R or SAS —– R and SAS ?


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.


This is not to be co related by recent announcement by Mr Gentleman who invented the R language that if needed they will enforce legal action if terms of creative common licensing are not enforced.

It is a sad day for science when Gentleman professors are issuing mild legal threats just to make sure some pseudo science people are satisfied in  their intellectual hubris even though they themselves innovated R from language S. Revolution Computing does not want to be like the commercial maker of S Plus so they are supporting this legal position. Sad day when lawyers have to enforce code share. Maybe the R Project should start updating their website which looks like wreck across the auto bahn. Maybe Jim should visit the R users conference so the R Core team can see his horns.

Newton sued Leibnitz, and in the last days of his life, was tasked with enforcing a paper currency which he did rigorously. Good for the world’s currency, bad for science.

Author: Ajay Ohri


2 thoughts on “R or SAS —– R and SAS ?”

  1. Thanks for the news Ajay. I’m not sure I would use R inside SAS. For me, a big advantage of R is it’s clarity and lightness which is definitely not the case of SAS 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: