SAS Technical Support 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.
SAS Technical Support has two distinct support policies that are based on which software the customer licenses. The table of contents for the General Support section of this page clarifies which support plan applies to which software. Use the table to go directly to the section of interest.
All SAS Products
SAS® Viya® 2020.1 and Later
SAS® 9.4, SAS® Viya® 3.5, and Earlier Releases
Policies for All SAS Products
- SAS Support for Alternative Kubernetes Distributions
- SAS Support for Alternative Operating Systems
- SAS Third-Party Software Requirements - Baseline and Higher Support
- SAS Software Support When Third-Party Vendors Drop Support
- SAS Disaster Recovery Statement
- Sending Sensitive Data
- Support for Virtualization Environments
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 the SAS Customer Support website
To help customers successfully use SAS software, SAS Technical Support can do the following for SAS software that is eligible for Standard Support*:
*Here is the definition of Standard Support for SAS® Viya® 2020.1 and later. Here is the definition for Standard Support for SAS® 9.4, SAS® Viya® 3.5, and earlier releases.
- 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 SAS 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.
- 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 SAS programming logic.
- Provide a broad overview of Kubernetes tuning and modifications as they relate to SAS, performance enhancements, and methods of efficient programming for achieving optimal performance.
- Provide support for the interaction between SAS software and any third-party software that is shipped with SAS software.
SAS Technical Support cannot provide customized consulting services. Nor can SAS Technical Support provide customized SAS code (for example, CONTRAST, ESTIMATE, or TABLES statements; macros, JSL, 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 team.
SAS Technical Support applies only to SAS software and not to any work product delivered as part of a SAS Consulting Services engagement. Customers can purchase additional support under a Consulting 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 is designed to be configured by following instructions in the published SAS documentation. However, modifying SAS software in a manner that is not authorized by the applicable 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 SAS software configuration. Attempting to access source code, reverse engineer, reverse assemble, or decompile SAS software in violation of your agreement will preclude SAS from providing technical support.
The following is outside the scope of general support provided by SAS Technical Support:
- For third-party applications, SAS Technical Support will convey any knowledge that it has, but cannot provide support for another vendor's software.
- It is the customer's responsibility to determine which type of statistical analysis is appropriate for their needs.
- SAS Technical Support does not provide Kubernetes administration services and does not provide benchmarking for container orchestration tools. Customers might need to tune their Kubernetes and the underlying operating system or cloud provider on which it runs.
- Extensive tasks such as the following examples are beyond the scope of SAS Technical Support, but can be addressed by SAS Consulting Services. Contact your SAS Account Executive to purchase these services:
- Installing and integrating SAS software beyond responding to routine, short-duration questions related to the online documentation made available by SAS
- Providing comprehensive installation and maintenance guidance
- Answering extensive configuration questions
- Reviewing architecture
- Implementing SAS software
- Analyzing performance of installed SAS software
- Writing, troubleshooting, reviewing, or customizing code
- Debugging a complex application
- Recovering a database or performing data recovery
- Interpreting or triaging customer or third-party generated defect scanning reports
- Designing a SAS application and/or experiments
- Selecting an appropriate statistical methodology
- Providing any other activities outside the scope of this SAS Technical Support policy.
Note: This section covers only SAS Viya 2020.1 and later releases. See the Support for SAS® 9.4, SAS® Viya® 3.5, and Earlier Releases section for more information about those releases.
What is Continuous Delivery?
Continuous Delivery is a software engineering approach in which Research and Development teams produce software in short cycles, ensuring that the software can be built, tested, and delivered faster and more frequently. The release cycles in continuous delivery systems are called cadences.
SAS offers the following release cadences for SAS Viya:
- Stable: This is a monthly release that provides any of the following: New features, changes or enhancements to features, or bug fixes. The latest Stable version contains the most up-to-date features and bug fixes. Before September 2022, Stable version numbers followed this format: yyyy.n.n (example: 2021.1.1). Beginning in September 2022, Stable version numbers follow this format: Stable yyyy.mm (example: Stable 2022.09 is released in September of 2022).
