Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Solver Foundation Enterprise

I would have expected a more formal announcement than just this:

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/solverfoundation/thread/aedcbb42-d3df-4180-bbaf-4db2e66acd9d

Looks to me that the best way forward is to open source the Solver Foundation code. Of course assuming there are no third-party components used directly in the Solver Foundation code base (third party solvers can be easily excluded).

Update: Gurobi has retracted the original statement. It still would be good to have some more visibility on the status of MSF.

Update 2: from http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/solverfoundation:

As users have pointed out, Microsoft has not been active on the Solver Foundation forums since Nate left.   We have been quiet while we have gone through restructuring and planning.  Some would say we have been too quiet.  We know we have very loyal and enthusiastic users who want to know the future of Solver Foundation.  So, here is a long overdue statement about our plans for Solver Foundation.

The current 3.1 release of MSF will be the last release as a standalone install.  We are working hard on integrating Microsoft Solver Foundation into a larger analytics framework that will help users build both prescriptive and predictive analytics.  We look forward to releasing this new product for your use as soon as we are able to do so.  This new product will provide a migration path for current Solver Foundation users and partners.  

We would like to continue to keep the current forum open to the community to discuss MSF until the release of the new product. However, Microsoft will be providing limited support of MSF in terms of monitoring the forums and providing bug fixes during this transition time.                                                                                                                               

We have been responding to email and will continue to do so.  If you have feedback on issues/bugs/improvements, we welcome your feedback via msfsupport@microsoft.com.  Please check back on the forum for future announcements with regards to the new analytics product.

Thanks for your support.

The Solver Foundation Team

I am not 100% what this means. Looks like it is going away from a somewhat API centered product largely aimed to programmers who also do want to do some optimization, towards something that has more enterprise umpf (“analytics framework”). I assume this means moving more in the direction of SAS and Fico, i.e. more emphasis on other things such as data base, statistics, data mining than on pure optimization.