SAS adds support to R

February 13, 2009
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From the official SAS website

R Interface Coming to SAS/IML® Studio

While readers of the New York Times may have learned about R in recent weeks, it’s not news to many at SAS.

“R is a leading language for developing new statistical methods,” said Bob Rodriguez, Senior Director of Statistical Development at SAS. “Our new PhD developers learned R in their graduate programs and are quite versed in it.”

R is a matrix-based programming language that allows you to program statistical methods reasonably quickly. It’s open source software, and many add-on packages for R have emerged, providing statisticians with convenient access to new research. Many new statistical methods are first programmed in R.

While SAS is committed to providing the new statistical methodologies that the marketplace demands and will deliver new work more quickly with a recent decoupling of the analytical product releases from Base SAS, a commercial software vendor can only put out new work so fast. And never as as fast as a professor and a grad student writing an academic implementation of brand-new methodology.

Both R and SAS are here to stay, and finding ways to make them work better with each other is in the

From the official SAS website

R Interface Coming to SAS/IML® Studio

While readers of the New York Times may have learned about R in recent weeks, it’s not news to many at SAS.

“R is a leading language for developing new statistical methods,” said Bob Rodriguez, Senior Director of Statistical Development at SAS. “Our new PhD developers learned R in their graduate programs and are quite versed in it.”

R is a matrix-based programming language that allows you to program statistical methods reasonably quickly. It’s open source software, and many add-on packages for R have emerged, providing statisticians with convenient access to new research. Many new statistical methods are first programmed in R.

While SAS is committed to providing the new statistical methodologies that the marketplace demands and will deliver new work more quickly with a recent decoupling of the analytical product releases from Base SAS, a commercial software vendor can only put out new work so fast. And never as as fast as a professor and a grad student writing an academic implementation of brand-new methodology.

Both R and SAS are here to stay, and finding ways to make them work better with each other is in the best interests of our customers.

“We know a lot of our users have both R and SAS in their tool kit, and we decided to make it easier for them to access R by making it available in the SAS environment,” said Rodriguez. “Our first interface to R will be in an upcoming version of SAS/IML Studio (currently known as SAS Stat Studio), scheduled for this summer.”

The SAS/IML Studio interface allows you to integrate R functionality with IML or SAS programs. You can also exchange data between SAS and R as data sets or matrices.

“This is just the first step,” said Radhika Kulkarni, Vice President of Advanced Analytics. “We are busy working on an R interface that can be surfaced in the SAS server or via other SAS clients. For example, users will be able to interface with R through the IML procedure, possibly as soon as the first part of 2010.“

SAS/IML Studio is distributed with SAS/IML software. Stay tuned for details on availability.

 

Note-SAS/IML ,Base SAS and SAS/Stat are  copyrighted products of SAS Institute.

This is a welcome step from the industry leader SAS Institute and also puts an effective stop to rumors of it being too arrogant or too conservative to change.

Perhaps no other software maker has dominated the niche in which it operates for as long as SAS has ( even before I was born !) without getting into any kind of hassles. The decision to stay  private as a company also means an incredibly wise decision given the carnage on stock markets today ( but it requires a lot of will power from the founders to say no to the easy billions that investment bankers would have lined up for the IPO).

This decision would also help the R project greatly as SAS support definitely means the matrix part of the R language has come to stay.However R is not just a matrix based programming language , it has capabilities for data mining and other statistical analysis as well. Would SAS extend SAS /Stat capabilities to R / What does recent decoupling of the analytical product releases from Base SAS mean ( is this due to the WPS challenge) .

Either way the consumer is the winner.Kudos SAS Institute !!