SAS Technical Support Services and Policies
At SAS Technical Support, our mission is to "help our customers make the best use of our software products through effective and responsive support, active advocacy, and a broad and flexible range of self-help resources." In support of this mission, the following policies set the expectations for your relationship with SAS Technical Support.
SAS Technical Support offers the following types of support for SAS software:
- Telephone support
- Email support
- Online support (web interface): Access to support resources on our SAS Customer Support website
To help you successfully use our software, we can do the following:
- Suggest the appropriate SAS procedure, language feature, or products for the particular type of analysis or functionality that is requested.
- Answer questions about specific details of procedures (for example, discussing available features, options, and limitations).
- Provide references for formulas and statistical techniques that our algorithms use, where possible.
- Provide limited guidance and references to help you interpret the output that is produced by statistical procedures.
- Isolate, document, and find circumventions for reported software defects.
- Work with SAS software development staff to provide safe hot fixes for our software, as we deem appropriate.
- Provide limited and general statistical advice on a case-by-case basis. However, it is your responsibility to determine which type of statistical analysis is appropriate for your needs.
- Address concerns with printed or online documentation by providing additional examples, if necessary, or explanation for concepts that require clarification.
- Address specific questions and concerns that are related to the installation and maintenance of SAS software.
- Provide limited assistance with programming logic.
- Provide a broad overview of hardware tuning, operating-system modifications, SAS® System performance enhancements, and methods of efficient programming for achieving optimal performance. However, we do not provide benchmarking for specific hardware or operating systems.
- Provide support for the interaction between the SAS System and any third-party software that is shipped with the SAS System. For other third-party applications, we are glad to convey any knowledge that we have, but we cannot provide support for another vendor's software.
Because of limited resources and limited knowledge of any individual customer's data-analysis situation, we cannot provide customized consulting services. Nor can we provide customized SAS code (for example, CONTRAST, ESTIMATE, or TABLES statements; macros, JSL, SCL, DATA step, DataFlux EEL, or SAS/IML® code). To learn more about the consulting services that SAS offers, see the SAS Consulting website. Your Account Representative can also assist you in engaging the appropriate professional services.
SAS Technical Support applies only to SAS licensed software products ("software products" includes individual products and solutions). The work product from SAS Consulting engagements can be supported under a services contract from SAS Consulting. Visit the SAS Consulting website to learn more about the consulting services that are offered by SAS. Your Account Representative can also assist you in engaging the appropriate professional services.
Some SAS software products are designed to be modified by the customer. However, modifying SAS software products in a manner that is not authorized by the applicable user documentation might limit or preclude SAS from providing technical support. Contact SAS Technical Support if you are unsure about whether your planned modification will result in a supported software configuration. Attempting to reverse engineer, reverse assemble, or decompile SAS software, or attempting in any way to re-create or modify the source code for any SAS software is never authorized under your SAS software license and will preclude SAS from providing technical support.
With the accelerated pace of software development in the marketplace, SAS is releasing products much faster. As a result, SAS recommends that customers install the most current release of their licensed software products, including maintenance releases and security hot fixes. Current software means that our customers have the latest and best technology, and they are protected from potential vulnerabilities.
The current release of SAS software product is the latest release in General Availability status. SAS Technical Support provides problem alert notices and source-level maintenance (executable modules or "hot fixes") for selected critical problems that occur in this release.
As of January 1, 2020, SAS has moved to the following, two-level support policy that is based on the General Availability date for a product:
- Standard Support: This support level is based on a product's General Availability release date, and it has a time limit of five years from that date.
- Limited Support: This support level is provided for products that move outside of the five-year Standard Support time frame. Limited Support lasts until the product is retired, and it includes self-help resources only for previously identified issues.
In addition to ensuring the latest technology and security for customers, this new support structure provides customers with a predictable date for when a product release moves to Limited Support. This information enables customers to plan their software upgrades accordingly.
Support Transition Plan
SAS will transition customers to the new support policy on the following schedule:
- Unless otherwise designated in the Support Levels by Software Title lookup table, all new product releases after January 1, 2020 will be governed by the new support policy.
- The five years of Standard Support for SAS Viya products that are supported at the current A and B levels as of December 31, 2019 will begin on January 1, 2020.
- The following grace periods apply to SAS®9 product releases that are supported as of December 31, 2019 at the current A and B levels:
For All Product Releases
That Are Shipped on the. . .
Grace Period before Moving
to Limited Support. . .
SAS 9.2 platform One year SAS 9.3 platform Three years SAS 9.4 platform Five years
Note: SAS is moving products that rely on Adobe Flash components to Limited Support on December 31, 2020.
For all releases, regardless of age, we provide technical support running on these supported operating systems in accordance with information in the tables in the sections that follow below.
Support Levels for SAS® Software
Activity by Technical Support Staff
|Support for Executable Modules and Hot Fixes|
Technical Chat (where it is available)
Provides full support, including security and defect fixes, for a software product release for five years from the product's General Availability (GA) date. This support includes investigating all reported problems and providing circumventions, whenever it is possible.
Provided for selected critical problems.
