS in a locked-down state. For more information about the LOCKDOWN feature in SAS/CONNECT, see "Locked-Down SAS Sessions" in SAS/CONNECT User's Guide in the SAS online documentation.

Deprecated Features

See SAS 9.4 Guide to Software Updates.

Remote Library Services (RLS)

RLS is available under both SAS/CONNECT and SAS/SHARE software.


The following graphic summarizes compatibility under RLS when a SAS/CONNECT or SAS/SHARE client runs a different release of the software than the server does. RLS between V6 and V9 is not supported.

Remote Library Services (RLS) graphic

In the illustration above, notice the third level, the SAS file's version. It is possible that a server is running one SAS release, the client computer is running another release, and the file has been created under yet another release. So a V6 client cannot access V9 SAS files on a V7/8 server.

A SAS client from one SAS 9 release can signon to a server session from another SAS 9 release. For example, a SAS 9.1.3 client session can signon to a SAS 9.4 server session.

Best practice

Whenever possible, keep V6 SAS files in a separate physical location from V7/8/9 SAS files and not in a mixed library. This separation prevents confusion about which SAS files can be accessed under RLS.


Generally, users of RLS do not specify to write the SAS file to disk. Although saving the file is possible, usually a block of records is held in memory during the SAS execution and then is wiped out as the next block is requested and returned by the server. If you need to maintain a single copy of a SAS file on a server and keep the processing on the client, then RLS is a good choice.

Data Transfer Services (DTS)

DTS is available under SAS/CONNECT but not SAS/SHARE.


Access is fully supported between clients and servers that run different releases of SAS.


DTS can reduce server usage. Unlike RLS, in DTS the SAS file is always saved (i.e., written to disk) on the target computer. After the file is downloaded to a client, the client's processor performs all subsequent data access and processing. Whether the file is written to the temporary WORK library or to a permanent SAS data library depends on how the user codes the PROC UPLOAD or PROC DOWNLOAD statement.

Compute Services

Compute Services is primarily available in SAS/CONNECT. Under SAS/SHARE, some Compute Services are supported at the server, in the form of WHERE clause and VIEW processing.


Access is fully supported between clients and servers that run different releases of SAS. However, a SAS file that is referenced in the remote submit blocks must be accessible by the server's SAS session.


Compute Services provides a set of statements and commands that enable the client to access and use remote resources on a network for data processing. For large data resources, Compute Services is said to be more efficient than RLS or DTS. It maximizes performance by distributing the workload among multiple remote processors while reducing impact on local computing and hardware resources. The Multi-Processing (MP) CONNECT feature of Compute Services is, essentially, asynchronous processing. See the documentation for details.

Peaceful Coexistence

SAS 9.x Connect Spawners on One Computer

If your deployment is on Windows and you plan to run both a SAS 9.1.3 and a SAS 9.2 or later Connect spawner on the same computer, then apply hot fix E9BC13 for Base SAS to the SAS 9.1.3 environment before you install SAS 9.2 or later.

As noted elsewhere in this topic, a SAS 9.1.3 client session can signon to a SAS 9.2, SAS 9.3, or SAS 9.4 server session, and vice versa.

Using TCP/IP in SAS/CONNECT 8.2 and SAS/CONNECT 9 Servers Simultaneously

You can run a SAS/CONNECT 8.2 spawner and a SAS/CONNECT 9 spawner at the same time, but they must use different ports. See the SAS documentation for default port settings for the SAS/CONNECT 8.2 and SAS/CONNECT 9 spawner. When SAS/CONNECT 9 is included with the SAS Foundation in the SAS Business Intelligence architecture, the default TCP/IP port is 7551. See the SAS documentation for details.

You can use a SAS/CONNECT 8.2 client to talk to a SAS/CONNECT 9 spawner and SAS/CONNECT 9 server. Use the -NOINHERITANCE option on the spawner. In addition, make sure SAS/CONNECT 8.2 refers to the correct SAS/CONNECT 9 spawner port, SAS invocation, and script file. Use a %LET statement as shown below to refer to port 7551 along with the IP address.

   %let 7551;
   options comamid=tcp remote=L6;
   /* Note SAS 9 script file location even though you are in SAS 8.2 */
   filename rlink 'C:\Program Files\SAS\SAS 9.1\connect\saslink\tcpwin.scr';

To test this on Windows, stop the SAS/CONNECT 8.2 spawner in Control Panel's Services, and then invoke the SAS/CONNECT 9 spawner with the following command:


It is recommended to run such a spawner as a service.

Using TCP/IP in SAS/SHARE 8.2 and SAS/SHARE 9 Servers Simultaneously

You can run a SAS/SHARE 8.2 server and a SAS/SHARE 9 server at the same time, but they must use different ports. Ordinarily, there is no default TCP/IP port for the SAS/SHARE 9 server. However, when SAS/SHARE 9 is included with the SAS Foundation in the SAS Business Intelligence architecture, the default port is 8551. See the SAS documentation for details.

Here are some examples.