Privacy Considerations for Modern Add-ins: Solver, Risk Solver, Analytic Solver, Analytic Solver Data Mining
How Modern Add-ins Work
For many years, users like you have defined and solved models in Excel workbooks stored on their local PCs, using the Solver add-in included in Microsoft Excel (which was developed by Frontline Systems). The Solver add-in is installed on your local PC. 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.
Frontline's add-ins for modern Excel are offered under the Office Store's standard End User License Agreement (EULA) or under Frontline's own License and Warranty, both of which disclaim or limit all warranties, exclude or limit remedies and damages to the maximum extent permitted by law, and specify that you bear all risk of using these add-ins. Solver and Risk Solver add-ins for Google Sheets have a similar EULA and disclaimers.You should only use these add-ins if you are comfortable with the privacy implications of this process.
Protecting Your Privacy and Information Security
Because Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive and Google protect your Excel workbooks and other data, before our RASON Server can access your workbook, you must give your permission. You will see a pop-up window in your browser, saying that the add-in wishes to read your workbook, with a button "Trust It." Only when you click this button will the workbook be transferred to the RASON Server, using a limited-lifetime, secure (OAuth 2.0) access token.
The actual transfer of your Excel workbook contents between online storage and your browser, and between the online storage and our RASON Server, is encrypted using the industry standard Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. Your workbook is held in encrypted temporary storage on Windows Azure, and is deleted immediately after use.
For more information about modern add-ins for Excel Online, Excel for Windows and Macintosh, see Privacy and security for Office Add-ins.
How it Works in More Detail
► When you activate a modern add-in, its code is downloaded from Frontline's Web server into your browser, where it runs and displays its task pane. As you define your model, cell selections and options are stored in properties, which will be saved when your Excel workbook is next saved to online storage.
► When you click the green arrow, Solve or Simulate button, the add-in and its Web server interacts with the Azure Authentication Service and your online storage server to obtain an access token. To avoid prompting you every time you re-solve your model, the access token may be cached in memory for a limited time. The RASON Server uses the access token to retrieve your workbook from your server, via TLS 1.2.
► Your workbook is encrypted for security and held temporarily in a disk-based queue by the RASON Server; when it is processed and the solution is found, all disk and memory-based copies of the workbook are deleted, leaving only a log entry that a model was solved, and the results are returned to the add-in in your browser. If you save the results, they will be saved when the workbook is next saved to online storage.