The first Unix implementations of one of the IBM mainframe world’s most widely installed packages will be available later this year. The 450 attendees at SAS Institute Inc’s European User Group meeting in Montreux, Switzerland earlier this month were told that HP-UX – for the Hewlett-Packard HP9000 – and Ultrix – for the DEC VAX range – versions of the SAS System would be available by the fourth quarter at the latest. The SAS System, which SAS claims has been bought by 60% of sites running IBM’s MVS batch processing operating system, was originally designed as a statistical tool for the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries but has since been extended to cover a wide range of data analysis including computer performance, financial planning, operations management, quality control and forecasting. It also offers fourth generation language applications development and prototyping capabilities, and, crucially for report writers, device intelligent colour graphics that were much praised by users at the Montreux meeting. The SAS System consists of a base product, priced according to the MIPS rating of the computer up to a maximum of UKP9,500 for the first year and UKP4,000 for subsequent years, and various add-ons that provide full screen facilities for on-line development; full screen data entry and verification; multiple concurrent batch or interactive access to data libraries; and interfaces to other software packages such as IBM’s DB2 and SQL-DS interfaces. Like the base product with which they are fully integrated, the add-ons are written in C. As a result, the company says, further Unix implementations depending on demand could be delivered fairly soon after the HP-UX and Ultrix versions. The SAS System already runs on the DEC VAX under VMS, and under IBM’s VM/CMS development environment, Prime Computer’s Primos, Data General’s AOS, and on IBM-compatible personal computers. In the IBM mainframe environment, several software vendors, most noticeably Morino Associates and Merrill Associates, have introduced performance monitoring products that require the SAS System base to run.
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