Products and Competition
Frontline Systems offers two principal product lines: Solvers for optimization and simulation in Excel, and Solvers for optimization and simulation in custom applications created in a programming language.
- 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. And 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.
- 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.
- Solver SDK Platform makes the company's full suite of Solvers for every type and size of optimization problem available to developers who are using today's most popular platforms and languages: Microsoft COM and .NET, Java and MATLAB, as well as C/C++, Visual Basic and other languages. 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 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 and simulation power to Excel users and developers. 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, with new charts and statistics on each change to a user's model, and by far the highest performance simulation optimization in Excel. Solver SDK Pro enables developers to incorporate "Pro-level" optimization and simulation capabilities into custom applications.
To solve very large and challenging optimization problems, Frontline offers several Solver Engines that "plug into" the Premium Solver Platform and the Solver Platform SDK. These include the Large-Scale LP/QP Solver, Gurobi Solver, and XPRESS Solver for linear and mixed-integer problems, the MOSEK Solver for convex and conic optimization problems, the Large-Scale GRG Solver and KNITRO Solver for nonlinear problems, and the Large-Scale SQP Solver and OptQuest Solver for challenging nonlinear and non-smooth problems.
With its position as developer of the Solvers embedded in all three major spreadsheet products -- Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, and Quattro Pro -- and as supplier of the software bundled in more than twenty leading textbooks used to teach undergraduate business and MBA students about optimization, Frontline Systems is far and away the leader in spreadsheet optimization software.
Frontline is a newcomer to the market for spreadsheet simulation software -- introducing its first Risk Solver product in April 2007. This market has seen many entrants over 15 years, but the main players have been Decisioneering Inc. with its Crystal Ball product, and Palisade Corp. with its @RISK for Excel. Frontline has quickly become the third major player in risk analysis for Excel, as well as the technology leader -- virtually "reinventing" risk analysis in spreadsheets with its Interactive Simulation approach. Moving beyond simple risk analysis and simulation optimization, Frontline has become the technology leader in software to optimize models with risk and uncertainty, with Risk Solver Platform.
With Solver SDK Platform and Solver Engines, Frontline competes in the general optimization software market. In software for linear and mixed-integer linear programming, Frontline has dozens of competitors -- but Frontline is widely viewed as one of the leading software vendors. In nonlinear optimization software, there are few established suppliers, and Frontline is clearly a leading competitor. In convex and conic optimization software, Frontline also has the leading software offerings. In software for global and nonsmooth optimization, Frontline believes it is the leading competitor, with the most complete and highest performance products that continue to advance the state of the art.