Common questions about the Microsoft commercial marketplace
This article answers commonly asked questions about the commercial marketplace.
What is the Microsoft commercial marketplace?
The commercial marketplace connects business and government agencies with solutions built by our partners. Our partners create and manage offers in Partner Center, and customers can discover and buy solutions through in-product experiences, such as Microsoft AppSource, Azure Marketplace, resellers in the Cloud Solution Provider program, and our sales teams through the co-sell program.
To learn more, go to the Microsoft commercial marketplace hub.
What's the difference between Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace?
AppSource includes business and industry solutions, such as apps that integrate into Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform services.
Azure Marketplace includes IT and developer solutions that are built on Azure or used within Azure subscriptions themselves.
To learn more, go to the buyer's guide.
Why should I make my software or services available in the Microsoft commercial marketplace?
The commercial marketplace is a starting point for go-to-market collaboration and enablement with sales channels and Marketplace Rewards. The websites and in-product experiences give your products visibility to millions of customers who are seeking solutions like yours. You don't even need to build or buy the commerce capabilities.
The commercial marketplace is available in 141 regions, on a per-plan basis.
We manage tax payment in many countries/regions, and we provide access to our global channel network of resellers. You can use a customer's Microsoft Customer Agreement or Enterprise Agreement to sell to organizations without having to create a new buying relationship.
To learn more, see the Microsoft commercial marketplace hub.
Is there a listing fee for the Microsoft commercial marketplace?
No, there's no cost to publish offers in our commercial marketplace. We keep a small percentage of the sale, as a transaction fee, and invest it in the Marketplace Rewards program, platform innovation, and commercial marketplace operations. This transaction fee is reduced for Azure IP Co-sell incentivized offers and for paid SaaS offers on AppSource that are associated with one Microsoft Teams app or at least two Microsoft 365 add-ins (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, and SharePoint).
How do I sign up to be a publisher in the Microsoft commercial marketplace?
To create offers in the commercial marketplace, your organization needs to be a Microsoft partner by agreeing to the Microsoft Partner Agreement and accepting the Publisher agreement.
To sign up to be a commercial marketplace publisher, go to Partner Center.
How can customers engage with my offers in the commercial marketplace?
The ways that customers can use your commercial marketplace offer depend on how you create the offers.
- For solutions that you provide automatically, whether they're paid, bring-your-own-license (BYOL), or free, customers are urged to Get It Now.
- Offers that support a test drive (demo) request the customer to Test Drive.
- Software as a service (SaaS) offers that provide a trial outside the commercial marketplace say Free Trial.
- Simple listings allow the customer to request Contact Me.
How do I create offers for the commercial marketplace?
After you sign up and accept the Publisher Agreement, you'll have access to the commercial marketplace page in Partner Center. This is where you create and manage offers and where you view analytics reports. For Microsoft 365 apps, you must also activate the Office Store program within Partner Center.
For more information, see Welcome to the commercial marketplace and Monetize your Microsoft 365 add-in through Microsoft Commercial Marketplace.
How can my own employees use our offers from the marketplace without being charged?
To prevent Microsoft from charging your employees and assessing the store service fee on the sale of your offer, you must first create a private plan for the offer with a $0 price and send this offer to the internal users who want to purchase it.
You can also use our Private Marketplace functionality to ensure internal users are only purchasing specific offers that are approved by your administrator.
How do I get support assistance for the commercial marketplace?
To contact our marketplace publisher support team, you can submit a support ticket from within Partner Center.
You can also join our active community forum to learn about best practices and share information.
What analytics are available to my organization from the commercial marketplace?
We provide reporting on your offers within the commercial marketplace. To access data on customers, orders, store engagement, and more, go to Analytics for the commercial marketplace in Partner Center.
What is Microsoft's relationship with my customers?
You can create changes that apply to all customers, or you can make the changes specific to certain customers. You can also fully customize your terms and conditions, which can be entered into a text box in Partner Center.
To learn more, see Standard Contract for the Microsoft commercial marketplace.
Is Azure Marketplace available in Azure Government?
Yes, the Azure Government Marketplace is available within Azure Government regions and supports Azure virtual machine and Azure application offers. There's a check box option to make the offers available in the Azure Government Marketplace during the standard publishing process.
What permissions do I need in Partner Center to manage my offers?
There are four relevant roles that govern Partner Center access.
- Manager: Provides permissions to manage Partner Center users in the directory, and create and update offers.
- Developer: Allows a user to create and update offers.
- Financial Contributor: Provides permissions to view payout reporting.
- Owner: Can set up the payout account and tax profile. The user who accepted the Publisher Agreement becomes the Owner by default.
Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Global Admin permissions are necessary to create new user accounts or invite guest accounts in the underlying directory. Partner Center applies Azure AD to the identity model, and an organization's Azure AD instance is often managed and controlled by its IT or security teams.
To learn more, see Assign users roles and permissions.
Do customers need a subscription for Microsoft Azure Cloud Services?
