An Introduction to SAS/EIS

EIS stands for Enterprise Information System. SAS/EIS is a component of SAS that enables users to summarize, integrate and display information in easily accessed and easily understood reports. In the introductory statistics courses at WPI, you will use only one of its many capabilities: that of calling SAS macros.

SAS macros are programs written in the SAS programming language which perform special tasks, some of which are not otherwise available to novice SAS users, and some of which are not otherwise available to any SAS users. Some macros have been written expressly to support computer labs for the introductory statistics courses at WPI. Some provide statistical functions or procedures of interest to general users. EIS provides a simple, menu-driven interface for SAS users of these macros. In addition, the macros themselves are written with a windows interface for data entry and output.

Running Macros from EIS

To run macros from EIS proceed as follows:

  1. Choose Solutions:EIS/OLAP Application Builder from the menu bar on any of the original SAS windows (PROGRAM EDITOR, LOG, OUTPUT, RESULTS or EXPLORER).
  2. From the resulting window, select Applications.
  3. A small SAS/EIS: Applications window will appear. Click on Run private applications....
  4. A SAS/EIS Run Private Application window will pop up with the titles and description of each available application. To run an application, click on its name.

Why not try an application now? Scroll down to the application called ORACLE (To scroll, place the pointer on the slider bar, click the left mouse button, and move the mouse. You can scroll more slowly by clicking with the left mouse button on the arrows at the top or bottom of the scroll bar.). When you see the word ORACLE, click on it (ONCE ONLY, PLEASE!). A window should appear asking for your question. Ask whatever is on your mind, then press enter.

NOTE: On some programs requiring data entry, a message such as

ERROR: Required data needed at row 7 column 50

will appear in red at the upper left of the data entry window when you enter a piece of data. This occurs under certain circumstances when you hit the tab key instead of the enter key after typing some needed input. This message affects nothing, and you can safely ignore it.

Changing Your Graphics Printer  

The two printers in the statistics classroom are named 'stat1' and 'stat2'. The file you copied into the autoexec.sas800 file in your home directory contains either the line:

filename gsasfile pipe '/usr/local/bin/lpr -h -Pstat1';

(if your birthday is in the first 6 months of the year), or the line:

filename gsasfile pipe '/usr/local/bin/lpr -h -Pstat2';

otherwise. The first designates the printer 'stat1' as the printer for your graphics output; the second designates the printer 'stat2'. Splitting up the default printer assignment was done to avoid overloading one printer in the classroom.

Sometimes, however, particularly just before a lab or homework is due, the queue for one of the printers can get very long, resulting in delays. You can get a list of jobs in the printer queue for 'stat1' by typing:

> lpq -Pstat1

with a similar command for 'stat2'. If the queue is long, you may want to try using the other printer in the classroom. Or, if you are in the math lab in SH 306 you may want to access one of the printers there: 'math3' or 'math3b'. Or if you are at CCC, you may want (and be willing to pay) to get a copy printed there on the printer 'lps20' (the stat lab may be closed, for example).

Using EIS you can change the printer for your graphics output (i.e., the graph in the SAS/Graphics Window) to any of 'stat1', 'stat2', 'math3' 'math3b' or 'lps20', or to any other printer accessible by you from the unix machine on which you are running SAS. To do so, follow the directions for invoking EIS applications given in the last section and select the application PCHANGE.

Saving Graphics Window Contents to a File

While we're on the topic of the graphics window, we will mention here that you can save the contents of the SAS/Graphics Window to a file in a number of formats (among them: gif, PostScript, bitmap). This is convenient if you like to include graphs in documents. For example, you might want to save a graph in gif format for later inclusion in a lab report written in MS Word.

To save the graph appearing in the SAS/GRAPHICS Window, choose File: Export as Image. In the resulting dialog box, choose a directory, file name and file type, and then click OK.

Tips on Using EIS

While EIS is a convenient way to access SAS macros, it can be finicky at times. Experience with student use of EIS has taught us the following lessons:

  1. Have PATIENCE with EIS. SAS is a very large program and it may tax the system when many users run it at the same time. Consequently, response time for EIS may be slow. Experience shows that students who proceed slowly and patiently through EIS, often have no problems getting it to run correctly. Students who try to rush it (e.g. clicking impatiently on an application-see the next item) often lock up the program and have to start over.
  2. When calling up a macro from EIS, click only once on the name of the macro. Clicking twice before the macro runs can lock up SAS.
  3. Keep your eyes and ears open and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. (e.g. if a window in an EIS application says "HIT RETURN TO PROCEED", activate that window and hit return).
  4. If you are running a macro from EIS that produces input or output windows and SAS locks up:
    Try enlarging the window.
    If that doesn't work, click on the SAS Session Management icon and on "interrupt". Then click on the command line at the top of the locked-up window, type in "end" and hit "return". If this doesn't work the first time, try once again. This may kill the window and allow you to start the macro over without exiting SAS.
    If neither of these works, kill SAS (using SAS Session Management) and restart.

  5. Take care when using SAS/INSIGHT and EIS at the same time. If an EIS macro uses a SAS data set, and that data set is open in SAS/INSIGHT, the macro may fail to run properly.

Where Next?

gif Intro page.

gif Unix SAS Quickstart.

gif Introduction to SAS/INSIGHT I: Elementary Concepts. This is the minimal tutorial you should do to be familiar with the basics of SAS/INSIGHT, a graphically-oriented data analysis system

gif Introduction to SAS/INSIGHT II: Advanced Concepts. This tutorial will show you some of the more advanced features of SAS/INSIGHT

gif Getting Started in the Statistics Multimedia Computer Classroom. (for new users)

Joe Petruccelli <>
Last modified: Tue Sep 4 17:20:17 EDT 2001