From Technology

SAS Web Report Studio in a Headless Configuration

saslogo We ran into a problem recently in SAS Web Report Studio 3.1 where our web reports that contained graphs produced java errors while our table-only reports did not.  Our platform is SAS Enterprise Business Intelligence Server 9.1.3 Service Pack 4 running Solaris 10 on Sun SPARC Servers.  Our web server is Apache Tomcat 4.1.18.  The error we received looked like this:

Error messages:There is a problem with the current page. Error Rendering the Report
Root Cause: java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError


I contacted SAS tech support and they had the answer instantly.  When running in a headless environment (a server that does not have a display (monitor) attached to it), Tomcat requires the following option in its startup script:



Once I added the option to the Tomcat startup script and restarted Tomcat and SAS Remote Services, no more errors and we were getting our graph output in Web Report Studio again.

A Google Earth Plus Update

index-free I received yet another update from Google yesterday regarding the demise of Google Earth Plus.  I appreciate that they are going through the trouble of reiterating my options.  I’m going with the free route right now, having installed Google Earth 5.0 but that’s it.  Here is how Google summarized my options:

As a valued Google Earth customer, we want you to be the first to know that Google will no longer offer Google Earth Plus. With new enhancements to Google Earth released this week, we believe the needs of many Google Earth Plus customers will be met with Google Earth 5.0, which is freely available to all our customers. For those customers who require additional capabilities and faster speeds, we have a special offer to try Google Earth Pro free of charge for two months. If you like it, you can buy it with a limited-time discount only available to our Google Earth Plus customers.

The latest version of Google Earth lets customers import and track global positioning system (GPS) data. Our Google Earth Plus customers told us GPS tracking is one of the main reasons they choose Google Earth Plus. Now, since you can use this feature for free in Google Earth 5.0, there’s little separation between Plus and the free product. In order to simplify the decision of which version of Google Earth best meets our customers’ needs, we decided it no longer made sense to continue Google Earth Plus.

As a current user of Google Earth Plus, you have several options:

  • Stay with Google Earth Plus. You can continue using Google Earth Plus for the time being, until either your license expires or until we come out with a new version of Google Earth. Learn more
  • Use the standard version of Google Earth. You can now import and track GPS data in Google Earth 5.0 without having to pay an annual fee. Learn more
  • Try Google Earth Pro. Google Earth Pro includes additional features to let you to do even more with Google Earth. For example, print and save images with 3x higher resolution for your documents and presentations, import GIS data, and import up to 2,500 rows of spreadsheet data. As a loyal Google Earth customer, we are offering you a two-month free trial of Google Earth Pro and the opportunity to purchase a one-year subscription for $99 (regular price of $400).

SAS Web Report Studio 3.1 Doesn’t Like Newer Browsers

SAS developed Web Report Studio (9.1.3 BI Server installation) for Internet Explorer 6.0. I have used IE 7.0 and Firefox 2.x and 3.x with Web Report Studio and ran into a few different Javascript errors. These errors don’t necessarily make Web Report Studio completely unusable, you just have to know what NOT to do. To save everybody from having to learn what not to do, you have a couple of options. You could stick with IE6.  How old is that technology?  I recently ran across another option which utilizes Firefox as the browser at the SAS BI-ogsource (

IE 7 Headaches – Try Firefox

Once you have mistakenly loaded IE 7 and can no longer use the SAS web applications, you’ll find that reverting back to IE 6 will take an act of congress. (Really, and you know how slow they are.)

Use Firefox and install their IE tab. You can download it from the site:

posted by Angela Hall @ 8/26/2007 0 comments

I installed the IE Tab Add-On in Firefox and Web Report Studio works just like I’m running IE6 (probably even better). In the options for IE Tab, I had to include my Tomcat server name and port in the sites filter so Firefox knows when to use the add-on.

Like many of the SAS promises, IE7 and FireFox support should be included in the 9.2 version of BI Server, so maybe everything will work like it is supposed to in a few months.  9.2 is shipping in Q1, right?

Switch v1.25

Switch enhances the taskbar with an icon which can be used to access all running applications, switch between them and close applications.

Using this application you can switch between running applications and/or close them. Switch is a task-switcher without unnecessary overhead. So it’s simple, fast and just does its job. The Pocket PC edition also supports Landscape mode now.

Switch does not occupy the entire taskbar like other applications of this genre do. So you can continue using other applications (e.g. TaskbarDate) which do something on the taskbar. Since version 1.25 Switch is also optimized for WM2005 devices. At the moment Switch can be used on the following platforms: Palm-sized PC, PPC2002, WM2003 and WM2005. Switch may also work on PPC2000.