Depending on your product's delivery model, a subscription to Azure Cloud Services may be needed. Solutions that are used directly in an Azure subscription, Microsoft 365 applications, or Dynamics 365 applications will require customers to have an existing subscription. Offers that are purchased in Azure Marketplace require an Azure subscription, because the subscription is used as the billing mechanism.
Who's responsible for supporting customers?
Commercial marketplace publishers are responsible for supporting their software, and Microsoft is responsible for supporting the purchase, billing, payments, and subscription management experiences.
When the offer removal is initiated by the publisher, the publisher owns communication of the removal to the customer.
What's the process of validating the end-to-end purchase and setup flow?
During the publishing process, you're given access to a preview of your offer. Access is restricted to users that you specify in the Preview tab, and the offer can't be viewed by anyone else. You can purchase a preview and test the process, but you'll be charged the full amount according to your offer's setup.
To complete a purchase at a low price, we suggest publishing a private plan that's viewable by you alone and at a price you can accept as the cost of testing. A price of $0.00 is supported but won't reflect the full experience, as a paid subscription would, so we recommend setting the price at $1.00.
What are leads from the commercial marketplace and what should I do with them?
As customers use your offers on the Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace online stores, information is captured. After customers have demonstrated enough interest, a lead is created and an opportunity is sent to the system of your choice. Publishers who are successful with the commercial marketplace often pursue leads, develop relationships, and turn interest into deals.
For more information, see Customer leads from your marketplace offer.
Why aren't my changes reflected in the offer on Microsoft AppSource or Azure Marketplace?
Changes made within Partner Center are updated in the system and commercial marketplaces only after you've republished the offer. Make sure that you've submitted the offer for publication after any changes.
Where can customers find my commercial marketplace offers?
Offers are presented to customers through in-product experiences, websites, resellers, and Microsoft sales teams based on how you've configured them and the context of the customers' actions. If your software is used directly with Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, or the Power Platform service, customers can find it within the product. Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace are split by offer types and audiences, and resellers can access your offer only if you've opted in to the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.
Can my offer appear in both Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace?
Microsoft AppSource is the destination for business and industry solutions, and Azure Marketplace is designed for IT and developer solutions. Offers are available in each of the online stores based on categories and industries that you selected during the offer creation. In the rare case that the offer is relevant to the users of both online stores, it can appear in both.
What is the Cloud Solution Provider program?
Our global network of resellers includes tens of thousands of organizations who take part in the Cloud Solution Provider program. The CSP program enables organizations to resell our products and offers from the commercial marketplace, and it gives them the tools to do it successfully.
For more information, see Cloud Solution Providers.
How can I find resellers to establish partnerships?
By using the solution provider directory, you can search for our partners by location, products, services, skills, industries, or organization name.
Can I limit the resellers who are allowed to sell my offer?
Yes, you can make offers available to all resellers in the Cloud Solution Provider program or only to those whom you specify.
For more information, see Cloud Solution Providers.
How can I pay margin to resellers?
The commercial marketplace doesn't have the ability to specify margin for resellers or pay it to them directly and automatically. However, you can create agreements, sales contests, or margins outside the commercial marketplace systems.
How does geographic availability work with resellers?
The availability of your offers and plans is defined by customers' billing locations. Resellers first select the customers they're selling to and then select your offer. If a customer is in an unsupported location, your offer won't be available to them.
What's the difference between transaction and monetization?
- Transaction is the exchange of money for goods. An offer is considered transactable in the commercial marketplace if it has a price and is paid for by the customer through our billing and collections.
- Monetization is the ability to charge money for your intellectual property, which can happen within or outside our commerce platform. For example, your bring-your-own-license (BYOL) Teams app can be monetized with a transactable SaaS licensing service.
What offer types are transacted through Microsoft?
Get It Now offers can be handled through Microsoft for some delivery models. This is currently supported with the following delivery models:
- VM images
- Azure apps (managed applications)
- SaaS apps
What billing models are supported in the commercial marketplace?
- VM images are billed based on hourly usage, and the price is set per hour.
- Managed applications are billed based on an optional monthly flat fee, plus metered billing and any usage costs for VM images that are used by the app.
- SaaS applications are billed based on a flat rate, per user, or by custom metering on a monthly or annual basis.
Can I monetize offer types that are not transactable?
Although not all offer types are transactable, you can still reach millions of customers and monetize your intellectual property. By adding a license check within your solution, you can collect payment for licenses. Selling licenses can be done through Microsoft or separately.
Can I offer a software trial through the commercial marketplace?
Yes, and there are multiple ways to offer free trials:
- The preferred method is to add a free period at the beginning of paid SaaS offers (one month) and VM image offers (one or three months). The customer will receive a $0.00 charge, and after the trial period ends, the subscription automatically changes to paid. The contract term then starts at that point.
- You can create a SaaS offer listing that takes the customer to a web address of your choice to start a trial outside of the commercial marketplace. Some offer types support a Test Drive that lets you provide the customer with a demo.
Who pays for the underlying Azure consumption?
If the solution is used directly in a customer's Azure subscription, the customer is responsible for paying the Azure costs. If the solution is used in your Azure subscription, such as in the case of SaaS applications, you're responsible for the Azure costs. You should account for that in the cost of the customer's SaaS subscription.
