Normally I don’t want to make large blog posts as you won’t read them anyway ;-) but for this one I make an exception because it’s a very important one for ISV’s because
Big changes have happened for certifying your application for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
The changes are posted in the Windows Application Quality Cookbook on Codeplex. Certification is important from two standpoints. One is so you can use the logos to show your customers your application is compatible. The other is for partner points. Certifying your applications on various Microsoft platforms is central to getting to Certified Partner or Gold Partner.
The proposed program for Windows 7 will have only one logo for systems, devices, and applications. For more information, see Windows 7 on Innovate On Windows.
The Cookbook explains:
We also improved the process for gaining certification. Microsoft will not require developers to have their applications tested for certification by authorized testing authorities. Instead, Microsoft is developing a test kit you can use to ensure your application meets the certification requirements. We have significantly reduced the number of requirements. Similar to the hardware program, we have created some policies; while not linked to specific test cases, we will enforce these policies. Partners must meet all requirements and observe all policies to gain Windows 7 certification.
You can get the Windows Logo Requirements. And you can take a survey to help improve testing and certification process for Windows 7.
Windows 7 Application Certification Process Summary
Here's how the program works for Windows 7. When applications are ready to be tested (the document provides the links you'll need):
- Establish a Winqual account.
- Create a VeriSign digital signature to ensure a secure transfer of your product information to Winqual
- Follow the process as outlined by Winqual
- Receive your certification
Windows Server 2008 Application Certification Process Summary
The process for certifying server application in Windows 7 is similar to that for Windows Server 2008. There are five quality bars, or "pillars," for Logo certification:
- Windows Fundamentals
- Install and uninstall
- Reliability and high availability
- Hyper-V compatibility
Each quality pillar is divided into specific requirements that the application must meet. Requirements are further divided into deterministic tests.
Two Server Logo program tools are available to help test for the requirements, the Certification Tool and the Windows System State Analyzer.
The Logo certification process includes both self-testing and a third party test. An authorized third party testing vendor performs most of the tests. But you can do some long-term and Cluster tests.
First, download the certification test tools from the Logo certification page (no registration or fee required). Then evaluate your applications against the technical bar. There's help when you need it. Next, certain self-test logs needs to be made available before Final certification is complete (for example, long-term stress tests are self-tested by developers; Microsoft only needs the logs). When you are ready to submit your application for official testing, contact one of our authorized test vendors who will guide you from that point.
If all tests are successful, Microsoft will grant you the right to use the Certified For Windows Server logo on your packaging and in your advertising. If any tests fail, Microsoft may assist you in resolving the failure, including evaluating waiver requests where applicable.
The point is that it's a lot easier to get your application certified and to use the Windows logos for your application. If you're an ISV writing real applications, there's no reason to skip certification of your applications. And if you've passed the Platform Test in the past, you're already very close indeed.