- Long-Term Support: This release occurs once every six months and contains an aggregate of features and bug fixes produced for the Stable version from two months prior. Before November 2022, Long-Term Support version numbers followed this format: yyyy.n (example: 2021.1). Beginning in November 2022, Long-Term Support version numbers follow this format: Long-Term Support yyyy.mm (example: Long-Term Support 2022.09 is released in November of 2022 and based on the Stable version from September plus bug fixes).
Note: Software as a Service customers do not choose a cadence.
Selected critical bug fixes and security vulnerability fixes will be delivered as soon as they are ready rather than waiting for a scheduled update.
To understand the typical release schedule, see Release Schedule and Versions in SAS® Viya® Operations. You can change between cadences, but your support level will also change. For guidance, see Guidelines for Updating to a New Version in SAS® Viya® Operations.
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 SAS software products, which includes security fixes. Current SAS software means that customers have the latest and best technology, and they are better protected from potential vulnerabilities.
SAS Technical Support follows this two-level support policy:
Note that there might be some exceptions to the following policy. See the SAS® Viya® 2020.1 and Later Releases That Have Been Declared under Limited Support section for more details.
- Standard Support: This support level covers the following cadences:
- Stable: Standard Support covers the current Stable version and the three previous Stable versions. Therefore, to ensure that their SAS software is covered by Standard Support, customers are required to update to the latest Stable version at least every three months.
- Long-Term Support: Standard Support covers the current Long-Term Support version and a maximum of* the three previous Long-Term Support versions. Therefore, to ensure that their SAS software is covered by Standard Support, customers are required to update to the latest Long-Term Support version at least once every two years.
- Limited Support: This support level is provided for (a) Stable and Long-Term Support versions that are older than the versions covered under Standard Support, and (b) versions running on a Kubernetes version that is no longer supported. Limited Support includes only access to the product documentation and self-help resources. Software in Limited Support does not qualify for Severity Level 1 or Severity Level 2 critical support requests.
Note: Customers whose SAS Viya deployments are in Limited Support cannot download patches for those versions, but they can download assets for a supported version so that they can upgrade or redeploy.
*For additional details, see the SAS® Viya® 2020.1 and Later Releases That Have Been Declared under Limited Support section.
In addition to providing the latest technology and security for customers, this support structure provides customers with a predictable date for when a SAS software version moves to Limited Support. This information enables customers to plan their SAS software upgrades accordingly.
To determine whether their software is still supported by Standard Support, customers should reference the View the Update Checker Report section in SAS® Viya® Operations. Customers can use the update checker to determine when the support window ends and whether there is another update available.
Standard Support for a qualifying SAS Viya release is applicable as long as the SAS Viya software is deployed on a supported Kubernetes platform. For details, see SAS® Viya® 2020.1 and Later Releases That Have Been Declared under Limited Support.
Activity by the Technical Support Team
|Support for Patch Updates|
|Standard Support||Telephone, Email, Web Interface Technical Chat (where it is available)|
Provides full support, including select security and defect fixes, for the SAS software version as defined in the Support Levels for SAS® Viya® 2020.1 and Later section. Standard Support includes investigating all submitted support requests and providing circumventions, whenever it is possible.
Provided for selected critical support requests.
|Limited Support||Telephone, Email, Web Interface Technical Chat (where it is available)|
Provides access only to the product documentation and self-help resources*. Software in Limited Support does not qualify for Severity Level 1 or Severity Level 2 critical support requests.
Limited Support lasts until the SAS software product is retired.
SAS® Viya® 2020.1 and Later Releases That Have Been Declared under Limited Support
Standard Support for a qualifying SAS Viya release is applicable as long as the SAS Viya software is deployed on a supported Kubernetes platform, such as Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), that is running on one of the specific Kubernetes versions that are validated by SAS. In the event that the Kubernetes platform no longer supports any of the validated Kubernetes versions required by a SAS Viya release, SAS reserves the right to declare Limited Support for that SAS Viya release on that platform. For more information, see SAS Support for Alternative Kubernetes Distributions.
