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Friday, January 25, 2008

Mailbag: Adventures In Server 2008 Logo Certification

A recent blog article about Server 2008 Logo Requirements generated some interesting feedback from Colby. I asked him if he minded if I reposted it here and he approved so here goes:

I'm not really responding to any of your comments directly. I'm just throwing stuff out there as someone who is currently going through the Windows Server 2008 Logo Certification for my product.

Most of the problems I've had to date actually come from the application code side rather than from the install/MSI package. For example, all binaries (executable files, activeX controls, dynamic link libraries, etc.) must be digitally signed as well as have the appropriate requestedPrivileges attribute set in a manifest (either embedded or external manifest). This can be quite annoying if you have a lot of legacy applications to distribute. We actually have legacy binaries compiled using Borland, Delphi, and a couple of other non-Microsoft compilers and those binaries don't accept a digital signature. Other issues relate to kernel mode drivers not being properly authored to meet Microsoft standards (all drivers installed by a logo certified application must be signed by Windows Hardware Quality Labs [WHQL], pass all WHQL tests, and pass all driver tests in the certification tests). That requirement can also be a problem for companies that compile their services to run on different platforms (in my experience, those are the ones most likely to ignore the Windows standards - whether intentionally or not). These have been my two biggest problems so far. The installation requirements for certification (Chapter 2 of the Windows Server 2008 Logo Certification Framework document, see link below) are pretty easy to follow if you're using MSI [and I agree w/ you that Robert can't be blamed for not knowing that MSI was dropped as a requirement - the latest framework document was just released on 1/8/08!, which is another annoying part of this process: MS keeps changing the rules before 2K8 even ships!). Evidently, we're not the only ones having these problems (as Application Compatibility for Windows Vista forum shows [RSS=]). In fact, our VeriTest contact has mentioned that a only a very low number of applications have actually been certified thus far.

If anyone is considering Windows Server 2008 Certification, I HIGHLY recommend installing the Certification Tool and using it to do all your Vendor testing. It is the exact tool that VeriTest will use to run the tests and is quite easy to use. In fact, I created a VM for our employees to use that has everything installed for testing and includes recommendations for how to set up the Certification Tool (requires a SQL database to connect to). A copy of the readme is below and shows all the applications and tools necessary to run the certification tests. Most people start by downloading the Microsoft Certified for Windows Server 2008 Application Test Framework document ( and struggling through it (currently 230 pages). But if you just download the Word doc and then install the Certification Tool, the tool will pull in all the requirements from the document and is a MUCH easier way to start the in-house Vendor testing required prior to certification submission.

Basically, anyone doing this should START HERE:

I hope this helps your readers who may be looking for Windows Certification!!

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