Choosing the Right Server/Provider Combination for Your Application

The SAS OLE DB Data Providers each connect to and retrieve information from specific SAS servers. The following table lists which SAS server is used by each provider.

SAS ServerSAS OLE DB Data Provider
[none]SAS Local Data Provider
Local Base SASSAS/SHARE Data Provider
SAS/SHARE serverSAS/SHARE Data Provider
SAS IOM serverSAS IOM Data Provider
SAS OLAP serverSAS OLAP Data Provider

Matching the Server to the Application

Before you create your application, you need to know which servers are available to you. After your server choices are known, then you can select the data provider. The following questions will help you determine which server/provider combination is right for developing your application:

Where is your data located?

If your data is local, relatively small, and you do not require update or multi-user access, then consider the local provider. The local provider uses member-level lock, which prevents more than one user at a time from accessing the data.

If your data is local and you need update access, you can use the SAS/SHARE Data Provider to start a local server. The default local server is designed to access data on the same machine and is available if the local machine has SAS Base product installed and licensed. See Starting a Single-User Local Server with the SAS/SHARE Provider for more information.

If your application is being developed using the Integrated Object Model (IOM) model, the IOM Data Provider is your clear choice. Along with ADO components, this provider is the publicly documented mechanism for directly accessing tabular data in an object server, such as the IOM Server.

If your data is multidimensional and you are using the SAS OLAP Server, then use the SAS OLAP Data Provider.

If your data is local, relatively small, and you do not require update access, then consider the Local Data Provider.

Will your application need to access data in a single-user or a multi-user environment?

Through their respective servers, the SAS/SHARE provider and the SAS IOM provider enable multiple users to access a tabular data store simultaneously. Both providers integrate SAS record-level locking features into the OLE DB model. When you have multi-user requirements, one of these providers is the correct choice. Your final decision will depend on which SAS product (SAS/SHARE or Integration Technologies) is available at your site and on whether or not your application needs object server support in addition to data access.

In addition to basic tabular access, does your application need the ability to perform complex calculations with SAS?

If your application needs to do complex data calculations in addition to simple table operations and you are using the IOM Server, then the IOM provider is the appropriate choice. The IOM provider enables you to integrate ADO/OLE DB features into your application in addition to the computational features of the Integrated Object Model.

Note: There may be cases where more than one provider is appropriate. One of the strengths of OLE DB is that providers can be interchanged much more easily than ODBC providers can because the OLE DB programming interface is more generic than ODBC. In addition, if the application is written to a generic provider interface, like ADO, you will find it much easier to switch providers during development or even use more than one provider for an application. These changes can be accomplished without making significant code changes.

See Also:

SAS Data Provider Feature Comparison
SAS Local Data Provider Installation
SAS/SHARE Data Provider Installation
SAS IOM Data Provider Installation
SAS OLAP Data Provider Installation