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Overview

Frontline Systems is the leader in spreadsheet-based analytics -- advanced software used for data mining, text mining and predictive analytics, Monte Carlo simulation and risk analysis, and conventional and stochastic optimization for resource allocation in Microsoft Excel, Excel Online and Google Sheets. Over 7,700 organizations, including many government units and Global 2000 companies, use our Excel-based solvers and SDK products to help them make better resource allocation, risk management, and business planning decisions.  Frontline has a leadership position in cloud-based optimization, simulation and data mining tools, with over 50,000 new users in less than two years, and is the first vendor to offer business analysts easy access to Big Data in compute clusters running Apache Spark.

Over 1 billion copies of Frontline's Solvers for optimization have been distributed to users, in every copy of Microsoft Office sold since 1990, and Frontline's Excel Solver upgrade products, sold directly to advanced users, are by far the market leaders in their field. In 2010 Frontline won the INFORMS Impact Prize for this work.  Frontline Solvers are also the clear #1 choice in MBA programs around the world, used by over 500,000 students, covered in over 35 textbooks, and the exclusive software used in several market-leading textbooks.

Frontline's corporate customers are global leaders in many industries including financial services, aerospace, automotive, telecommunications, utilities, transportation, and manufacturing, as well as commercial, government, and academic research centers. Its individual users, often business analysts and managers, build data mining, simulation- and optimization-based decision models, faster and with less effort than with other software, usually without any programming.  These models are used to analyze risk and decide how to best allocate scarce resources - money, equipment, and people - often yielding savings of millions of dollars.

Learn more on our About Us page.

Analytics Technology Leadership

With a long history of "firsts" in analytic software, Frontline is widely regarded as a technology leader. Frontline was among the first to apply genetic and evolutionary algorithms to spreadsheet models, and to use GPUs in evolutionary algorithms, first to deliver algebraic "convexity testing" for analytic models, and first to deliver commercial software using robust optimization, as well as classical stochastic programming and simulation optimization methods. The company is also a technology leader in data and text mining, risk modeling, and global optimization.

RASON™ Modeling and REST API

Frontline's newest offering makes it easy for web and mobile developers to use and solve analytic models in their applications.  RASON -- RESTful Analytic Solver™ Object Notation -- is a high-level modeling language for optimization, simulation and (soon) data mining, embedded in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation).  RASON models can be solved via simple REST API calls to a powerful cloud-based server that developers can use on a monthly subscription basis.  For server- and desktop-based applications, RASON models can be solved using Frontline's Solver SDK (below).

Products

Frontline's new Analytic Solver Platform is the integrated tool that enables a business analyst to "do it all in Excel," with point-and-click rapid model-building instead of R or Python programming.  It includes all the capabilities of XLMiner Platform for data visualization, data mining and machine learning, text mining, and time series forecasting; all the capabilities of Risk Solver Platform for Monte Carlo simulation and risk analysis, decision trees, simulation optimization, stochastic programming and robust optimization; and all the capabilities of Premium Solver Platform, by far the leading tool for large-scale conventional optimization in Excel.  With point-and-click ease, enterprise-grade power, and deep integration, Analytic Solver Platform is a business analyst's dream come true.

Frontline's new XLMiner Platform offers deep functionality and performance rivaling far more expensive products, in data mining and machine learning, text mining and time series forecasting.  It can sample data or import text from sources ranging from Excel's PowerPivot in-memory multidimensional database, to Oracle, DB2 and SQL Server databases, to Apache Spark Big Data clusters.  It includes data visualization, feature selection, and transformation tools, clustering and principal components, association rules, exponential smoothing and ARIMA forecasting models, very powerful linear and logistic regression, and ensembles of classification and regression trees and neural networks.  Trained models can be used to "score" new data in SQL databases, or to classify or predict in spreadsheet models.

