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 customer relationships with SAS Technical Support.
- General Support Services
- Support Services for Current and Prior Releases of SAS® Software
- Support Levels for SAS® Software
- Support Levels for SAS® Software Releases
- Software Maintenance and Bug Fixes
- SAS Technical Support Notifications
- Problem and Product Change Notifications
- Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
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 customers successfully use SAS software, SAS Technical Support 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 SAS algorithms use, where possible.
- Provide limited guidance and references to help customers 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 SAS software, as deemed appropriate.
- Provide limited and general statistical advice on a case-by-case basis. However, it is the customer's responsibility to determine which type of statistical analysis is appropriate for their 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. Note that more complex services such as the following are beyond the scope of SAS Technical Support, but can be addressed by SAS Consulting:
- Installing and integrating the software beyond responding to routine, short duration questions related to the online documentation made available by SAS with each license
- Implementing software
- Analyzing performance of installed software
- Writing, troubleshooting, reviewing, or customizing code
- Answering extensive configuration questions
- Recovering a database or performing data recovery
- Interpreting or triaging customer or third-party generated defect scanning reports
- Provide limited assistance with programming logic.
- Provide a broad overview of Kubernetes tuning and modifications as they relate to SAS, SAS® System performance enhancements, and methods of efficient programming for achieving optimal performance. However, SAS Technical Support does not provide benchmarking for container orchestration tools. Customers might need to tune their Kubernetes and the underlying operating system on which it runs.
- 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, SAS Technical Support will convey any knowledge that it has, but cannot provide support for another vendor's software.
Because of limited resources and limited knowledge of any individual customer's data-analysis situation, SAS Technical Suppport cannot provide customized consulting services. Nor can SAS Technical Support 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. The SAS Account Representative can also assist with engaging the appropriate consulting 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. The SAS Account Representative can also assist with engaging the appropriate consulting 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 unsure about whether planned modifications 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 a 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 customers have the latest and best technology, and they are protected from potential vulnerabilities.
The current release of a 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 issues that occur in this release.
The SAS support policy* contains two levels that are 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.
* This support policy took effect on January 1, 2020.
In addition to ensuring the latest technology and security for customers, this 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.
Note: SAS is moving products that rely on Adobe Flash components to Limited Support on December 31, 2020.
For all releases, regardless of age, SAS provides technical support running on these supported operating systems in accordance with information in the tables in the sections that follow below.
Activity by the Technical Support Team
|Support for Executable Modules and Hot Fixes|
Technical Chat (where it is available)
Provide 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 submitted support requests and providing circumventions, whenever it is possible.
Provided for selected critical support requests.
Web Interface Technical Chat (where it is available)
Provide fixes where they are already available as well as access to the product documentation and self-help resources*.
This support lasts until the software product is retired.
Provided where they are already available.
SAS® Software Release
|Standard Support||Limited Support|
For information, see the SAS Viya web page.
SAS Viya products released before January 2020 are under a five-year grace period for Standard Support, starting on January 1, 2020.
SAS 9.4 (TS1M7) generally available August 2020
SAS 9.4 is 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 is 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 is 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.|
*Current support levels for specific SAS products and solutions can be found on the Support Levels by Software Title web page. 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.
Be aware that while SAS Technical Support strives 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.
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:
Customers can also obtain the the SAS Technical Support News and the operational announcements as follows:
- Log on to their SAS profiles.
- Click Edit Profile.
- In the Subscriptions section, click Technical Support Updates - News and Operational Announcements.
SAS documents Alert Priority issues, as well as problems that are not of alert status, in the form of SAS Notes. Search for Alert Priority issues in the 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, customers are encouraged to engage their designated on-site SAS support personnel as their first support contact. If the on-site SAS support personnel cannot address the request, they should contact SAS Technical Support to submit the support request. When customers contact SAS Technical Support, they might be required to provide information (for example, their SAS site number, company name, email address, and telephone number) that identifies them as a licensed SAS software customer. Failure to provide this information might preclude SAS Technical Support from taking action on the support request.
