It’s one thing for a major vendor to engage ISVs to create applications designed to run on the vendor’s systems, but it’s another to ensure that those applications will work right.

That’s where AppLabs Technologies comes in. AppLabs tests the applications for compatibility and to make sure the ISVs are following the proper protocols in developing the software.

On March 1, Philadelphia-based AppLabs revealed that storage giant EMC has contracted with the company to put its ISVs to the test. AppLabs is testing ISV applications developed to work with EMC’s Centera storage solutions.

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The work is taking place at AppLabs’ testing center in Lindon, Utah, said Alex Whittaker, assistant vice president of quality assurance for AppLabs.

“Most of what we do out of our Utah facility is hardware interoperability,” he said. “Vendors are looking for independent, third-party auditing firms to do that. We’re able to look at the testing unbiased.”

By engaging AppLabs for the EMC Centera Proven Certification Program, EMC is making it possible for both its partners and itself to focus on business priorities rather than dealing with time-consuming technical integration work, said Chuck Hollis, vice president of technology alliances for EMC, based in Hopkinton, Mass.

“By working with AppLabs, EMC and its partners are able to provide customers with assurances that solutions have been independently tested and validated for interoperability and functionality,” Hollis said.

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The testing focuses on hardware and software setup and on basic EMC Centera capabilities such as replication, disaster recovery and offsite backup, compliance and retention, single-instance storage, capacity reporting, technical support, and overall application efficiency.

AppLabs, headquartered in Philadelphia, also has operations in London and Hyderabad, India. The company has partnerships with such industry heavyweights as Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard and SAP.

The fact that companies such as HP and EMC contract with AppLabs to test third-party applications shows that software developers have built a vibrant, successful market, Whittaker said.

Whittaker said the partnership with EMC is an ongoing engagement, meaning it will last as long as EMC needs the third-party testing.