SAS® Software and Its Use of the Adobe Flash Player

Background

Applications in the SAS® 9.4 Platform – as well as many SAS® solutions that are based on SAS 9.3 and SAS 9.4 – use the Adobe Flash Player to provide interactive user interfaces. Adobe announced that it intends to end-of-life its Flash technology and will cease to update and distribute the Flash Player at the end of 2020. Browser vendors, most of which have already included security warnings for users of Flash content, will disable Flash by default in 2019, and they are expected to remove support for Flash completely in 2020 to match the end-of-life direction stated by Adobe.

As web technologies matured, new standards evolved and were adopted providing the capabilities and functionalities of Adobe Flash. These new standards for building interactive content like HTML5 and CSS3 minimized the need and use of plug-ins like Adobe Flash. Apple iPhones and iPads do not support Flash, and makers of web browsers fully support the more modern technologies as they phase out support for Flash.

Position

SAS has defined a roadmap to aid customers in their transition from SAS software releases that contain Flash to new, modern user interfaces. SAS is replacing user interfaces that rely on Adobe Flash with interfaces based on HTML5. SAS has also upgraded the SAS 9.4 server with maintenance release 6 (SAS 9.4M6) to support clients that are built with these HTML5 interfaces. Together, these two changes will enable SAS customers to address the end of support for Adobe Flash.

In addition, SAS® Viya® – a cloud-enabled extension to the SAS platform -- provides customers a direct modernization for SAS environments. SAS Viya has a complete modern architecture that is built to support a range of user interfaces including those designed around HTML5 and CSS3. Users of SAS® Customer Intelligence will find the same modern elements in SAS® Customer Intelligence 360.

Considerations

SAS has a straightforward position on transitioning most of its customers from user interfaces that are based on Flash. In addition, SAS has made available the following transition paths for customers with specific product licenses:

  • SAS recommends that customers with SAS products that map directly to comparable offerings on SAS Viya modernize their respective SAS environments by upgrading to SAS Viya. This option is available immediately.
  • Customers who have a mix of SAS products with and without comparable offerings on SAS Viya can choose to upgrade their SAS servers to SAS 9.4M6 (TS1M6) and associated user interfaces that are HTML5 based (beginning in 2019 and continuing with several additional updates).

Per SAS’ policy about supporting software that is designed for use with third-party software and whose own support has been withdrawn by the third-party vendor, SAS reserves the right to move support to the lowest level for SAS products that rely on Adobe Flash.

Conclusion

SAS seeks to help its customers avoid issues that are related to the end-of-life of support for Adobe Flash. SAS has moved away from user interfaces based on Flash and has adopted open, standards-based technologies such as HTML5. These technologies are supported by web browsers and other clients, and they also provide better performance and security. These modern user interfaces are available now in SAS Viya, with upgrades to SAS®9 products, and in SAS Customer Intelligence 360 throughout the year.

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