Solving the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 hinges on the finding the plane's black boxes, or flight data and cockpit voice recorder. An airplane’s black box is something we hope never has to be used, but when there’s a problem, we sure are glad that it’s there. The black box holds incredibly valuable data about the aircraft, crew and flight details and transmits locator beacon signals that tell us where the missing plane is and, if recovered, can shed light on what went wrong.
SAS® Data Management has its own black box of sorts, called SAS® Job Monitor, which shows underlying data from jobs and processes. It was developed to help users quickly and easily pinpoint the source of errors should they encounter a hiccup while running SAS jobs and processes.
Gone are the days of combing through log files to find errors or comparing timestamps from log to log to troubleshoot. With SAS Job Monitor, you can monitor status information and performance statistics, view historical run times and drill down into the data and trends for jobs running on a SAS Workspace server or a DataFlux® Data Management Server. What’s more, all the information is displayed graphically so you can easily identify any red flags.
A plug-in from SAS Environment Manager, which is accessed through the SAS Data Management Console, Job Monitor’s functionality is targeted toward administrators and developers, and it offers them three key benefits:
- Uses what’s already in place: No need to download additional data or install more software, Job Monitor runs on information that’s already available.
- Troubleshoot from one central location: The web-based interface lets you see all jobs and processes across all servers, making it easy to identify errors. There’s no back and forth between systems to see what went wrong and why.
- Understand complicated processes and trends: With Job Monitor, you can easily see associations and connections between jobs. What’s more, you can look at individual runs for each job and track performance over time.
For more information about Job Monitor or the Data Management Console, visit:
At SAS, one of our core values is to be swift and agile. So it makes sense that our software development be Agile too. The Agile methodology has been around for more than 10 years and was designed with software development in mind. Today, it is still used predominately for this purpose, but is gaining momentum in other circles as well. In this Wall Street Journal article, parents even confess to bringing these ideas home and implementing Agile with their children.
Within SAS, divisions and teams use Agile in different ways; its nimbleness allows for varying degrees of adoption or implementation. For example, since 2008, R&D teams have been using Agile for requirements management, product implementation and project tracking. Planning is simplified with Agile. Potential product or solution features, known as stories, are ranked and scheduled in a release plan. Then they are assigned to an iteration or sprint (usually 2-4 weeks in length) in the development life cycle.
One of the main benefits of Agile development is that it fosters more cross-functional activity and collaboration, that is, a higher level of engagement and commitment. For example, for any given iteration, developers, testers and product managers work closely together and share updates several times a week in meetings called scrums. At the end of each iteration, all stakeholders sign off on features, and demos are given to internal or external stakeholders, showing the software in proper working condition.
Agile methodology was highlighted as a key development strategy at the Business Intelligence Development Roundtable at SAS Global Forum 2013. Business Intelligence R&D teams adopted Agile when they set out to create SAS’ data visualization software, SAS® Visual Analytics. Developing a new product like Visual Analytics required a nimble approach. Agile’s short, time-bound iterations allowed SAS product developers to incorporate user feedback more quickly and focus more on what worked.
In 2012, senior project managers at SAS surveyed SAS development teams to determine the effectiveness of Agile approaches. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they would recommend Agile to another team. The survey reported that stronger adoption of Agile methods drives higher productivity and a deeper sense of engagement among teams.
In April 2013, Tim Arthur, Agile champion within SAS Research & Development, presented the results of that survey at the Stanford Strategic Execution Conference. Arthur heard from several Silicon Valley companies that SAS is ahead of the curve and viewed as a model for Agile adoption and scaling. If you're interested in learning more about SAS' approach, you can download Arthur's white paper Agile Adoption: Measuring its Worth.
Does your organization use Agile? Leave a comment to tell us about your experience or ask for more information about SAS' implementation of Agile.
It was a packed house at the Moscone West Center in San Francisco last night as more than 4,000 SAS users and employees from around the world gathered together to officially kick off SAS® Global Forum.
Following the live software demos from customers and SAS development teams, Technical Support Vice President Annette Harris took the stage to announce the 2013 winner of the SAS User Feedback Award.
The award was presented to Andrew Lynch, Vice President of Chase Customer Analytics with JPMorgan Chase. Lynch helped improve the functionality of the SAS High-Performance Analytics platform and demonstrate its value in the field.
“I would like to thank SAS and the various support teams who have engaged with me over the past year to improve our end-user’s experience while enhancing overall product functionality,” Lynch said. “I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with a partner who values input and feedback and is willing to incorporate and integrate those thoughts into their entire product line. This is a tremendous honor, and I look forward to working with SAS well into the future.”
Lisa Arney and Kate Moye also contributed to this post.