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MakeMPS is a currently-inactive 'solver' for ASCEND that exported an active MODEL to the MPS file format. This file could then be loaded and solved using an external program, and the solution re-incorporated back into ASCEND again when completed.
The source code is available at solvers/makemps
Update: a recent review and update of the MakeMPS code shows that it was written for the 'old' libascend API. Some changes to the way MakeMPS interacts with boundaries as well as changes to switch over the new Solver API are required. Jpye 09:27, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Note that the MPS format is restricted to linear and mixed integer and linear programs. Another file format, supported by AMPL, is the .nl file format, which can also handle non-linear equations. It would be desirable to extend the current MakeMPS export code and implement support for .nl file export.