Runtime Licenses for ISVs

Are you developing an application that requires optimization and/or simulation technology, that will be deployed to external customers?  For more than fifteen years, Frontline Systems has been helping independent software vendors successfully develop and deploy their applications.  Our ISVs have ranged from large companies like Microsoft to small startups, and from horizontal applications like MathCad to vertical applications ranging from trucking to hospital scheduling.

Development Licenses

We encourage development of applications using our Solvers and commit to providing high quality technical support to you. The price to get started with our software is modest, as outlined below.  A development license enables you to write, test, debug, and modify an application, using all of the facilities of Solver SDK Pro or Platform, or Analytic Solver Pro or Platform; it cannot be used for deployment. You can however test a Web server application on a single user development computer, and Frontline can arrange a temporary 15-day license for testing on a public Web server.

Named User Development Licenses

Our most common SDK development licenses are named user licenses, priced as shown at SDK Product Pricing.  Annual Support, which provides developer technical support and upgrades and is required in the first year, is priced per edition (32-bit or 64-bit) -- to use both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the SDK, you simply pay one license fee and two Annual Support fees.  If your application is deployed (with at least one runtime license) within the first year, the second year of Annual Support is reduced in price from the first year.  If your application has not yet been deployed after one year, ongoing support remains at the same price.

Quantity discounts for multiple development licenses are available, provided that all licenses are purchased on one invoice; contact us for details.  Note that technical support and upgrades are not discounted, since our experience is that support costs rise proportionately with the number of developers.

Flexible Use Development Licenses

For more flexible team development, Frontline offers Flexible Use (or "concurrent use") SDK development licenses, priced as shown at Flexible Use Licenses.  A Flexible Use license may be used dynamically by multiple users, one user at a time. Frontline Systems provides easy to use license server software that can be run on any PC connected to your network, making licenses dynamically available to several developers on the network.

As developer usage of the available licenses increases, you can purchase additional Flexible Use licenses. These are not discounted for quantity, but both queuing models and experience show that you can support 2X the number of developers with fewer than 2X Flexible Use licenses, so there is an effective discount that rises with the number of developers. As with single user licenses, Annual Support (technical support and upgrades) is required in the first year and is priced per edition (32-bit or 64-bit) for each Flexible Use SDK development license.  If the application ships before the end of the first year, Annual Support is reduced in price from the first year.  Please contact us with questions.

Development Licenses for Solver Engines

Frontline's eight large-scale Solver Engines "plug in" to both Solver SDK Platform and Analytic Solver Platform (or its subsets Risk Solver Platform and Premium Solver Platform), enabling you to solve every type of optimization problem -- linear, mixed integer, quadratic, conic, smooth nonlinear and non-smooth -- with world-class performance.  Unlike most other optimization software, a single named user development license for a Solver Engine enables you to use this software with both Solver SDK Platform and an Excel Solver Platform, developing applications for Excel, MATLAB, Java, C/C++, Visual Basic, C#, VB.NET, ASP and ASP.NET.

Both named user development licenses (with quantity discounts) and Flexible Use development licenses are available for Solver Engines, as they are for Solver SDK Platform and our Excel Solver Platform products; please contact us for details.

Runtime Licenses

Frontline's runtime licenses give you the right to embed Solver SDK Pro or Platform or Analytic Solver Pro or Platform and -- if required -- one or more of our Solver Engines into your application, and duplicate or distribute copies, or make the application accessible to users on an Intranet or Web server, or via a Web service.

Named User Runtime Licenses

Where a Solver SDK Platform or Analytic Solver Platform development license allows you to use any of five bundled Solver Engines for optimization and/or simulation, a Platform runtime license allows you to use one of the bundled Solver Engines -- for example, the LP/Quadratic Solver or the GRG Nonlinear Solver -- required to solve the specific problem defined by your finished application.  Single Named User runtime license prices start at 50% of a development license, and are further discounted for quantity.

Runtime Licenses for Solver Engines

If you are using a plug-in Solver Engine, you pay a (reduced) fee for a Solver SDK Platform or Analytic Solver Platform runtime license plus a fee for a Solver Engine runtime license.  Single Named User Solver Engine runtime licenses start at 50% of a development license, and are further discounted for quantity.

Flexible Use Runtime Licenses

In some situations, you may find that Named User runtime licenses are not workable because the number and identity of users cannot be easily determined. For these situations, Frontline offers Flexible Use Runtime licenses that are based on the time your application is running -- usually measured monthly -- and the power of the host on which the application runs -- usually measured by the number of physical or virtual cores.  As above, when using a plug-in Solver Engine, you'll need a Flexible Use Runtime license for both the Solver Platform and for the Solver Engine.

Royalties in Lieu of Runtime License Fees

Depending on how you license and price your application for your customers, the above runtime license and pricing structure may or may not be appropriate.  For example, you might have a high sales volume application, with a license price that is low compared to the named user runtime license prices of the Platform and any required Solver Engine.  Or you might license your application on some basis other than named users and paid-up or perpetual licenses -- for example you might charge for use at a site (by an unspecified number of users), or on a subscription basis rather than a paid-up license.

Experience shows that, for many independent software vendors, it is simplest and most practical for the ISV to pay Frontline a royalty computed as a percentage of the revenue obtained from the application, whether from prepaid or subscription licenses, and on whatever basis of named users, sites, etc. that works best for the ISV and its customers.  A royalty agreement must be individually negotiated, but Frontline has reasonable guidelines based on scores of previously negotiated ISV deals.  Please contact us for further information.

License Management

Most independent software vendors want to monitor and control use of their own software by external customers, and have some form of "copy protection" or license management system in place.  Provided some conditions are met, Frontline can provide the Solver Platform and Solver Engines for embedding in your application in a form that relies on your license management system for authorization to run.  We give you a unique, private identifier string and an encrypted license code that you pass to our software when you call Solver SDK Platform or our Excel Solver Platform.  Our software will run only when called by your application with the correct identifier string, and will rely on your license management system for monitoring and control, instead of checking hardware or network properties itself.  This is often appropriate when a royalty agreement is concluded and/or when the ISV has a good license management system in place. 

For cloud-based applications, Frontline operates a cloud-based license server that you can use to obtain a license whenever your application is running.

Further Information

For further information on our programs for independent software developers, please click here to get started contact us at 775-831-0300 or  We look forward to working with you!