“Ready-for-Work” App Certification – The Process and the Value to You

Each of the apps in the App Store goes through a CorasWorks “Ready-for-Work” app certification process.  This includes apps published by third parties and CorasWorks that are built with CorasWorks and run in a CorasWorks on SharePoint environment.  In this article, we’ll review the standards, our process, and, how this translates into value for you.


“Ready-for-Work” Standards

To be certified as a CorasWorks Ready-for-Work app it has to meet a number of standards as follows:

  • it must be productized, meaning packaged, downloadable, and usable “out-of-the-box”
  • it cannot contain any custom DLL’s that require installation (it must be “DLL-Free”)
  • it must be portable, meaning that it can be downloaded and installed and used without requiring manual configuration of components for URL changes
  • it must contain documentation that is deemed adequate for the scope of the app
  • it must install in a normal manner (by normal we mean in accordance with the standards of CorasWorks and Microsoft SharePoint)
  • it needs to work in accordance with the documentation
  • it must meet the basic CorasWorks standards to be able to be customized and connected to other apps and the environment using CorasWorks wizards


Our Process

Each app is run through a process.  We review the package, install the app, deploy it, and put it through its paces in accordance with the documentation.  Now, with that said, we are only validating that it works without errors.  Our process is not intended to review the application for its suitability for purpose or to judge it.  However, we do sometimes write our own reviews of apps or promote them – these you can take as de facto endorsements of the app.


Are all apps “Ready-for-Work”?

At this time they are.  All of the apps in the App Store are by default Ready-for-Work certified.  However, we will have apps from publishers that contain custom code.  When they are published, we will note the app as a Custom app with an icon on the listing and detail pages, and, a notation in the Specs.


Why Ready-for-Work Apps are valuable?

So, what does Ready-for-Work certification mean to you?  Here are a few ways that this translates into greater value and lower cost and risks.

- They work – The apps will run on your CorasWorks on SharePoint environment – whether you are running the AppEngine, the Workplace Suite, or the Toolset – they are certified to run out of the box.

- Supportable by the Ecosystem – If they meet the standard then CorasWorks or any CorasWorks professional can support the apps.  This vastly reduces publisher risk.

- Portability – This has two benefits. First, that the app is easy to install and get started.  Second, that its configuration means that it is portable within your environment. This is important if you are running apps through a build, test, deploy process.  By being portable it means that you can promote the app into the next stage without having to reconfigure for URL changes.  This reduces costs and improves manageability.

- Lower Cost and Risk with DLL-Free Apps – You can use any apps from any publisher without having to install and support custom dll’s.  It also means that your entire app environment is effectively supported by CorasWorks.  It is our responsibility to move the app platform forward to the next version of SharePoint (2010) and to manage the app code base.

- Customizable and Connectable – You know that the apps can be customized and connected to other apps and your environment using the standard CorasWorks wizards and methodology.  This reduces your costs and gives you the power to move your apps forward on your own.


The bottom line is that an environment of CorasWorks certified “Ready-for-Work” apps can have many apps from many different publishers and they will all work on the same standards and be able to be customized and connected to meet your changing needs.  Effectively, CorasWorks is able to stand behind all of the apps and take responsibility for moving the underlying app platform forward onto new versions of SharePoint.

We did a good job of protecting our customers’ investments as they went from SharePoint 2003 to SharePoint 2007.  By having the Ready-for-Work certification we are able to do the same as we plan to move from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 next year – the difference is that we are now effectively supporting an ecosystem of third party publishers, as well as, apps from CorasWorks and custom built by customers and services partners.



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