Contact: Daniel Fylstra
INCLINE VILLAGE, NV -- July 10, 2005 -- Frontline Systems' new Solver Platform SDK (Software Development Kit) makes the company's full suite of Solvers, for every type and size of optimization problem, available to developers 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. Unlike other "callable library" optimizers, the SDK features easy-to-use 'wizards' to help developers get started quickly, and a new object-oriented API (Application Programming Interface) that enables developers to work at a higher level, closer to a modeling language than a conventional programming language."
Ease of use for developers is our major goal with the Solver Platform SDK," said Daniel Fylstra, President of Frontline Systems. "From quick starts for desktop and Web server applications, to greatly simplified packaging and licensing for deployment, we've made every step of application development easier and more productive."
Five Bundled Solvers for Optimization and Simulation
The Solver Platform SDK features five bundled Solver Engines for optimization and simulation -- far more than other "callable libraries" -- including a Simplex Solver for LP/QP/MIP (linear, quadratic and mixed integer) problems up to 8,000 variables, a Barrier Solver for QCP/SOCP (quadratically constrained and second order cone programming) problems up to 2,000 variables, a GRG Nonlinear Solver for NLP (smooth nonlinear) problems up to 500 variables, Frontline's highly regarded Evolutionary Solver for arbitrary NSP (non-smooth) problems up to 500 variables, and a new Monte Carlo Solver Engine for building simulation applications.
Solver Engines Support Excel, MATLAB, Programming Languages
Frontline's eight large-scale Solver Engines Version 6.5 "plug into" the Solver Platform SDK as well as the Premium Solver Platform for Excel, to solve problems with hundreds of thousands of variables and constraints. Unlike other software for optimization and simulation, Frontline's Solver Engines can be used with Excel, MATLAB, Java, all .NET and COM languages, and conventional procedural programming languages -- all for the price of one license.
Wizards Help Developers Get Started Quickly
In a 'first' for optimization software, the Solver Platform SDK includes a series of 'wizards' for C++, C#, Visual Basic and VB.NET that take the developer through a series of simple questions and then generate a skeleton application program that uses the SDK, that can be built and run immediately. The wizards are fully integrated into Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 and Microsoft Visual Studio 6, the most popular IDEs (integrated development environments) on PCs. By using Microsoft-provided wizards and the SDK's wizards, a developer can create a working Web-based optimization or simulation application in as little as 15 minutes -- as Frontline demonstrated before a live audience on April 17, 2005 at the INFORMS Conference on OR/MS Practice in Palm Springs.
Object-Oriented API Offers Modeling Benefits
Unlike other "callable library" optimizers that offer only a conventional API designed for procedural programming, the Solver Platform SDK offers both a conventional procedural API and a new, higher level, object-oriented API that simplifies and speeds application development. Where a procedural API typically requires lines of code such as: lp = loadlp ("problem", 2, 3, -1, obj, rhs, sense, matbeg, matcnt, matind, matval, lb, ub, NULL, 2, 3, 6), Frontline's object-oriented API lets the developer work with 'objects' such as a Problem, Solver, Model, Variable, and Function -- writing higher level statements such as problem.VarDecision.NonNegative, problem.FcnConstraint.UpperBound = rhs, and problem.Solver.Optimize. Hence, developers can work in terms meaningful for their models and applications, gaining some of the benefits of higher level "algebraic" modeling languages, but without any of the performance and flexibility drawbacks of such languages.
Deep Support for the Most Popular Development Platforms
Unlike other optimization "callable libraries" that offer limited or no compatibility with platforms such as Microsoft .NET, COM and Java, the Solver Platform SDK offers broad and deep support for these platforms. The Solver Platform SDK incorporates a full-fledged .NET assembly, a COM server, a full set of Java classes, and even a full object-oriented API in MATLAB -- as well as its conventional, procedural API for multiple languages. In Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and Visual Studio 6, developers experience immediate benefits from the SDK's wizards and deep support for "IntelliSense" Help that literally helps write programming statements.
Pricing and Licensing Simplifies Deployment of Corporate and ISV Applications
A single user development license for the Solver Platform SDK is just $1,495 in the United States and €1,725 and £1,145 in Europe, plus 33% required first-year annual support which drops to 20% after the application is developed and deployed. Concurrent user development licenses are also available. Single user runtime licenses start at half the cost of development licenses; flexible concurrent use, capacity-based runtime licenses are also available. Runtime software license management and pricing -- often problematic with other "callable libraries" -- is simple and straightforward with the Solver Platform SDK. Frontline has developed special programs for both corporate developers -- who typically deploy applications 'in-house' to their own people, and for ISVs (independent software vendors) -- who typically deploy applications externally to other firms, with a goal of easing the path to application deployment. Both Frontline-provided and ISV-provided license managers are supported by the SDK. Further details are available from Frontline Systems.
About Frontline Systems, Inc.
Frontline Systems, Inc. (www.solver.com) is 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 100 million spreadsheet users. Founded in 1987, Frontline is headquartered in Incline Village, Nevada (775-831-0300 or firstname.lastname@example.org).