Web Interface Technical Chat (where it is available)
Provides fixes where they are already available. This support also includes the clarifying documentation (including self-help resources*) and instructions for applying fixes as well as answering questions about upgrades.
This support lasts until the software product is retired.
Provided where they are already available.
Support Levels for SAS® Software Releases*
SAS® Software Release
|Standard Support||Limited Support|
|SAS®Viya®||X||For information, see the SAS Viya web page.|
SAS 9.4 (TS1M6) generally available November 2018
SAS 9.4 will be under a five-year grace period for Standard Support, starting on January 1, 2020.Note: SAS is moving products that rely on Adobe Flash components to Limited Support on December 31, 2020.
For information, see the SAS 9.4 — Today and Tomorrow web page.
SAS 9.3 (TS1M2) generally available August 2012
SAS 9.3 will be under a three-year grace period for Standard Support, starting on January 1, 2020.
For information, see the SAS® 9.3 Software web page.
Generally available March 2008
SAS 9.2 will be under a one-year grace period for Standard Support, starting January 1, 2020.
For information, see the SAS® 9.2 Software web page.
|Earlier than 8.2||X|
|Solutions and products that no longer have General Availability status and that were developed on obsolete platforms.|
*Specific releases of SAS software products might have different support levels than the overall SAS software release with which such a product is associated. Current support levels for specific SAS products and solutions might be documented in SAS Notes, and they can be found on the Support Levels by Software Title web page. You can find these notes by searching the Samples & SAS Notes Knowledge Base and using the search term support level with the product name. In addition, SAS customers can contact SAS Technical Support to confirm which support level corresponds to their release of licensed SAS software.
SAS provides maintenance for the SAS System through replacement executable modules, or hot fixes, that might be supplied individually or in containers. To stay informed about new hot fixes and to learn how to receive notifications when they are available, visit the Communities: SAS Hot Fix Announcements page.
To sign up for SAS Technical Support News and to request that operational announcements be delivered to your inbox, visit SAS Technical Support on the web and look for the following sign-up area:
You can also obtain the SAS Technical Support News and the operational announcements as follows:
- Log on to your SAS profile.
- Click Edit Profile.
- In the Subscriptions section, click Technical Support Updates - News and Operational Announcements.
Be aware that while we strive to provide fixes for all serious problems, there might be cases where it is impractical or impossible to generate a fix because of compatibility issues or the potential for the introduction of unwanted side effects.
SAS documents Alert Priority issues, as well as problems that are not of alert status, in the form of SAS Notes. You can search for Alert Priority issues in our Samples & SAS Notes database.
SAS lists product change notifications on the Product Advisory Notices from SAS web page.
Telecommunications Relay Service enables calls to be placed and received by people with hearing or speech disabilities who use a teletypewriter (TTY) or other text-input device. This service is available in all 50 states in the U.S., the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. SAS Technical Support can use the Telecommunications Relay Service to communicate with US customers who have hearing or speech disabilities.
Technical support is available to all customers who license SAS software. However, you are encouraged to engage your designated on-site SAS support personnel as your first support contact. If your on-site SAS support personnel cannot resolve your issue, have them contact SAS Technical Support to report your problem. When you contact SAS Technical Support, you might be required to provide information (for example, your SAS site number, company name, email address, and telephone number) that identifies you as a licensed SAS software customer. Failure to provide this information might preclude SAS Technical Support from taking action on your issue.
For most SAS software products, there is no additional charge for technical support. Support of our software is considered a part of the license agreement. Charges for any fee-based Technical Support services are outlined in your license agreement.
If you need assistance to do any of the following, your request will be routed to an appropriate fee-based resource.
- write custom code
- design a SAS application
- select an appropriate statistical methodology
- design experiments
- debug a complex application
- provide comprehensive installation and maintenance guidance
- review architecture
You can visit the SAS Consulting website to learn more about the consulting services that are offered by SAS. Your Account Representative can also assist you in engaging the appropriate professional services.
For Customers in North America during Normal Support Hours
Support is provided in English from our corporate headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.
- Support hours for new questions are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.
- Limited support for new questions is available Monday through Friday 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.
- Support hours for questions with an assigned tracking number are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.
For Customers Outside of North America
Local-language technical support is provided through the local office in your country. If you are outside of North America, contact your local SAS office for specific support hours. In general, SAS provides technical support from the technical-support center closest to the country where the software is installed or where the users reside. However, SAS reserves the right to refer technical-support issues to other SAS technical-support centers, as needed.
For Critical Problems after Normal Support Hours
Calls to SAS Technical Support for critical problems after normal support hours are directed to one of our worldwide support centers in North America, Europe, or Asia/Pacific, thus providing 24-hour, follow-the-sun support. You can update tracks electronically 24x7. However, for new issues or for existing tracks with issues that become critical outside of normal business hours, you must also call SAS Technical Support. The phone number is available on the Contact SAS Technical Support web page. When you call, press 2 for Technical Support, listen to the greeting in its entirety, and then press 0 to start follow-the-sun support.