Can I sell professional services through the commercial marketplace?
Software that's built on or built for our cloud services can be transacted through the commercial marketplace. Professional services are not yet transactable.
What's required to purchase solutions from Microsoft AppSource or Azure Marketplace?
Azure Marketplace requires customers to have an Azure Active Directory ID and an active Azure subscription. If neither or only one requirement is in place, the customer is asked to create them in the purchase flow.
Microsoft AppSource requires customers to have an Azure Active Directory ID. If the ID doesn't exist, the customer is asked to create it in the purchase flow.
What payment methods are supported with the commercial marketplace?
Microsoft AppSource supports credit card payments. Azure Marketplace supports credit card payments or invoicing. Offers purchased through Azure Marketplace are automatically added to customers' Azure bill and are charged according to the payment method associated with their subscription.
Can customers apply Azure credits or sponsorship toward purchases?
No, prepaid or sponsored Azure spend can't be used to buy partner solutions from Azure Marketplace.
What Azure subscription permissions are required to complete a purchase?
The user account must have Owner or Contributor permissions on the Azure subscription.
In what countries/regions can customers purchase from Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace?
Customers can get solutions from the commercial marketplace in 141 locations around the world.
To review the list of locations, go to Tax details for commercial marketplace publishers.
What currencies are supported with the commercial marketplace?
Transactions can be handled in the following 17 currencies:
To review the list of currencies, go to Geographic availability and currency support for commercial marketplace.
Can customers change subscriptions or license volumes mid-term?
Customers can increase or decrease user counts for per-user SaaS subscriptions at any time. The license subscription terms will remain the same regardless of any volume or plan upgrades. Plan changes are also supported for existing subscriptions via the application programming interfaces (APIs). Publishers can use API calls to change the customer's subscription plan. We encourage independent software vendors (ISVs) to consider a customer's user experience within the SaaS solution for upgrade and downgrade situations.
If the plan is changed for an existing subscription, the term remains unchanged, and the cost is prorated according to the duration of the remaining term.
What could block a customer from completing a purchase?
For Microsoft AppSource, the customer must have a credit card with a billing address in the same country/region as their Azure AD instance, and the customer's Azure AD admin must ensure that the system doesn't prevent authentication to Microsoft AppSource.
For Azure Marketplace, the customer must have an active Azure subscription and a user account with Owner or Contributor permissions on that subscription. The customer's Azure administrator must ensure that the Azure Policy doesn't conflict with the offer being used, and that cost management can't be set up to disable Azure Marketplace.
Collection and payouts
When are customers billed for their purchases in the commercial marketplace?
Customers are usually billed monthly for any purchases in the previous billing cycle. Consumption-based offers with metered billing plans, such as VM images, SaaS applications, and managed applications, are charged after they've been used. Subscription-based plans are charged at the beginning of the term.
How often will I receive payouts for sales through the commercial marketplace?
Payouts happen monthly. For details on payment schedules, finding your upcoming payouts in Partner Center, and how we deal with customer non-payments, see Payout policy details.
- For transactions where the customer used an Enterprise Agreement, payouts are issued in the next payout cycle 30-days post customer invoice.
- For transactions where the customer used a credit card, there is an additional 30-day escrow period after we receive payment to ensure funds clear and there are no chargebacks or suspected fraud.
Payouts are issued only when sales have reached a minimum combined value of $50.00.
For more information, see Payment thresholds, methods, and time frames.
In what countries/regions are taxes managed on my behalf?
Customers can find solutions from the commercial marketplace around the world, and we manage taxes in many locations.
To review the full list of locations, go to Tax details for commercial marketplace publishers.
Where can I find payout reporting for the commercial marketplace?
Within Partner Center, a user with Owner or Financial Contributor permissions can view payout reporting. These users can access reports at the upper right by selecting the icon showing a hand holding a bill.
For more information, see Payout statements.
How do I configure my payout method and destination?
With Partner Center, users with Owner permissions can set up the payout account and tax forms. Users can do this by selecting the Settings button (gear icon) at the upper right.
For more information, see Set up your payout account and tax forms.
Are returns and refunds supported with the commercial marketplace?
Refunds are available to customers under certain conditions and for certain charges. Requests for refunds of recurring charges billed monthly must be received within 24 hours of purchase. Similarly, requests for refunds of recurring charges billed annually must be received within 14 days of purchase.
Refunds are not issued for variable charges resulting from usage (from either virtual machine offers or metered billing).
Where can I find more information about the commercial marketplace?
Here are some resources to get you started:
How can I engage with Microsoft and other partners?
We recommend these resources:
- To join the Microsoft Partner Community, see Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace.
- Learn about and join the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace Insiders Program.
Where can I learn more about Partner Center?
Where can I learn more about the Microsoft Admin Center?
For information about the Microsoft Admin Center, see Manage third-party app subscriptions for your organization.
Where can I learn more about Azure billing?
- Azure Cost Management + Billing documentation
- Understand Azure Marketplace charges on your Azure bill
- Convert Azure subscription to invoice payment