Contact:  Daniel Fylstra
Frontline Systems 775-831-0300

News Release

INCLINE VILLAGE, NV -- November 5, 2000 -- Frontline Systems Inc., developer of the Solver in all three major spreadsheets, is now shipping the Premium Solver Platform, its new 'flagship' spreadsheet optimization product for Microsoft Excel. The Premium Solver Platform combines across-the-board enhancements in its linear, integer, nonlinear and Evolutionary Solvers with new 'platform' support for multiple, field-installable Solver 'engines.' An evaluation version of the Premium Solver Platform is available for download from Frontline Systems' Web site.

The Premium Solver products are upwardly compatible, higher performance versions of the Microsoft Excel Solver, which Frontline developed for Microsoft. The Solver is a what-if analysis tool that can automatically find the best way to allocate scarce resources -- such as money, raw materials, equipment or people time -- to maximize profits or minimize costs, while operating within specified limits, called constraints, on their use.

"We feel that the Premium Solver Platform is a breakthrough in spreadsheet optimization," said Daniel H. Fylstra, president of Frontline Systems. "It includes global optimization and constraint programming features never before offered in a spreadsheet environment, and a hybrid evolutionary/classical Solver not available anywhere else. Further, its ability to tightly integrate multiple, field-installable Solver engines means that it will never be obsolete."

Hybrid Evolutionary Solver, Global Optimization, 'Alldifferent' Constraint, Dual Simplex, Field-Installable Solver Engines Top Extensive List of Enhancements

Virtually every aspect of the Solver has been materially enhanced in the Premium Solver Platform: The Evolutionary Solver is now a hybrid of genetic and evolutionary algorithms and classical optimization methods; the GRG Nonlinear Solver is enhanced with 'multistart' methods for global optimization; the LP/Quadratic Solver, enhanced with the dual Simplex method, is several times faster on mixed-integer programming problems; and an extensive framework has been added to support multiple, field-installable Solver engines for small- and large-scale optimization problems. These enhancements are described at greater length in a related news release.

New 'Flagship' Product Builds on the Premium Solver for Excel

The Premium Solver Platform is the new 'flagship' or 'top-of-the-line' product in the Premium Solver family, which has an enthusiastic following among serious Excel Solver users. Its built-in Solvers offer ten times the capacity (2000 decision variables) of the standard Excel Solver for linear problems, 2.5 times the capacity (500 variables) for nonlinear problems, and the ability to solve non-smooth problems not handled at all by the standard Solver. Solution times are often 3 to 10 times faster than the standard Solver, and problem setup times can be as much as 100 times faster. Field-installable Solver engines can potentially handle problems with an unlimited number of variables and constraints. Frontline expects to ship multiple Platform-compatible Solver engines for large-scale optimization problems later this year.

The Premium Solver Platform works with Excel 2000, Excel 97 and Excel 95 on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems. It is priced at $995 for a single-user license, and begins its life at Version 3.5, to match the existing Premium Solver Plus V3.5 ($750) and the Premium Solver V3.5 ($495). Concurrent-user licenses are also available. Volume discounts are offered for quantity purchases.

Version Upgrade and Academic Discounts Available

Users of the Premium Solver V3.5 and Premium Solver Plus V3.5 with current maintenance subscriptions can upgrade to the Premium Solver Platform for the difference in price ($500 and $245 respectively). Users without current maintenance subscriptions may 'catch up' by contacting Frontline Systems. Academic users wishing to use the Premium Solver Platform V3.5 in non-commercial research projects should contact Frontline Systems about academic research prices. For teaching purposes, Frontline Systems offers the Premium Solver V3.5 for Education, which is bundled free of charge with more than half a dozen leading textbooks, and special academic pricing for the Premium Solver V3.5 and Premium Solver Plus V3.5; contact Frontline for more information.

Free 15-Day Evaluation Version Available for Download

A free evaluation version of the Premium Solver Platform V3.5 is available on Frontline Systems' World Wide Web site. This evaluation version is fully functional, and has the full capacity and speed of the paid permanent-license version, but is limited to 15 days of use from the date of installation. Users with questions about the Premium Solver Platform are invited to contact Frontline Systems at (775) 831-0300 or (888) 831-0333 or by email at

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