Note: After-hours support is available only in English and is limited to critical problems for software products under Standard Support. Because the support is in English, it is important that you are able to adequately discuss your issue in English. SAS provides self-help resources such as support.sas.com and the SAS Support Communities for software products under Limited Support. You can search these resources for potential circumventions to problems that are similar to the one that you are experiencing.
For Problems That Are Reported by Telephone
All problems that are reported to Technical Support are initially handled by a consultant who works with you to identify and (in many cases) resolve your reported problem. If the problem is not resolved during the primary contact, the consultant assigns a tracking number to the problem and performs additional research, or the consultant might pass the problem to a specialist.
The following table displays the targets for initial follow-up and frequency of updates for problems with different severities and conditions. The goals for initial follow-up after a problem with production software is first reported are based on the nature and severity of the problem. The Technical Support consultant will attempt to contact the customer who reported the problem within the response time goals described below.
|Severity Level||Condition||Initial Follow-up*||Frequency of Updates|
4 business hours
** Every 2 business days
Every 3 business days
Every 10 business days
Every 30 business days
*For problems that are assigned to a Technical Support consultant, initial follow-up is defined as the time between when the problem is initially reported and the specialist contacts the customer. For problems that require further research by the consultant who initially received the problem, initial follow-up is defined as the time between the initial contact with the consultant and a follow-up call.
**Follow-up as agreed upon by Customer Management and SAS Technical Support Management
***Does not include weekend or other non-business days
For Problems That Are Reported Electronically
Priorities are assigned to problems that are reported via the web or email, based on the guidelines shown in the table above. All problems that are reported electronically receive an immediate, automated email confirmation and a problem tracking number. A Technical Support consultant will respond to the customer who reported the problem by telephone or email within 24 hours, with the exception of problems that are reported on weekends and holidays. Because SAS cannot guarantee less than 24-hour response for problems that are tracked electronically, you should report Severity 1 or 2 problems by telephone.
If the standard support process does not produce the desired results, or if the problem has changed in priority, you can escalate the problem as follows.
For Sites That Are Served by SAS World Headquarters
- Contact the Technical Support consultant who is working on your problem and request that the priority of the problem be escalated.
- Ask to speak with a Technical Support manager if additional escalation is required.
- Ask to speak with the Senior Vice President of Technical Support if further escalation is required.
For Sites That Are Served by International Offices
- Contact the Technical Support consultant who is working on your problem and request that the priority of the problem be escalated.
- Ask to speak to the Technical Support Manager if additional escalation is required.
- Ask to speak to the Technical Support Regional Director if further escalation is required.
Because of the complex nature of software development and operating environments, SAS cannot guarantee the time that it will take to resolve a problem. In addition, our response times might be affected if we do not receive the requested information and/or we are not allowed remote access to your relevant network(s) or system(s), as applicable. SAS endeavors to resolve problems as expeditiously as possible.
A problem is archived upon mutual agreement between the consultant who is responsible for the problem and the customer who reported the problem. If the consultant is awaiting further information from the customer, the consultant makes at least one attempt either by telephone or email to contact the customer within a few business days. During this contact, the consultant communicates a timeline for archiving the problem if further information is not provided.
Information is not lost when a problem is archived. In the future, if you need to discuss the specific problem that is documented in an archived tracking entry for any reason, a new problem will be opened with a new tracking number, and all information from the archived entry will be copied into the new tracking entry.
Under certain circumstances, SAS Technical Support staff use remote support sessions to troubleshoot and diagnose reported issues. In such a situation, we will initiate the remote session and provide connection instructions. Parameters defining the length, audience, and goals of a remote support session are jointly agreed upon before the remote session is initiated.
Remote support is not appropriate for all technical-support tracks and is used only for the types of services described in the General Support Services section.
To keep pace with changes to third-party technologies and to meet the needs of our customers, SAS follows a general policy of supporting one or more baseline major versions, as well as subsequent minor updates, for each third-party product. The supported baseline major versions are documented in SAS® Third-Party Software Requirements - Baseline and Higher Support.
In some instances, SAS software is supported on an operating system, a Java application server, a Java Development Kit (JDK), or a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) level, even though the third-party vendor of that software has withdrawn support. When SAS can no longer provide updates to such components, the company reserves the right to move affected products to Limited Support.
SAS is committed to helping customers who rely on affected products to receive product updates from SAS whenever possible. Therefore, SAS makes such decisions based on a per-product basis.
For information about SAS support and Adobe Flash Player end of life, see SAS Software and Its Use with Adobe Flash Player.
Disaster-recovery planning is important for any critical business system, including production systems running the SAS® 9.4 Intelligence Platform, SAS Viya, and SAS® solutions. SAS customers should and usually do have disaster-recovery plans for their SAS deployments, SAS applications, and SAS data files. For information about SAS support in this area, see the following pages:
- SAS 9.4 position statement regarding disaster recovery
- SAS Viya position statement regarding disaster recovery
SAS safeguards data that you send to our Technical Support organization in the same manner in which we protect our own similar confidential information. For details, see SAS Technical Support Policy Regarding Customer Materials in Support Files.