The development of SAS began in 1966, the project was funded by the National Institute of Health and was originally intended to analyze agricultural data to improve crop yields. In 1972, after issuing the first release of SAS, the project lost its funding until it was funded by the University Statisticians of the Southern Experiment Stations the following year. The first versions of SAS were named after the year in which they were released.
In 1971, SAS 71 was published as a limited release. It was used only on IBM mainframes and had the main elements of SAS programming, such as the DATA step and the most common procedures in the PROC step. The following year a full version was released as SAS 72, which introduced the MERGE statement and added features for handling missing data or combining data sets. In 1976, the project out was took out of North Carolina State and incorporated SAS Institute, Inc.
In 2002 the Text Miner software was introduced. Text Miner analyzes text data like emails for patterns in Business Intelligence applications.
In 2004 SAS Version 9.0 was released, which was dubbed “Project Mercury” and was designed to make SAS-accessible to a broader range of business users. Version 9.0 added custom user interfaces based on the user’s role and established the point-and-click user interface of SAS Enterprise Guide as the software's primary graphical user interface (GUI). The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) features were improved in 2004 with SAS Interaction Management.
In 2008 SAS announced Project Unity, designed to integrate data quality, data integration, and master data management.
A free version was introduced for students.
SAS Social Media Analytics, a tool for social media monitoring, engagement and sentiment analysis, was also released.
SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler (RPM), which creates basic analytical models using Microsoft Excel, was introduced.
The SAS software suite has more than 200 components
Some of the SAS components include,
- Base SAS - Basic procedures and data management
- SAS/STAT - Statistical analysis
- SAS/GRAPH - Graphics and presentation
- SAS/OR - Operations Research
- SAS/ETS - Econometrics and Time Series Analysis
- SAS/IML - Interactive matrix language
- SAS/AF - Applications facility
- SAS/QC - Quality control
- SAS/INSIGHT - Data mining
- SAS/PH - Clinical trial analysis
- Enterprise Miner - data mining