Contact:  Daniel Fylstra
Frontline Systems 775-831-0300

News Release

INCLINE VILLAGE, NV -- June 16, 2009 -- Risk Solver Platform V9.5 for Education, a special version of Frontline Systems’ market-leading Risk Solver Platform software for Microsoft Excel, is available now for use in MBA and other university programs for teaching and learning optimization, simulation and risk analysis, decision trees and other analytical methods.

“We’re ‘opening the floodgates’ for teaching purposes with Risk Solver Platform V9.5,” said Daniel Fylstra, Frontline Systems’ president.  “In the past, only limited capabilities in the Excel Solver and Premium Solver were available for student use.  But now we’re offering our integrated ‘super-product’ at a student price – with some problem size and other restrictions, but on a permanent license basis.”

Breakthrough Integrated Capabilities for Teaching

Risk Solver Platform V9.5 for Education includes:

  • Full Excel Solver compatibility, for worksheet models and VBA macros; the classic Solver Parameters dialog and Risk Solver Platform’s new Ribbon and Task Pane are completely interoperable
  • A free upgrade for Excel 2010, when Office 2010 is released by Microsoft, in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and guaranteed compatibility with new and enhanced Excel 2010 features including Solver.
  • All the capabilities of Risk Solver, Frontline’s powerful product for Monte Carlo simulation and risk analysis, matching or exceeding the capabilities of products like Crystal Ball and @RISK.
  • All the power of Premium Solver Platform, a large superset of Premium Solver and by far the most powerful spreadsheet optimizer, with its PSI interpreter for model analysis and five built-in Solver Engines for linear, quadratic, SOCP, mixed-integer, nonlinear, non-smooth and global optimization.
  • Ability to solve optimization models with uncertainty and recourse decisions, using simulation optimization, stochastic programming, and robust optimization methods.
  • New integrated sensitivity analysis and decision tree capabilities, developed in cooperation with Prof. Chris Albright (SolverTable), Profs. Stephen Powell and Ken Baker (Sensitivity Toolkit), and Prof. Mike Middleton (TreePlan).
  • A special version of the Gurobi Solver – the ultra-high-performance linear mixed-integer optimizer created by Robert Bixby, Zonghao Gu, and Edward Rothberg of Gurobi Optimization, respected computational scientists and former members of the CPLEX development team.

Frontline Systems offers direct technical support for faculty teaching with the software, for IT staff setting up lab machines and pre-imaged student PCs, and for students when installing the software.

Textbook support for Risk Solver Platform V9.5 for Education includes:

  • A new chapter and Excel models created by Prof. Cliff Ragsdale for his popular book Spreadsheet Modeling and Decision Analysis – available online now.
  • New chapters and Excel models created by Profs. Stephen Powell and Ken Baker for their popular text Management Science: The Art of Modeling with Spreadsheets, available online for current adopters/users of the text by September 1 (contact Saran Vernon at

 Frontline Systems anticipates extensive support for Risk Solver Platform for Education in the forthcoming 2010 editions of several popular textbooks.

Breakthrough Pricing and Licensing Terms

Risk Solver Platform V9.5 for Education licenses for students and student lab PCs are available at a breakthrough low student price (email for details):  the same as Frontline’s former Premium Solver for classroom use, and considerably less than Crystal Ball Student Edition, even though Risk Solver Platform offers far more than both combined.  Licenses are permanent, not limited to a semester or school year as is often the case with competitive products; students can continue to use the software after they graduate.

Frontline Systems offers licenses only for purchase by universities for use by their own faculty and students, with a certification that it will be used only for instructional (not administrative or research) purposes.  The minimum license purchase quantity is 10, and the best price is available for 500 or more.

Risk Solver Platform V9.5 for Education has the following limits on capacity and performance:

  • Up to 200 decision variables (continuous, semi-continuous, integer or binary) for optimization
  • Up to 100 constraints, plus bounds on the variables for nonlinear and non-smooth optimization
  • Up to 100 uncertain variables and 50 uncertain functions for Monte Carlo simulation
  • Up to 10 simulations and 1,000 Monte Carlo trials per simulation
  • Maximum one processor core used by Risk Solver Platform’s many parallelized algorithms
  • Plug-in large-scale Solver Engines other than the special Gurobi Solver are not supported
  • Background ‘watermarks’ that say “Not for commercial use” appear on all charts

All problem size limits are controlled through a license code.  Instructors who have specific models that exceed the limits should contact Frontline Systems for a special license code that can raise the limits for a temporary period.

Further Information and Free Evaluation Licenses

For further information on Risk Solver Platform V9.5 for Education, contact Frontline Systems at (888) 831-0333 in the U.S. and Canada, 775-831-0300, or  Free evaluation licenses are available to faculty members considering adoption of the software.  Frontline Systems will host several free Webinars in June to demonstrate Risk Solver Platform V9.5 for Education and answer questions.

About Frontline Systems, Inc.

Frontline Systems, Inc. ( is a leading developer of optimization and simulation software, and the leader in spreadsheet optimization software that helps analysts and managers optimally allocate scarce resources -- money, equipment, and people -- to realize substantial cost savings. Frontline developed the solvers/optimizers in Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 and Quattro Pro, distributed to more than 500 million spreadsheet users. Founded in 1987, Frontline is headquartered in Incline Village, Nevada (775-831-0300 or

Risk Solver Platform, Risk Solver and Premium Solver are trademarks of Frontline Systems, Inc.  Gurobi is a trademark of Gurobi Optimization, Inc.  Crystal Ball is a trademark of Oracle Corp.  @RISK is a trademark of Palisade Corp.  CPLEX is a trademark of IBM Corp.

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