If you are accessing the SAS Web service over HTTP protocol, timeouts are governed by the Web server, and possibly the application host for the Web service. In an ASP.NET world, IIS and ASP.NET both have settings for timeout that you can set to support long running activities. I have no specifics for your timeout, but if the request is greater than the configured Web server or application timeout, you will have to increase the timeout to some acceptable level that exceeds a typical SAS request in your system. That said, increasing the timeout may not be the right solution at all.
What are your average page loads for all requests? Is it possible that certain requests have other performance issues related to the objects communicating with SAS behind the Web service? Isolate which requests are timing out and see what you can do there.
Otherwise, if all requests time out, you should look at what is causing the system to be slower than the configured timeout value for requests. What is that value? Generally speaking, requests should be less than two seconds, so if requests are exceeding this, why? Is there a large payload? Is it necessary? Is there any way to speed up SAS?
The problem you are having is not specific to Web services as a protocol, but a configuration and design issue. It could also be the performance of the system equipment. What kind of horsepower do you need to host your applications? How many requests are you servicing per second? You should be gathering these statistics as well, to calculate your capacity per server.
Hopefully this answer will help direct you to the source of the problem.
This was first published in August 2005