Office Store validation policy changes to support apps and add-ins that target larger organizations and enterprises

Office Add-ins team

Apps and add-ins in the Office Store are optimized to reach the broadest possible set of users. Our Office Store validation policies help to ensure wide reach by requiring that:

  • The title and short description convey the purpose of the app or add-in without relying on brand or service.  
  • The app or add-in supports a clear sign in/sign out and sign up process.
  • The first run experience describes the value proposition and how to use the app or add-In.

You’ve told us that, for a class of  apps and add-ins that target larger organizations and enterprises, some of these policies don’t align with your customers’ needs. These apps and add-ins are not typically acquired by individual users; they require sign up by the enterprise rather than by individuals. These apps and add-ins target an existing user base and do not use the Office Store to extend or increase user adoption. Specifically, apps and add-ins that target larger organizations and enterprises:

  • Must require sign up and external (to the app or add-in) configuration within the enterprise and not by the individual user.
  • Must target existing users and use the Store for distribution only and not promotion.
  • Require that the enterprise or ISV provide training for users outside the context of the app or add-in.

For this reason, a small set of validation requirements that apply to other apps and add-ins in the Store aren’t aligned with your needs. For submissions that meet this criteria, we are making the following changes to the Store validation policies based on your feedback:

  • Titles and short descriptions can rely on your brand or service to convey its purpose.
  • A clear sign in/sign out experience is required, but a sign up experience is not required. These apps and add-ins must include a link in the UI that users can click to learn more about the add-in.
  • A seamless first run experience with a clear value proposition is not required.

These apps and add-ins will not appear on application-specific Home pages in the Store, but will be discoverable via search and will be available for your web and email campaigns.

If you are submitting an app or add-in that targets a larger organization or enterprise, indicate that in the Testing Notes section in the Seller Dashboard, and explain why your submission meets the criteria.

Be aware of the following requirements regarding app or add-in submissions that target a larger organization:

  • Not all apps or add-ins that are used within an enterprise meet the criteria.
  • Apps or add-ins that do not meet the criteria will be validated as per any other Store submission.
  • Apps or add-ins that support sign up with a mechanism other than the app or add-in’s authentication or Work/School account will not meet the criteria (this includes third-party authentication providers and Microsoft accounts).
  • Apps or add-ins that target larger organizations or enterprises must still meet all other validation policies, including requirements for add-in commands.

We believe these policy updates balance the needs of these scenarios with our goal of ensuring that users have the best possible experience with the add-ins they acquire from the Office Store. We appreciate the feedback you’ve shared – please keep it coming!

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