Top five AppSource validation errors for Office Add-ins submissions – March 2023 

Office Add-ins team

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 December 2022 and February 2023, the following were the top AppSource errors affecting Office Add-ins’ submissions. 

  1. Doesn’t work on Office for Mac 
  2. Functionality doesn’t work as described
  3. Outlook add-in doesn’t work on Safari
  4. Privacy policy unavailable or insufficient 
  5. Provides insufficient value

In this post, you’ll learn about what the affected AppSource policies are looking for so you can be confident your Office Add-in submission won’t hit these issues. 

Doesn’t work on Office for Mac 

Your add-in should work properly in all operating systems, browsers, and devices compatible with and supported by the minimum required set of APIs declared in the Requirements element in its manifest. For example, if the add-in runs successfully in Office on Windows, it should also work properly in Office on Mac. 

Functionality doesn’t work as described 

Your add-in should deliver what it promises. It must provide the functionality, features, and deliverables noted in its marketplace description and related materials. The add-in should work properly without displaying any errors. If your add-in is an Excel add-in with custom functions, each custom function must be visible and verifiable. 

Outlook add-in doesn’t work on Safari 

As mentioned previously, add-ins should work on all supported operating systems, browsers, and devices. In general, add-ins should work on the latest versions of Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Your Outlook add-in should therefore work properly on supported browsers. To avoid this error, when you verify your add-in in Outlook on Mac, make sure to also verify your add-in in Outlook on the web using Safari. 

Privacy policy unavailable or insufficient 

You must provide users with a privacy policy for your add-in. The privacy policy must: 

  • Outline how you handle users’ personal information. 
  • Specifically refer to your add-in or your overall service, not only to your website. 
  • Have a service description that includes the name of the add-in being submitted. 
  • NOT be a Terms of Use policy as that’s not considered to be a privacy policy. 

In the Legal and support info section of your marketplace listing submission, include a valid link to your privacy policy to facilitate verification. 

Provides insufficient value 

Add-ins that are simple utilities or of limited scope are not a good fit for the commercial marketplace. Therefore, your add-in must provide enough value to justify the investment it takes for users to learn and use it. Your add-in should provide a usable software solution and significant benefits, such as enhanced efficiency, innovative features, or strategic advantages. 

Your Office Add-in must read or write document information and interact with the Office application, which can include reading data from the document or inserting data into the document. 

However, if your add-in isn’t intended for the commercial marketplace and instead targets larger organizations or enterprises, make sure to provide an email contact or link in the add-in UI so users can learn more about your services. For more information about this situation, see the Enterprise only section of the December 2022 post in this series. 

See also 

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