Friday, April 17, 2015

What is DOcloud?

DOCloud is the short name of the IBM Decision Optimization on Cloud service. This service lets you solve CPLEX and OPL problems on the Cloud. You can access the interactive service called DropSolve or you can use use the API to integrate the service into your application.

CPLEX is a mathematical programming solver for linear programming, mixed integer programming, and quadratic programming. CPLEX is known as the leader and most efficient solver of its kind. It is a prescriptive analytics tool that helps you take better decision about your business. OPL is a modelling language that facilitates the use of CPLEX. These tools used to be available on-premise only, with a nice framework to build application called Decision Optimization Center.

The good news is that you can now access these tools on-line!

DropSolve is a simple web interface where you can literally drag and drop your model and data files, and they will be executed on IBM servers. If you want to build an application, you can use the API. The API is pretty simple: you create a job with the model and data, then you submit and monitor it, and finally you get the results once it is completed. There is a developer community where you can access to the API documentation, the examples and a forum.

To help you get started, I have created a YouTube playlist where you will find tutorials. The blog "IT Best Kept Secret Is Optimization" is also a must-read about optimization and DOcloud.