  • Integrates into the standard Windows CE taskbar.
  • Show desk (displays today screen; the name can be changed using tweaks).
  • Close current (closes the application which is currently on top).
  • Close all (closes all running applications).
  • Close all but current (closes all running application but not the application which is currently on top).
  • Plug-Ins.
  • Ignore (ignore configured application names).

Get more info here…

A Google Earth Plus Update

index-free Google obviously got an earful about killing Google Earth Plus and sent me updated email just one day after their original email.  After a considerable amount of negative feedback about pulling the import and tracking features from all versions of Google Earth except for the $400 Pro Version, Google will soon provide these features in the free version!  Here is the explanation that they provided me:

As mentioned in our previous email, we’ve simplified our product choices for our Google Earth customers and Google Earth Plus is no longer available for purchase. This has caused some concerns from our customers who rely mostly on the GPS features of Plus, so we wanted to address them.

We know that one of the main reasons why people choose Google Earth Plus is GPS import and tracking. We realize that some users are disappointed in the loss of this feature, so we wanted to let you know we’re working on making GPS one of the features of the free version in the near future. In the meantime, we’re happy to extend expiring Plus subscriptions for three months — free of charge — and continue to extend until the GPS feature is available for free. Learn how to extend your current Plus subscription.

These product changes are based on user feedback that with 3 different products — Google Earth, Google Earth Plus, and Google Earth Pro — customers sometimes got confused about what each version offered. Over time, the separation between Plus and the free product has decreased, and by moving GPS features into the free product, we believe that Google Earth will meet the needs of most of our existing Plus users.

Google is Killing Google Earth Plus

index-free I purchased Google Earth Plus so I could utilize my real-time GPS cursor in Google Earth.  Along with a combination of other plugins and data, it was almost like I had a full-blown GIS system running.  Well, I got an email today from Google stating that they were discontinuing Google Earth Plus.  Here are a couple of excerpts:

As a valued Google Earth customer, we want you to be the first to know that Google is phasing out Google Earth Plus. We believe the needs of most Google Earth Plus customers will be met with Google Earth, which is freely available to all our customers. For those customers who require additional capabilities and faster speeds, we would like to offer you a special opportunity to try Google Earth Pro free of charge. If you like it, you can buy it at a special discount available only to Google Earth Plus customers.

If your Google Earth Plus license is about to expire, and you’re hooked on the GPS data import capability, we’re happy to extend your subscription for 3 months, free of charge. Learn more

I guess I’m going to break down and purchase Google Earth Pro.

An ArcGIS 9.x toolbox with scripts for defining projections

I still have a lot of spatial data that was created using ESRI ArcView 3.x, and I continue to use 3.x because I have a wealth of extensions that do the things I need to do.  One problem with creating shapefiles with 3.x is that projection files (.prj) are not automatically created along with the shapes, so there is no spatial reference.  I normally end up with a whole directory full of shapefiles without .prj files.  I finally broke down and searched for an easy way to define the projection of all of those shapefiles in the directories.  I ran across Batch Define Projection by Owen Evans, downloaded it, and tried it out.  Works wonderfully.  It creates a custom toolbox and includes a few different handy scripts, including a batch define projection.  Run the script, point to a bunch of shapefiles, choose your coordinate system, and you’re done!  Why didn’t I look for this a long time ago?  Highly recommended.

3.70 Garmin Firmware Update

I finally got around to using Garmin’s WebUpdater Utility this morning.  It had probably been four months since I last tried it.  Lo and behold Garmin had an update for me.  It seemed like I had been running the 3.60 firmware on my GPSMAP 60CSx forever, but it appears that on July 2, 2008 they posted the 3.70 update.  Here are the issues that were fixed:

  • Fix issue where bathymetric (underwater depth) lines would not show up in non-marine night color mode.
  • Fix issue where tide page can show the wrong date.
  • Fix shutdown when the day view calendar page has more than 9 waypoints and a point at index greater than 9 is deleted.
  • Fix issue where tracklog setting was changed when unit was put into mass storage mode.

If you don’t use WebUpdater, go to to download the update.  This software is designed for the 60Cx/60CSx/76Cx/76CSx models.

New CORS Google Maps

from the CORS newsletter:

The CORS web site ( features a new set of dynamic Google maps to facilitate access to CORS information.  These updated maps were designed and implemented by The CORS Team. Please view these maps when you get a chance and share with us ( your thoughts on their effectiveness.

For a while, the CORS web site will continue to display the static CORS maps that we have relied upon for nearly a decade.  These static maps, however, will eventually be discontinued.  The static maps have well served CORS users, but they are labor intensive to keep up to date.

I welcome this update.  This is a perfect use for Google maps.