How the Risk Solver App Works
If you use an add-in for desktop Microsoft Excel, such as Frontline Systems' Risk Solver Pro or Risk Solver Platform, to define and run a Monte Carlo simulation model, your Excel workbook is opened from disk, and solved "in place" using your PC's own resources (processor and memory). Neither Microsoft nor Frontline Systems ever "sees" your Excel workbook, unless you provide it separately, for example in technical support.
Excel Online, the Excel Web App, and Frontline's new Risk Solver App, operate differently. Your Excel workbook is stored online, in a SharePoint or Office 365 document library. When you use Risk Solver App to run a Monte Carlo simulation based on your Excel , the actual simulation is computed by Frontline's Solver Server, operating as a "cloud service" on Windows Azure. For this to happen, it's necessary to transfer a copy of your Excel workbook, over the Internet, from the SharePoint or Office 365 server to our Solver Server. The simulation is run using Solver Server's resources (processor and memory). While this entire process is designed to be secure, you should be aware of it -- please read further below.
Frontline's Risk Solver App is offered under the Office Store's standard End User License Agreement (EULA), which disclaims all warranties and excludes or limits remedies and damages to the maximum extent permitted by law, and specifies that you bear all risk of using these Apps. You should only use these Apps if you are comfortable with the privacy implications of this process.
Protecting Your Privacy and Information Security
Because SharePoint and Office 365 protect your Excel workbooks and other data, before our Solver Server can access your workbook in a document library, you must give your permission. You will see a pop-up window in your browser, saying that Risk Solver App wishes to read your workbook, with a button "Trust It." Only when you click this button will SharePoint allow the document to be read, by issuing a limited-lifetime, secure (OAuth 2.0) access token to the Risk Solver App.
Transfer of your Excel workbook contents between your online document library and your browser, and between the document library and our Solver Server, is encrypted using the industry standard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. Your workbook is held in temporary disk storage on an isolated virtual machine (VM) on Windows Azure, and is deleted immediately after use. The Solver Server cloud service is "recycled" more than once per day, which erases the entire VM instance and creates a new one.
Solver Server maintains a log which records the size of each model solved, the time taken to solve it, but no information about the contents of the workbook. You should treat simulation of your model as a "transient" process; you should not assume that there is any "audit trail" of workbooks solved by Solver Server.