Problems with SAS On-Demand – Can’t log in?

I’ve been fairly positive about SAS On-demand but I think the keyword in that sentence is “fairly”. One of the major advantages of SAS over R (which has no formal tech support) and SPSS (which, before it was bought by IBM you could wait 45 minutes on hold for tech support) is that if you were stuck there was somewhere to call.

The first problem is that SAS tech support is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time which means that by 5 p.m. west coast time it is closed. This may not be a problem for business support as many business people do go home around 5 – I never have personally, but I have witnessed this.

However, for students, particularly many of the students who are likely in graduate courses using SAS On-Demand, they are probably working later than 5 pm, many of them because they have jobs that go until 5 pm. This is also true of many of the faculty members who teach those courses.

One of my pressing problems is that I always have a couple of students who say they cannot log into SAS On-demand. One of them had her laptop in class and it appeared to be installed correctly but whenever she put in her username and password it just came back up and asked for her credentials. I just received an email from a second student who was having the same problem. I forwarded her email to SAS Technical Support.

I am particularly at a loss because I have installed SAS On-demand on six computers to test it, ranging from boot camp on a macbook to a really crummy old desktop running Windows. I did not have a problem with any of them. Yet, every semester, there will be three or four students who DO have a problem getting SAS downloaded, installed and logging in.

Just in case you might be one of those people, here are a few tips:

You try logging in with your credentials, it looks like it is working and then the login screen comes back up. 

Could it be that you are using your email to log in? That won’t work. Even though you use your email to log in to your SAS profile, and even though your password is the same as for your SAS profile, you do NOT use your email to log in to SAS On-Demand. You have a username. Use that instead of your email and it may solve your problem.

Okay, you know that, but you have forgotten your stupid username. And SAS Technical Support is closed. Fume.

Go log in at the Control Center. When you login you will see a page that says, “Your SAS server id is … “. Make sure that is the id you are using to login.

Do you even HAVE  a SAS profile?

I had assumed that every student who had SAS installed must have a SAS profile because otherwise how could they have downloaded it? Very helpful person from SAS Technical Support told me that often they see students who just copied over the .exe file from one of their classmates and just assumed that their username was first initial plus last name like their friend. That will install but you won’t have a SAS username and password for SAS On-Demand. Also, your SAS username is NOT always your first initial plus your last name. Imagine how many guys in the country there are named Andy Lee. They can’t all be alee. What about the Alice Lees and Angela Lees?

You are sure you have a SAS profile, the correct username and password and it STILL doesn’t work.

Yet another possibility is mentioned in this SAS Technical Note http://support.sas.com/kb/20/939.html which suggests deleting the ConfigurationV43oda.xml file. I haven’t tried this one because the above have always solved my problems.

Two other suggestions from Derek (sp?) from SAS Technical Support were that:

  1. Students / faculty may be logging in from their “day job” where the company firewall prevents access. If, as in the case for my class,  some of the students could access SAS On-Demand from the classroom and others could not, it is clearly not a firewall problem because in that case no one could access it.
  2. There may be a permissions problem. Uninstall SAS On-Demand and instead of double-clicking on the .exe file you downloaded to run it, RIGHT-CLICK on that file and select RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR .

When you try to go to the Control Center, for some bizarre reason your browser keeps taking you to SAS On-Demand for Professionals and you get a message saying your email is already associated with  a SAS On-Demand for Academics account

I have had this happen on two different computers. I can speculate on the reason, but here is how I got out of it – I closed the browser I was using and opened a different browser, e.g., closed Firefox and tried again with Chrome and it worked. I am guessing it has something to do with the wrong information getting cached when I was looking at SAS On-Demand for Professionals. That’s just a guess though, because I don’t remember actually doing that. Not that not remembering it doesn’t mean I didn’t do it – who remembers all the various web pages they have looked at? Anyway, closing the browser and trying a different browser works.

Chris, from SAS Technical Support, suggested also trying going to http://support.sas.com/ondemand/ and clicking at the bottom where it says Go to the Control Center.

So, here are a few late-night fixes. Please feel free to add your own in the comments because this is a major issue to me. When students have difficulty getting the software to install, it kind of gets the course off to the wrong start. It makes me long for the good old days of campus computer labs before the Bring Your Own Device cost-cutting gurus took over.



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