How to Ready Your Web Applications for Windows Server 2008 R2

windows server 2008 r2 bl v The Chief Technology Officers (CTO) of ISVs that I work with are asking me how they can set their applications apart from their competitors. One of the most visible ways is to show you are a thought leader and support the next generation technology, like Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. So this posting describes some steps you can take to demonstrate your partnership with your customers. And how in particular you can set your Web application apart.

Windows Server 2008 R2 gives your customers great support, particularly in data centers. For more information about the business reasons your customers will be asking for Windows Server 2008 R2, see Windows Server 2008 R2 Product Information.

Windows Server 2008 R2 arrives on September 14. The released version is out -- you can get it on MSDN or you can get a trial version at Windows Server 2008 R2 Trial Software. A VHD image is available.

Three Steps

  1. Declare your application is Windows Server 2008 R2 ready through Front Runner.
  2. Optionally, earn the “Works with” or “Certified on” with Windows Server 2008 R2 software logo.
  3. Light up your application with the new features in Windows Server 2008 R2.

For more information on each of the steps, see ISV Application Readiness and Certification.

Pledge Support

frontrunnerlogo Pledge to support customers using Windows Server 2008 R2 and gain global market exposure for your applications.

  • Pledge to support customers using Windows Server 2008 R2 and gain global market exposure for your applications. In the United State, join Front Runner and declare your application is ready for Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • New test tools are available to help you give our mutual customers a technically superior experience when deploying applications on Windows Server 2008 R2. Learn more about the development resources.

The Front Runner program includes many marketing benefits too. As soon as your software is ready, you can display the Front Runner logo. The logos are available only for early adopters. The logos show customers your association with Microsoft and that you are a leader.

The program also includes marketing templates, quotes, and materials you can customize for customer contacts. The Front Runner program also positions your application in the Microsoft customer portals. Front Runner gets your products listed on the Windows Compatibility Center or Windows Server Catalog and gain worldwide exposure.

For ISVs outside the United States, see the Partner Submission page to complete the Web form, or download a spreadsheet and send us your information.

To declare compatibility, you’ll want to test your applications. You can empower your build/test teams with more comprehensive test scenarios in a clear, intuitive Software Certification Toolkit. Test your application’s security, stability, compatibility, reliability and availability in a Windows Server 2008 R2 environment. Improve the user experience by ensuring applications meet the rigorous technical standards of certification before releasing to market.

Earn Software Logo

Front Runner shows you adopted and support the technology, earning a logo can give you an additional level of confidence in the market.  You have your choice between Certified for and Works with software logos for Windows Server 2008 R2.

Earn a logo and help customers differentiate your technically superior application. Learn more about the business value of Windows Server software certification.

The Windows Server 2008 R2 certification program features the same technical requirements established in the Windows Server 2008 certification program. So if you have earned your certification with 2008, R2 certification follows the same process.

Windows Server software certification testing will be performed on Windows Server 2008 R2 in a Hyper-V environment.  The free downloadable test tools guide developers and testers through the requirements and make final certification an open-book test.

Like the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo test, you can test your application on your own hardware. The final verification test are conducted by third-party test companies. Prices start at $250 for “Works with” self-test log validation and US$8,000-10,000 for “Certified for” testing.

  • Learn more about preparing to earn the “Certified for Windows Server 2008 R2” Logo.

Platform test are available for Windows Server 2008, but there is not logo recognition. You do get partner points for Platform test.

Toolkit details

Whether or not you are going for the logo, you can use the toolkit to verify that your software works as expected on Windows Server 2008 R2. The up-to-date details are available at WS08 R2 / Win7 Software Certification Toolkit. Tools are available whether you submit your application for logo testing or not.

Some items to note:

‘Certified’, ‘Works with’ Windows Server 2008 R2 programs are now live.

All official testing must be done using x64 versions by ISVs and test vendors. x86 version is published for evaluation purposes only.

Certified For Toolkit

Certification Tool includes the ‘Certified For’ tests for Compatibility, Security, Reliability and High Availability. Continues to be a self test tool for evaluation purposes, but vendor testing & verification of results.

For more information, see Certified Logo Requirements and Tests.

Works With Toolkit

Works with Tool Includes Compatibility tests and enterprise best practices like WER, IPV6, Firewall, AV and more. It continues to be a highly automated self test tool with vendor verification of results only. It supports testing hosted solutions, driver testing & signature verification (WHQL).

For more information, see Works with Logo Requirements and Tests.

Other test tools

  • Windows System State Analyzer helps create snapshots of File system, Registry, Services & Drivers and differentiate changes between different points in time. It includes rich reports to identify usual problem areas like unsigned files, 16-bit files, manifest issues, service/driver related differences
  • Loadgen is a long term stress test tool, from the WDK.


You may need to get a waiver for certain business reasons. You can submit them at Waiver request forms for Certified for or Works with.

Download the Toolkit

The toolkit can be downloaded from the logo landing page or directly here.

Light Up Your Application

You can get more information about how to take advantage of the new features of Windows Server 2008 R2, see see How to Get Started Leveraging Windows Server 2008 R2 Features.

Key features for developers for your Windows Server 2008 R2 application are:

  • Support for Server Core.
  • APIs and tools to help your tune your parallel applications using NUMA.
  • PowerShell 2.0. 
  • Windows Web Services.
  • Background Services and Tasks. .
  • Background Intelligence Transfer.

See Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2 series of videos for developers on MSDEV. Developers can take advantage of the new features using the Windows Server 2008 R2 Developer Training Kit.


Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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