Frontline's Risk Solver Platform is an integrated product that offers by far the most comprehensive, highest performance optimization and simulation available in Microsoft Excel.  It is the only product that can find robust optimal solutions for Excel models in the presence of risk and uncertainty, using the methods of robust optimization, stochastic programming and simulation optimization.  It's the only product that can automatically diagnose the structure of optimization models with uncertainty and choose the best solution methods for any given model.  Risk Solver Platform includes all the capabilities of Premium Solver Platform, all the capabilities of Risk Solver Pro, and more.  And it deeply exploits multi-core processors to solve difficult nonlinear and non-smooth problems in record time.

Frontline's Premium Solver Platform is by far the leading software for spreadsheet optimization. It works with existing Excel Solver models, yet with plug-in Solver Engines it can solve problems a thousand times larger, at speeds up to hundreds of times faster than the standard Solver. It goes well beyond conventional optimization (linear, mixed-integer and non-linear programming) to support convex and conic optimization, global optimization, constraint programming, and genetic and evolutionary algorithms.  And it can automatically diagnose the structure of conventional optimization models, and choose the best solution methods.

Frontline's Solver SDK Platform makes the company's full suite of Solvers for optimization, plus a new Solver for Monte Carlo simulation, available to developers through an object-oriented API in a wide range of platforms and languages, for desktop, server, Web and mobile applications -- from C++, C#, and Java to JavaScript and PHP, as well as MATLAB and Visual Basic. The SDK is the only product that can load Excel workbooks containing optimization and simulation models, and use them to solve problems on servers without Excel -- even on Linux  It also includes an interpreter for Frontline's new RASON™ modeling language, enabling business analysts and professional programmers to easily work together on an application. And it includes parallelized algorithms to exploit modern multi-core processors, without requiring extra work by developers.

Frontline's Pro products offer "professional entry-level" optimization, simulation and data mining power to Excel users and developers, with an easy upgrade to Platform level products.  Premium Solver Pro is by far the leading "first upgrade" from the basic Excel Solver that Frontline developed for Microsoft, offering 100% upward compatibility for Solver models and macros.  Risk Solver Pro is the only product to offer instant, interactive risk analysis using Monte Carlo simulation, with new charts and statistics on each change to a user's model.  XLMiner Solver Pro offers sophisticated forecasting, data mining and predictive analytics tools for business analysts working in Excel.  Analytic Solver Pro is an integrated product, combining all the capabilities of Premium Solver Pro, Risk Solver Pro and XLMiner Pro.  And Solver SDK Pro enables developers to incorporate "Pro-level" optimization and simulation capabilities into custom applications.

Frontline's eight Solver Engines "plug in" to Analytic Solver Platform, Risk Solver Platform, Premium Solver Platform and Solver SDK Platform, to solve challenging problems with hundreds of thousands of variables and constraints. Unlike other software for optimization and simulation, Frontline's Solver Engines can be used with Excel, the RASON modeling language, MATLAB, Java, all .NET and COM languages, and many other programming languages -- all for the price of one license.  The latest of these, the Gurobi Solver Engine, features remarkable performance on challenging linear mixed-integer (LP/MIP) optimization models.

History

Frontline Systems was founded by Dan Fylstra in 1987 in Palo Alto, California, and relocated to Incline Village, Nevada, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, in 1992. By 1990, the company had begun working with Microsoft on early versions of Windows and Microsoft Excel. As Windows and Excel took over the spreadsheet market from Lotus 1-2-3, Frontline's market share in spreadsheet optimization expanded dramatically, in both the OEM and advanced end user markets.  On many occasions Frontline has been first to introduce new simulation technology and new optimization technology in an easy-to-use form, for a wide range of business decisions.  With one of the fastest new product cycles in the industry, Frontline is continually delivering new technology for data mining, risk analysis, and optimization to support critical business resource allocation decisions.

Further Information

Frontline Systems Inc.
press@solver.com
Tel 775-831-0300 x114  Fax 775-831-0314