Bridge Communications

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Getting an Application Certified for Skype for Business

This week I'll talk a bit about the process we went through to achieve the Certified for Skype for Business award for Bridge Operator Console.  Although we had completed this prior to WPC we were ask to hold the news until the official announcement of the new program at WPC.  Much of the test protocol is proprietary and confidential so due to an NDA I won't be able to share many test level details, so I'll talk about the process and some general things to be prepared for.

When you application has passed you can use these two logos in product literature associated with that application.  You will also receive the badge on Microsoft's official site for Skype for Business applications.

The first step is choosing a testing provider, there are a couple to choose to from.  After you have negotiated a price and a testing schedule you will receive a copy of the test criteria.  In our case the process took almost a month from start to finish.

The test criteria for our application, an attendant console, included a very large number of test cases, somewhere around 75.  About 8 or so didn't apply to our application so we had a meeting with all parties and got that updated.

Tests results are broken into 3 categories.

P0: Required (no exceptions)

For P0 you app must contain the feature or pass the associated test against the platform, if it fails any of these your app fails.  More that 1/2 of our test was P0.

P1:  High priority (<10% exception permitted, must be documented)

The majority remainder of our test was P1, which means if you app can't conform to the expected results you must document way, and your reason must be accepted.

P2:  Optional.

In our case 8% of the test was either P1 with a documented reason or P2 optional, 92% was P0 or P1 which meant 1 mistake on any of it and we would fail, and have to start the process over.  To Microsoft's credit the test was very thorough, and had a large section focus on the impact an application would have on the Skype for Business infrastructure. In the end we passed 100% of the tests.

To sum up, if you are looking to get your application certified, I believe you have made the correct choice.  It will give your customers peace of mind, knowing that if they have issues in their environment they will be supported by Microsoft.  It also will make your application better.  Having a test plan set forth with expectations from Microsoft will help you fill in any holes you may not have considered.  Be prepared for a long, stressful process, knowing in many cases 1 test can make you start the process over.  Be prepared for the price, there are a lot of people and resources that will be dedicated to this on all sides, but a fairly large upfront cost to take the test as well.  In the end having gone through this with other vendors, it is my opinion that Microsoft took the time to develop the most applicable test plan I have participated in, and I applaud them for doing so.

Thanks for reading, next week I have a huge announcement of a game changing feature for Skype for Business users.

Doug Routledge, C# Lync, Skype for Business, SQL, Exchange, UC, Full Stack Developer  BridgeOC
Twitter - @droutledge @ndbridge

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