For most SAS software products, there is no additional charge for technical support. Charges for any fee-based Technical Support services are outlined in the license agreement.
If customers need assistance to do any of the following, their 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
Visit the SAS Consulting website to learn more about the consulting services that are offered by SAS. The SAS Account Representative can also assist with engaging the appropriate consulting services.
For Customers in North America during Normal Support Hours
Support is provided in English from SAS corporate headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.
- Support hours for new requests are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.
- Limited support for new requests is available Monday through Friday 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.
- Support hours for requests 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 the customer's country. If customers are outside of North America, they should contact their 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 customers reside. However, SAS reserves the right to refer technical-support requests to other SAS technical-support centers, as needed.
For Critical Support Requests after Normal Support Hours
Calls to SAS Technical Support for critical requests after normal support hours are directed to one of the SAS worldwide support centers in North America, Europe, or Asia/Pacific, thus providing 24-hour, follow-the-sun support. Customers can update tracks electronically 24x7. However, for new requests or for existing tracks with requests that become critical outside of normal business hours, customers must also call SAS Technical Support. The phone number is available on the Contact SAS Technical Support web page. When customers call, they must 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 requests for software products under Standard Support. Because the support is in English, it is important that customers are able to adequately discuss their request in English. SAS provides self-help resources such as support.sas.com and the SAS Support Communities for software products under Limited Support. Customers can search these resources for potential circumventions to issues that are similar to the one that they are experiencing.
For Support Requests That Are Reported by Telephone
All support requests that are reported to Technical Support are initially handled by a team member who works with customers to identify and (in many cases) address their reported request. If the request is not addressed during the primary contact, the team member assigns a tracking number to the request and performs additional research, or the team member might pass the request to a specialist.
The following table displays the targets for initial follow-up and frequency of updates for support requests with different severities and conditions. The goals for initial follow-up after a request about production software is first reported are based on the nature and severity of the request. The Technical Support team member will attempt to contact the customer who submitted the request 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 support requests that are assigned to a Technical Support team member, initial follow-up is defined as the time between when the request is initially submitted and the team member contacts the customer. For support requests that require further research by the team member who initially received the request, initial follow-up is defined as the time between the initial contact with the team member 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 Support Requests That Are Submitted Electronically
Priorities are assigned to support requests that are reported via the web or email, based on the guidelines shown in the table above. All requests that are submitted electronically receive an immediate, automated email confirmation and a tracking number. A Technical Support team member will respond to the customer who submitted the request by telephone or email within 24 hours, with the exception of requests that are submitted on weekends and holidays. Because SAS cannot guarantee less than 24-hour response for requests that are tracked electronically, customers should report Severity 1 or 2 problems by telephone.
If the standard support process does not produce the desired results, or if the request has changed in priority, customers can escalate the request as follows.
For Sites That Are Served by SAS World Headquarters
- Contact the Technical Support team member who is working on the request and ask that the priority 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 team member who is working on the request and ask that the priority 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 address a support request. In addition, response times might be affected if SAS Technical Support does not receive the requested information and/or is not allowed remote access to the relevant network(s) or system(s), as applicable. SAS endeavors to address support requests as expeditiously as possible.
A support request is archived upon mutual agreement between the team member who is responsible for the request and the customer who submitted the request. If the team member is awaiting further information from the customer, the team member makes at least one attempt either by telephone or email to contact the customer within a few business days. During this contact, the team member communicates a timeline for archiving the support request if further information is not provided.
Information is not lost when a support request is archived. In the future, if customers need to discuss the specific request that is documented in an archived track for any reason, a new track will be opened with a new tracking number, and all information from the archived track will be copied into the new track.
Under certain circumstances, SAS Technical Support team members use remote support sessions to troubleshoot and diagnose submitted support requests. In such a situation, SAS Technical Support 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 SAS 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 is sent to SAS Technical Support in the same manner in which SAS protects its own similar confidential information. For details, see SAS Technical Support Policy Regarding Customer Materials in Support Files.