Analytic Solver Platform on old (Windows XP) and new (Windows 8.1)
posted this on November 2, 2013, 3:18 PM
[One user] I have a brand new computer running factory installed 64-bit Windows 8.1. I have installed only two things so far: Chrome, and 64-bit Office 2013 Home & Business. When I double-click SolverSetup64, it opens the "Preparing to Install" dialog box, but after a few moments it terminates with a warning pop-up box: "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 [or 2.0] needs to be installed for this installation to continue." The installed then exits without modifying the system (after forcing me to click OK and Finish.
[Another user] I am aware of Microsoft ending support for Windows XP, but thanks for pointing out the same anyway. Meanwhile, I tried to open the RSPAddin.xll and got the error message - The file you are trying to open, 'RSPAddin.xll', is in a different format than specified by the file extension. Verify that the file is not corrupted and is from a trusted source before opening the file. Do you want to open the file now?
Windows XP was released in 2001; Windows 8.1 was released in 2012. Because of all the infrastructure involved (Win32, COM, .NET, etc.), it is becoming ever harder to build an application that will run on every Windows version. We have to focus on the future rather than the past. Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Frontline will also officially end support for Windows XP on that date.
Using Analytic Solver Platform V2014 on Windows XP
Our V12.5 product line release (January 2013) was built using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. Our V2014 product line release (December 2013) was built using Visual Studio 2012, and newer versions are built using Visual Studio 2013. Applications built using Visual Studio 2012 - 2013 are not designed to run on Windows XP. The symptom seen by Windows XP users is that SolverSetup runs normally, but the Analytic Solver Platform and XLMiner tabs do not appear on the Ribbon in Excel. The ASP/RSP add-in will not even appear in the list of available Excel add-ins.
Microsoft recently published a workaround to enable Visual Studio 2012 - 2013 applications to work on Window XP. Frontline will incorporate this workaround into our V2014.0.1 point release. But users should still heed the warning above: Windows XP is at "end of life." You need to upgrade.
Using Analytic Solver Platform V2014 on Windows 8.1
Analytic Solver Platform also uses the Microsoft .NET Framework. .NET 2.0 was released in 2005, .NET 3.5 in 2007, .NET 4.0 in 2010, and .NET 4.5 in 2012. Because Excel can load only one version of the .NET Framework during any given session, and all add-ins must use that version in order to coexist, Excel add-in vendors have sought to target their software for the most commonly accepted and used .NET versions.
Analytic Solver Platform V2014 is targeted for .NET 3.5. (Earlier versions of our software were targeted for .NET 2.0.) .NET is designed so that more than one version can coexist on your computer, but you must have installed the version(s) for which your applications are targeted. If you have only older .NET versions on your computer, OR if you have only newer .NET versions installed, you'll see an error message in SolverSetup, like the first user above. You will need to install .NET 3.5 -- which is a free download. This happens on Windows 8.1, where only the .NET framework v4.5 is installed by default.