This table lists SAS Viya releases that SAS has declared to be under Limited Support because their validated Kubernetes versions are no longer supported. SAS will add to this table as needed.
|SAS Viya Release||Supported Cloud Provider||Notes|
|SAS Viya 2020.1||Microsoft Azure AKS||This release must run on Kubernetes 1.18.x, which was moved to end-of-life in March 2021.|
Note: This section covers only SAS 9.4, SAS Viya 3.5, and earlier releases. See the SAS® Viya® 2020.1 and Later section for information about those releases.
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 SAS software products, including maintenance releases and security hot fixes. Current software means that customers have the latest and best technology, and they are better 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.
SAS Technical Support for SAS® 9.4, SAS® Viya® 3.5, and earlier releases 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 (a) products that are not updated in the five-year Standard Support time frame, and (b) all products running SAS on an alternative operating system that the customer has selected. Limited Support lasts until the product is retired, and it includes fixes where they are already available as well as access to the product documentation and self-help resources. SAS software in Limited Support does not qualify for Severity Level 1 or Severity Level 2 critical support requests.
Note: Customers whose releases are in Limited Support can use and renew their existing SAS software but cannot add new products, receive new DVD media for existing SAS software, or download existing SAS software.
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 moved products that rely on Adobe Flash components to Limited Support on December 31, 2020.
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)
Provides full support, including select 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)
Provides fixes where they are already available as well as access to the product documentation and self-help resources*. SAS software in Limited Support does not qualify for Severity Level 1 or Severity Level 2 critical support requests.
Limited Support lasts until the SAS software product is retired.
Provided where they are already available.
The Support Levels by Product web page contains current support levels for specific SAS products and solutions. Customers can visit this page to determine the current support level, the release date, and the date on which the support level changes for their SAS software. If customers still have questions about the support level for their SAS software, they can contact SAS Technical Support.
SAS® Software Release
|Standard Support||Limited Support|
|SAS®Viya® 3.5 and earlier||X|
SAS Viya products released before January 2020 are under a five-year grace period for Standard Support, starting on January 1, 2020.
SAS 9.4M7 (TS1M7) generally available August 2020
SAS 9.4 is under a five-year grace period for Standard Support, starting on January 1, 2020. This five-year grace period applies to SAS 9.4M6 and earlier SAS 9.4 releases, which were released before 2020. Note that SAS 9.4M7 and later SAS 9.4 releases follow the Standard Support policy, which states that support is based on a product's General Availability release date, and it has a time limit of five years from that date.Note: SAS moved products that rely on Adobe Flash components to Limited Support on December 31, 2020.
SAS 9.3M2 (TS1M2) generally available August 2012
SAS 9.3 is under a three-year grace period for Standard Support, starting on January 1, 2020.
|Earlier than 8.2||X|
|Solutions and products that no longer have General Availability status and that were developed on obsolete platforms.|
SAS provides maintenance for the SAS software 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 strives to provide fixes for all serious issues, 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.
Customers can also obtain SAS Technical Support News and 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 issues that are not of alert status, in the form of SAS Notes. Search for Alert Priority issues in the Samples & SAS Notes database.
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. It enables the SAS Technical Support team to communicate with customers who have hearing or speech disabilities. The availability of this service might vary by country or region.
Generally, technical support is available to all customers during the term of their agreement for SAS software or SAS cloud offerings that include access to 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, customers 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 SAS customer. Failure to provide this information might preclude SAS Technical Support from taking action on the support request.
For most SAS software and SAS cloud offerings, technical support is included in the fee set forth in the customer's agreement. Charges for any fee-based Enhanced Technical Support services are outlined in the license agreement.
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 Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 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 customer resides. 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 unscheduled critical production incidents 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 incidents or for existing tracks with situations that become critical (Severity Level 1 or 2) 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 listen to the greeting in its entirety and follow the instructions to start follow-the-sun support. For example, for calls to SAS corporate headquarters, press 2 for Technical Support, listen to the greeting, and then press 0 to start follow-the-sun support.
