Frontline Solvers V2017:
Frontline Solvers V2017 is here now – available for download from Solver.com. But the changes in V2017 are great enough that, if you're a customer with an existing V2016 license, please contact us so we can update your license subscription BEFORE you download and run the V2017 SolverSetup program. (If you don't do this, you may not be able to run your large models right away.) We highly recommend reading ourblog post for full coverage of what's new (a lot) in V2017.
It's Here! – What's New
V2017 features major performance enhancements in our Evolutionary Solver, especially on problems with integer variables; across-the-board enhancements in data mining, including greatly improved neural networks, ensembles of nearly any type of classification and prediction models, automatic handling of categorical variables, new rescaling options, export of trained models in PMML, and more. If you use Tableau, V2017 features an updated Web Data Connector, and if you have a high-resolution "4K" monitor, V2017 will look and behave a lot better!
New Analytic Solver Basic: Analytics for Everyone
But the biggest enhancement in Frontline Solvers V2017 is this: Every customer who purchases a commercial license for any of our Excel products will also gain a license to use Analytic Solver Basic – a new offering closely related to our Analytic Solver Platform for Education, in the past available only to MBA students.
This means, for example, that when you buy an "Excel Solver upgrade" license, you'll also get access to every Analytic Solver Ribbon option – for simulation/risk analysis, decision trees, basic data visualization, forecasting, data mining and text mining – for your full license term! Comprehensive analytic tools will be available at your fingertips at all times – but limited to small problems – at no extra charge. You'll have all the power, speed and problem capacity of the product(s) you've paid for, plusyou'll be able to use the other Analytic Solver features to learn new skills, or even create small models you can use to justify new projects.
And you get more with our V2017 products: Use our desktop and cloudversions together, uploading or downloading your Excel workbook models between them!
Use Desktop and Cloud:
With our V2017 release – available now – we're introducing all our users to AnalyticSolver.com,
a SaaS (software as a service) Azure-based platform that offers you point-and-click tools to create predictive and prescriptive analytics models yourself, without needing expert data scientists or programmers – yet taking advantage of the full spectrum of analytic methods, from data mining to simulation and optimization.
What's special about this new cloud analytics platform is that, if you've used Frontline Solvers for Excel, you already know how to use it.AnalyticSolver.com offers a Ribbon with familiar drop-down menu choices, a Task Pane for model analysis and navigation, a spreadsheet-like grid, and Excel-compatible formulas. For a quick four-minute video introduction to AnalyticSolver.com, click here.
AnalyticSolver.com already has 35,000 user accounts – mostly university MBA students. But we've upgraded our cloud servers to handle larger-size problems. When you upgrade to our V2017 release, your software license– which is based on your email address and password from Solver.com – also gives you access to AnalyticSolver.com.
You can solve nearly all the same models you have in desktop Excel in the cloud, up to the size limits of your commercial license – subject to some CPU time limits, and to memory limits of your Web browser. (Note that your browser has the same memory issues as 32-bit vs. 64-bit Excel – we recommend 64-bit Chrome.)
Simpler Product Names,
Since we've learned that many first-time users found our product names (Premium Solver, Risk Solver, XLMiner, etc.) and the "Pro vs. Platform" distinction confusing, in V2017 we have simplified things! Check out ourProduct Overview for details, but here's a summary:
More Flexible Licenses,
Another enhancement in Frontline Solvers V2017 is easier to use licensing. For many years, we've used "license management" software from third-party vendors, that tied your software license to a single computer, with a "host ID" or "lock code". But with our move to the cloud, we've built a better license manager. Click here for the full story of how it works.
In Frontline Solvers V2017, your software license is tied to you, via your email address and password from Solver.com – not to any single machine – and validated via our cloud servers. For example, you can install the software on your desktop and laptop, without dealing with "lock codes," getting an extra license code, or even asking us! You simply login with your email address and password, the first time you use the software on a given machine. And when you don't have access to a machine with Frontline Solvers for Excel installed – for example in a hotel business center, or on an airplane with just a tablet and web browser – you can still get work done, by logging in (with the same credentials) to our cloud version at AnalyticSolver.com!
"Prepaid License Renewals" Discontinued
As we explained two months ago in our newsletter of December 7, 2016, we no longer offer "Prepaid License Renewals". With Analytic Solver Basic, the new flexible licensing in Frontline Solvers V2017, and bundled access to our cloud version AnalyticSolver.com, this no longer makes sense.
Of course, we'll honor all existing licenses for their full term – until the expiration date of your existing license, you'll get our desktop softwareupgrades at no extra cost. And we do want to introduce you to AnalyticSolver.com, at no extra cost. But when your license comes up forrenewal – given our ongoing costs, from R & D and tech support to cloud servers, storage, CPU time and bandwidth – if you want to renew (and we'll endeavor to make that very attractive, with new enhancements each year) you should expect it to cost 50% of the first-year license price.
Participate in the Dresner
Wisdom of Crowds Survey
Once a year, Dresner Advisory Services – a well-regarded industry analyst firm – seeks the views of users like you in its "Wisdom of Crowds" survey, which covers business intelligence (BI), cloud computing, and business analytics tools. This year, Frontline Systems is participating for the first time. You are invited to participate! If you do, you'll receive a copy of the study findings.
You can complete only the sections of the survey that are relevant to you. (Some questions deal with business intelligence systems and enterprise planning systems; for Frontline, the questions on predictive and prescriptive analytics are most relevant.) Click here to start the survey today! The deadline is March 27.
Live Webinars Next Week:
Have you attended one of our 45-minute webinars yet? They're a great way to learn and ask questions about analytics methods you may not be using – yet. These webinars are offered two weeks out of every month, including next week at 7am Pacific time: Wednesday February 22 (optimization), Thursday February 23 (simulation), and Friday February 24 (data mining). Register today, and mark the time on your calendar!
Click to Register for Our Optimization Webinar Wednesday February 22 7am Pacific
Click to Register for Our Simulation Webinar Thursday February 23 7am Pacific
Click to Register for Our Data Mining Webinar Friday February 24 7am Pacific
See Us April 2-4 in Las Vegas:
INFORMS Analytics Conference
We're again exhibiting at one of the most popular conferences for analytics professionals: the INFORMS Analytics Conference will be held April 2-4 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.
We'll be presenting a Technology Workshop Sunday April 2 at 3pm, and a Software Tutorial session Tuesday April 4 at 11:30am. The exhibit area will be open Sunday evening 7-8:30pm for a Welcome Reception, Monday April 3 9am to 4:30pm, and Tuesday April 4 10am to 3:45am. We hope to see you there!