Came across the following quote in Briefings in Bioinformatics. “Interestingly, Microsoft Excel (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/), the commonly used spreadsheet package for storing metabolic models, has all the necessary components to create and analyse FBA models including well-designed form-based interface, plotting and drawing facilities, in-built optimization solvers and scripting language for automating tasks (i.e. MACROS). It should be noticed that Excel-based FBA application may face technical challenges in handling large-size models due to the limitation in its in-built optimization solver. However, this issue can be appropriately resolved by using relevant software technologies such as OpenSolver (http://opensolver.org), an open-source optimization solver for Excel that runs on advanced COIN-OR CBC optimization engine (https://projects.coin-or.org/Cbc) and SolverStudio (http://solverstudio.org), a software framework that can integrate Excel with other open sources as well as commercial solvers, e.g. GLPK (http://www.gnu.org/software/glpk/), COIN CLP (http://www.coin-or.org/Clp/), CPLEX and GUROBI (http://www.gurobi.com/).” Is this an area we OR types need to be looking at more seriously?
On another matter, thanks, Bob, for mentioning SolverStudio in your AMPL talk at Informs.