Note: After-hours support is available only in English and is limited to critical production incidents for software products under Standard Support. Because the support is provided in English, it is important that customers are able to adequately discuss their situation 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.
SAS Technical Support provides 24x7 support for critical situations in which a SAS production software is down due to an unscheduled event. The goal is to remedy critical situations encountered with the software. Before customers perform updates or maintenance for SAS software, customers must have a validated, repeatable, and completely tested backup-and-recovery process. Note: A complete SAS software restore is a viable recommendation for the on-call team member to make in order to resolve an after-hours issue that arises from planned system maintenance activities.
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 weekends or other non-business days
For Support Requests That Are Submitted Electronically
Severities 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 severity, customers can escalate the request as follows.
- Contact the Technical Support team member who is working on the request and ask that the severity be escalated.
- Ask to speak with a Technical Support Manager if additional escalation is required.
Because of the complex nature of software development and operating environments, SAS cannot guarantee the amount of 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 time line for archiving the support request if further information is not provided.
Information is not lost when a support request is archived. Data is handled in accordance with the SAS Privacy Statement. 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, with the customer's agreement, 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.
In order for SAS Viya to stay under Standard Support, SAS requires that customers run their SAS Viya deployments on a supported distribution of Kubernetes. For detailed information about the Kubernetes distributions that SAS supports, see Kubernetes Cluster Requirements in SAS® Viya® Operations. Customers must select their SAS Viya version number in the top left of the documentation page to see relevant information.
Variants of Kubernetes distributions exist that are alternatives to the list that SAS identifies as officially supported. In addition, SAS software uses technologies from various third-party vendors, which might or might not support these alternative Kubernetes distributions at the same level as SAS software.
SAS provides Limited Support for SAS Viya when it is deployed on an alternative distribution that the customer has selected. If issues occur with SAS Viya running on an alternative Kubernetes distribution, the customer must perform further diagnostics on their own to isolate the problem. This investigation should include reproducing the problem on a supported Kubernetes distribution and third-party vendor software stack.
Note that, if a customer elects to use an alternative Kubernetes distribution, SAS expects that they have the appropriate skills to resolve differences between the supported Kubernetes distribution and the alternative Kubernetes distribution that is being used. By electing to use an alternative Kubernetes distribution, the customer acknowledges that they have made the appropriate investment into resolving the differences inherent in that alternative Kubernetes distribution.
There are variants of operating systems that are alternatives to the list that SAS identifies as officially supported. These variants are sometimes derived from a supported distribution’s source code that might be destined to become part of a future release of a supported distribution.
SAS provides Limited Support for SAS software when it is deployed on an alternative operating system that the customer has selected. Further, SAS software uses technologies from various third-party vendors at specific releases, which might or might not support these alternative operating systems as required by SAS software. SAS is not able to assist customers in determining equivalent third-party versions or releases on alternative operating systems. If issues occur with SAS software that is running on an alternative operating system, the customer must perform further diagnostics on their own to isolate the problem. This investigation should include reproducing the problem on a supported operating system and third-party vendor software stack.
Please note that if a customer elects to use an alternative operating system, SAS expects that they have the appropriate skills to resolve differences between the supported operating system and the alternative operating system being used. By electing to use an alternative operating system, the customer acknowledges that they have made the appropriate investment into resolving the differences inherent in that alternative system.
These restrictions do not apply to virtual applications supplied by SAS. For your reference, SAS maintains a list of Supported Operating Environments.
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), a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) level, or a Kubernetes distribution even though the third-party vendor of that software has withdrawn support. When SAS can no longer provide updates to such components or receive updates to the component from the third-party vendor, SAS 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 have disaster-recovery plans for their SAS software and related data. For information about SAS support in this area, see the following pages:
- SAS Viya position statement regarding disaster recovery
- SAS 9.4 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.