It is assumed that the SAS user is familiar with the basic characteristics and operation modes of the scientific instruments on board XMM-Newton. This information is available in the XMM-Newton User Handbook .
Another important document is the XMM-Newton Data File Handbook , which provides a detailed description on the format, structure and content of the XMM-Newton files distributed to users from the XMM-Newton Science Archive (XSA) .
Detailed descriptions of individual SAS tasks can be accessed in several ways: through the SAS on-line documentation web page , by passing the -m option when running a particular SAS task, or by clicking the "Help Task" button of the (main) SAS Graphical User Interface (GUI), discussed in detail in § 3.
Some of the analysis procedures described in this guide are also applied and explained in the SAS Analysis Threads  web pages.
Last, issues concerning SAS and XMM-Newton data analysis are reported in the SAS watchout pages, along with recommended workarounds and/or solutions, and useful tricks and tips: