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We're excited to report that SilverStripe CMS has become Microsoft certified today. This is notable because Microsoft has certified a very small number* of web apps, and we're the first ever open source certified web app.

Microsoft's Certified for Windows programme is well known for indicating software and hardware products that have been thoroughly tested and which work well on Microsoft Windows. Of course, much of the innovation in the software world is now happening on the web, and with awareness and adoption of open source software growing fantastically, it makes sense for Microsoft to begin certifying open source web-based software.

For those who are unfamiliar with us, it might be useful to make a point around what we mean by open source. It is a broad term. For us it refers to software released under an license approved by the Open Source Initiative (which for SilverStripe CMS is the BSD license) and that the software meets the Open Source Definition. We'd even go further and suggest that, in the spirit of open source software, open source software should have a number of other qualities to be truely open source. For instance, we feel that the source code must not only be freely available, it should be available via a versioning system such as Subversion or GIT. We also feel that there should also be official public online systems (forums, mailing lists, bug trackers, wikis, etc) that allow a community to transparently discuss the direction, development, customisation, and use of a software project. In addition there should be good documentation available so that people have a decent hope of using the software if they have adequate skills. So when we say SilverStripe CMS is the first open source web-app to be Microsoft Certified, we're proudly stating ours is the first certified software to embrace all of these types of values. Finally, as a bonus, all of the languages that comprise our software (PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) are all either open source or open standards.

The process towards certification has been a long but, we trust, rewarding road. A large proportion of our community, and those who pay for services to do with our software, use Microsoft servers, databases, and other technology. A lot of you actively sought that our product worked reliably in this environment. Over the past three years we've worked to make SilverStripe CMS work with Microsoft's operating system, web servers, and SQL Server database product.

We have also made SilverStripe CMS much easier to install on Windows through being one of the selected products bundled with Microsoft Web Platform Installer (WebPI) when it launched last year. Since then, SilverStripe CMS has been installed over 60,000 times using WebPI. Finally, we have done work to ensure SilverStripe CMS runs fast on Windows, through being compatible with the Microsoft WinCache PHP bytecode cache, a free extension to IIS.

Certification is a result of this work. It highlights that our product development has been done to Microsoft best practices, and that a third party, one of Microsoft's appointed certification partners, Wipro Technology, has rigorously tested our software.

We're proud because all of the people who have been asking for our software to run on Windows now know that it runs really well.

We're also very proud to be part of a global milestone in corporate IT accepting and embracing open source software.

Microsoft have blogged about this over on their Port25 blog as well.

  * We don't know how many exactly, but we're told that Microsoft has certified under 10 web applications irrespective of their licensing model. We also understand only a handful of open source products that are native executables (i.e. not web-based) have ever been certified.