Top 5 AppSource validation errors for Office Add-ins submissions – June 2023
AppSource validation ensures your Office Add-in submission follows Microsoft’s quality standards. Don’t lose valuable time getting to market – learn how to avoid these common validation pitfalls!
Between March and May 2023, the following were the top AppSource errors affecting Office Add-ins’ submissions.
- Additional service or account not disclosed
- Confusing first-run experience
- Missing links for sign in, sign out, sign up
- Need testing instructions
- ProviderName in manifest not similar enough to Publisher name in listing
In this post, we share what the affected AppSource policies are looking for so you can be confident your Office Add-in submission won’t hit these issues.
If your add-in requires additional services or accounts, you must notify users in the add-in’s description so they’re aware of any such dependencies. When you’re submitting the AppSource marketplace listing for your add-in, in the Description field, make sure to include pertinent information about the required offers and services like their names and how to get them.
Also, if any of those dependencies require payment, you must choose the ‘Yes’ option from the Additional purchases section in the Product setup step of the marketplace listing submission.
- Related policies: 1100.1 Microsoft 365 > General content, 1120.2 Office Add-ins: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook > Mobile requirements
- AppSource submission checklist Step 5
- AppSource submission checklist Step 7
- AppSource submission guide Step 3
Office Add-ins must have a clear value proposition and provide a seamless first-run experience (FRE). On your add-in’s start screen, you should describe its functionality and benefits in a few lines. If users must sign in or sign up to use the add-in, the value proposition of having that account or service must be clearly outlined to them before they do so.
Enterprise add-ins (that is, add-ins that target larger organizations or enterprises) are exempt from this requirement. To claim this exemption, you must indicate this in the Notes of certification of your add-in’s marketplace listing submission. Also, in the add-in’s UI, you must include a link or an email contact for users to learn more about your services. For more information about handling this situation, see the Enterprise only section of the December 2022 post in this series.
- Related policies: 1100.1 Microsoft 365 > General content, 1100.5 Microsoft 365 > Customer control
- First-run experience patterns for Office Add-ins
Office Add-ins that depend on external accounts or services must provide clear and simple sign-in, sign-out, and sign-up experiences. The links to access these experiences should be clearly visible and prominent in the add-in’s UI.
Enterprise add-ins (that is, add-ins that target larger organizations or enterprises) don’t need to provide a sign-up experience. However, you must indicate this in the Notes of certifications of your add-in’s marketplace listing submission. For more information about handling this situation, see the Enterprise only section of the December 2022 post in this series.
- Related policy: 1100.5 Microsoft 365 > Customer control
- Authentication design guidelines for Office Add-ins
To ensure that certification reviewers can successfully complete verification and testing of your add-in, you must provide clear instructions and details about needed resources. Be sure to provide instructions on how to test and fully exercise the add-in in the Notes for certification section of the marketplace listing submission. Also provide any product keys, testing credentials, and sample accounts (including for any services your add-in requires) needed to use all the functionality of your add-in.
However, if your scenarios aren’t simple and you want to include screenshots to illustrate the steps, or you’d like to persist the testing instructions, you should create and upload a PDF file with that information to the Additional certification info section of the marketplace listing submission. The PDF fille will be persisted for subsequent submissions of the add-in.
Failure to provide all the information needed when you submit your marketplace listing means that your submission may be rejected if the reviewer is missing the information needed to fully verify the add-in.
- Related policy: 100.14 General > Testability
- AppSource submission checklist Step 5
- AppSource submission guide Step 9
The ProviderName element in the add-in’s manifest that you upload to Partner Center must match the name associated with your Publisher ID of your Partner Center account. While the values don’t need to be identical, they should be quite similar and clearly represent the same entity.
- Related policy: 1120.3 Office Add-ins: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook > Functionality
- ProviderName element in the Office Add-in manifest
- Contact info in Partner Center commercial marketplace account
- March 2023: Top five AppSource validation errors for Office Add-ins submissions – March 2023
- December 2022: Top 5 AppSource validation errors for Office Add-ins submissions
- Office Add-ins Dev Center
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