For those developing on the Microsoft platform, there are free tools now available to test your applications for Windows Server 2008 compatibility. You can get ahold of these by enrolling at http://www.innovateonwindowsserver.com. You can get the bits at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008.

Innovate on Windows Server 2008 is the development portal that includes key marketing information and resources such as the Application Compatibility Cookbook, “Works with” and Certification Test Tool downloads and demos, developer resources, and links to pre-release Windows Server 2008 software. You can self test your application and have access to AdCenter and special offers to profile your application.

If you want to go a step further, Works With Windows 2008 or Certified for Windows Server 2008 validation. These involve having your app tested. Testing is available beginning November 1. There are test fee waivers and discounts available through Feb 15, 2008, if you enroll in the Early Access Program on the site. There are additional marketing support benefits available and a significant number of partner points for each application that passes the test.

Here are the steps to take advantage of the program:

  1. Enroll and use the tools. Enroll in the appropriate EAP, profile your solutions and use the free downloadable test and development tools at http://www.innovateonwindowsserver.com.
  2. Test and develop with the latest release candidate (RC). Get the bits at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008.
  3. Achieve application certification or validation. Earn the Certified for Windows Server 2008 or Works with Windows Server 2008 designations.

Key timeline:

  • November 1st – Submission begins for “Certified for” and “Works with”
  • Test fee waived, up to $20,000, for the first 10 “Certified for” applications
  • Test fee subsidy up to $10,000 for the subsequent 40 “Certified for” applications
  • Test fee of $500 waived for the first 300 “Works with” test submissions through February 15th
  • Pre-test fee waived up to $3,000 through December 15th. Pre-test waived up to $1,500 from December 16th - January 15th. 
  • EAP enrollment ends December 15th for “Certified for.”
  • EAP enrollment ends January 2nd for “Works with.”.
  • January 7th – deadline for ISVs to achieve “Works with” or “Certified for” and be included in the TechNet Magazine print ad in the launch issue.

The key point is that you can test your application now. You can do so for free and get some marketing benefits as well. If you want to go further, Microsoft will help pick up the tab for testing and provide even more marketing benefits.