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Let the Certification Begin

Getting an application certified for Windows 2000 is not a race. But it's still nice to be first. Just ask the team at Caere Corp. (www.caere.com), whose OmniPage Pro version 10.0 was the first be certified for Windows 2000 Professional.

OmniPage is Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software that allows people to scan in a text document and repurpose the text for editing. "We wanted to be certified right away but we didn't realize we would be the first," says Natalie Miller, OmniPage product manager. "It suddenly became clear that we were going to be first and it got really exciting."

As fate would have it, the developers at Caere were more interested in getting version 10.0 out the door than getting it certified. Miller explains that the company had an RTM to meet and that meant the software was going out the door whether VeriTest Inc. (www.veritest.com), the designated company that actually tests the product, certified OmniPage or not. "We simply didn't have time to wait," Miller says. "It just so happened that the timing worked out. They wouldn't let us slide through on anything."

The certification is for Windows 2000 Professional, and Caere was able to take advantage of one new feature in the operating system: Windows 2000 has a built in voice API that allows users to have the text of the document read back. This ability was already present in OmniPage, but the new API streamlined development on the new version.

WRQ Inc. (www.wrq.com) is also near the front of the line for certification and has submitted its host access software Reflection 8.0 for Windows 2000 Professional to VeriTest. Reflection will include support for Active Directory, an enhanced Reflection Deployment Manager, and full integration of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) 6.0.

"On the changes to certification, the process is going forward pretty much as [Microsoft] said it would," says Prasantha Jayakody, Reflection strategic marketing manager. "They were a little late in getting VeriTest set up as they said they would. But it was worth the wait because the process is working very smoothly."

Microsoft also has yet to approve the Rational TestFoundation for Windows 2000, a free suite offering from Rational Software Corp. (www.rational.com) to pre-test applications before they are sent to VeriTest. According to a spokesman from Rational, Microsoft is running some additional testing on the product before it goes out the door.

Both Caere and WRQ commended the Application Specification for Windows 2000, saying it was direct and a helpful roadmap for developing certified applications -- in short, use the app spec and you're gold. Another key to quick approval is getting the software to VeriTest ASAP. Caere and WRQ got their code in just before the onslaught of entries, making their time to test much quicker than it will be as time goes on and more entries are submitted.

Caere's OmniPage 10 is available immediately while WRQ's Reflection 8 will be released concurrent to Windows 2000 in February. -- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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