Features of the Promotion Tools

Selecting Objects to Export

The Export SAS Package wizard and the batch export tool provide the following options for specifying which objects are to be exported:
  • You can select multiple nested folders.
  • You can select Include empty folders if you want to export folders that do not contain any subfolders or objects. (Otherwise, the empty folders are not exported.)
  • You can include all of the objects that are contained in a folder or just selected objects.
  • You can filter content, and you can identify and include dependent objects, as described in the next two topics.

Filtering Content

The export wizard includes a Filter feature that enables you to select objects based on the object name, object description, object type, or the time period during which the object was created or last modified. The Advanced Filter Options (new with SAS 9.3) enable you to identify objects for export based on their keywords, notes, extended attributes, and responsibilities fields. The same filtering capabilities are included in the batch export tool.

Identifying and Including Dependent Objects

In order for objects to function properly in the target environment, you must import the resources that objects depend on, unless those resources already exist in the target environment.
For example, if you want reports to function properly, the information maps that the reports depend on must be present. If a report has stored processes or images associated with it, then those objects must be present in the target system.
The BI Lineage tool can assist you in identifying associations between objects. In addition, the promotion tools provide the following features to help you ensure that you include all of the necessary objects:
  • You can use the Include dependent objects when retrieving initial collection of objects option of the export wizard (or the -includeDep option of the export batch tool) to specify that all of an object’s dependencies be identified recursively and included in the export. For example, if you are promoting a report, this feature identifies and automatically exports objects such as information maps, cubes, tables, and libraries that the report depends on.
  • In the export wizard, the Dependencies tab lists the highlighted objects’s direct dependencies, and the Used by tab identifies objects that directly use the highlighted object. You can then specify which of the identified objects to include in the export. After these objects are added to the list of objects to export, you can view the new objects’ Dependencies and Used by tabs to identify additional associated objects to export.
    For example, suppose the Dependencies tab for a report lists an information map. You can select the map to add it to the list of objects to export. You can then highlight the map and display its Dependencies tab, which lists any libraries, tables, and cubes that the map depends on. These objects can then be selected to be added to the export.
  • The Used by tab does not display reports, because associations between reports and other objects are not stored in metadata. If you need to identify the reports that use a given table, cube, or information map, use the Reverse Lineage feature of the BI Lineage plug-in.
  • Used by information cannot be displayed for dashboard objects.
  • The Dependencies and Used by tabs do not display information for roles. In addition, the tabs do not list user groups that contain (or belong to) another user group. The User Manager plug-in provides dependency and “used by” information for these objects.

Promoting Physical Content along with Metadata

For most object types, the export and import wizards (and the batch export and import tools) promote both the physical content and the metadata. For some object types, the wizards enable you to select whether to include or exclude physical content. For example, when you export a stored process, you can choose to include or exclude the associated source code files. When you export a table or external file, you can choose to include or exclude the associated physical file.
When you use the batch tools, the promotion automatically includes all associated content except physical files for tables and external files. However, you can use a global option to prevent the batch import tool from importing source code files for stored processes.
For a detailed list of the types of physical content that can be promoted, see Types of Physical Content That Are Promoted with Metadata Objects.

Restoring Metadata Associations

Depending on the types of objects that you are importing, you might need to associate imported objects with objects or entities on the target system. The import wizard displays prompts that enable you to establish the needed associations. For example:
  • Some objects, such as libraries and physical files, must be associated with a physical directory on the target system. Physical directories cannot be promoted. Therefore, the import wizard prompts you to specify an already existing physical directory on the target system.
  • Some objects, such as libraries and stored processes, must be associated with a SAS Application Server on the target system. When you import these objects, the import wizard prompts you to select the appropriate application server on the target system. (Although it is possible to promote servers, you will generally want to use the servers that already exist on the target system.)
If you are using the batch tools, then you can specify the associations in the substitution properties file.

Reorganizing Content By Moving Objects to Different Folders

In SAS 9.3, the import wizard and the batch import tool enable you to reorganize content as part of the promotion process. You can do so by specifying new folder locations for individual objects that you are importing. The connections among objects are maintained. This feature is new with SAS 9.3.
In the batch import tool, you can change the location of an object by specifying a new property for the object in the substitution properties file. The new folder location must already exist in metadata when you use this method.

Resolve Column Differences When Importing Tables and External Files

When you import metadata for a table or external file, and a table or external file of the same name already exists in the target folder, you can use the Change Analysis feature of the import wizard to identify and resolve differences in column metadata.
In the batch import tool, you can use global options to globally control the handling of column differences.