Installing Solver Foundation

You can install Solver Foundation by downloading it from the product website.

Supported Operating Systems

The following operating systems are supported. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported.

  • Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)

  • Windows Vista (32-bit, 64-bit)

  • Windows Server 2008 (32-bit, 64-bit)

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)

Installing Solver Foundation

You must have administrator privileges on the development computer to install Solver Foundation. The following software should be installed on the development computer:

  • Visual Studio 2008 or Visual Studio 2010.

  • Optional. F# runtime.

  • Optional. IronPython, which you can download from the product website.

Registry Keys Created

The Solver Foundation installer creates the following registry keys on 32-bit and 64-bit computers.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Solver Foundation\InstallDirectory, which refers to the Solver Foundation installation folder.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Solver Foundation\PluginDirectory, which refers to the folders for all non-Microsoft solver DLLs.

Available Editions

The following four editions of Solver Foundation are available:

  • Microsoft Solver Foundation Express Edition

  • Microsoft Solver Foundation Standard Edition

  • Microsoft Solver Foundation Enterprise Edition

  • Microsoft Solver Foundation Academic Edition

The number of processor cores and the RAM supported by a Solver Foundation solution depends on the edition.

There is no limit on the number of users. Licenses are per-CPU. You may not use the Express edition in any kind of virtualized computing environment. However, you can use the Standard, Enterprise, and Academic editions in a virtualized computing environment, including Windows Azure .

Supported Hardware by Edition

The following table lists the number of processor cores and the RAM supported by a Solver Foundation solution in the various editions.


Express and Standard

Enterprise and Academic








1 TB


Model Size Limits by Edition

The following table lists the model size limits for each type of programming in the various editions. The model size limits apply to Solver Foundation solvers and not third-party solvers. Third party solvers may have different size limits.

Programming type



Enterprise and Academic

Linear or quadratic programming

50,000 non-zeros

100,000 non-zeros


Mixed integer programming

1,000 variables, 1,000 constraints, and 5,000 non-zeros

2,000 variables, 2,000 constraints, and 10,000 non-zeros


Constraint programming

5,000 total terms

25,000 total terms


Non-linear programming




Solver Foundation Express Edition

Solver Foundation Express Edition is free and is available on MSDN Code Gallery.

Solver Foundation Express Edition can be redistributed, but the user must install it from MSDN Code Gallery: The Express Edition does not have a redistributable MSI.

Solver Foundation Standard Edition

MSDN Operating Systems subscribers can download Solver Foundation Standard Edition from MSDN Subscriber Downloads.

Solver Foundation Standard Edition can be redistributed, and the silent redistributable MSI files are included in the Standard Edition.

Solver Foundation Enterprise Edition

Solver Foundation Enterprise Edition is available from Gurobi Optimization.

Solver Foundation Academic Edition

Academic users who have a Developer AA subscription can download Solver Foundation Enterprise Edition through the MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDNAA). The Academic Edition is the same as the Enterprise Edition, except that the Gurobi solver is not included in the Academic Edition. For more information, see the MSDN Academic Alliance website.

Solver Foundation Excel Add-In

To use the Solver Foundation Excel add-in, you must have the following software installed on your computer:

  • .NET Framework 4.

  • Excel 2007 or Excel 2010.

  • Microsoft Office primary interop assemblies. For more information, see How to: Install Office Primary Interop Assemblies.

  • Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime or Visual Studio Tools for Office system (version 3.0 Runtime).

See Also


Getting Started (Solver Foundation)