SAS Access Pricing and License Cost

C Dove
Data Architect at levvel
The cost for this SAS product depends heavily on the environment. It is a staged pricing model and it varies quite a bit. You have to pay for each type of platform that you want to connect to. So if I want to connect to Db2, I can either go out and get a generic driver and a generic driver manager or I can buy an existing SAS/ACCESS module for Db2. Even then the pricing model is not that simple. The price of that module is based on the physical environment I am going to install the purchased package on. If you put it on a virtual machine, SAS gives you a way to price that. But the pricing is based on the sheer scale of the physical environment you are installing too. It is not a fixed price object. The problem is that every time you come across a new connection you want to make, you need to either pay for the package to make the connection or work out a solution manually. So say you have not ever connected to a SQL server. All of a sudden you find that you have got this massive SQL server that you want to connect to. You have to pay for the connection pack and the size of the environment to resolve the connection issue. The pricing scheme ends up being something like you get in video games. You buy the video game, but there are all kinds of downloadable add-ons that they charge you for. You think you need that component, it will cost you more. It is a very similar thought pattern to what they are doing in the gaming market. I understand why SAS does it that way. It is because there are people who are perfectly willing to go out and do it the hard way just to save some money. They will go search out something like open ODBC and then they have got to go hunt down the drivers. It can be time-consuming, but they resist buying the packaged solution. The problem is that when you are on a Unix platform and you are trying to connect to a Microsoft product and you find that there really is no defined driver for that. You have to go to SAS to get the drivers. You end up buying stuff anyway even if you thought you could work around it. Users of the product become a sort of captured audience and you end up continually paying for additional solutions. View full review »
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