How to review and publish an offer to the commercial marketplace

This article shows you how to use Partner Center to submit your offer for publishing, preview your offer, and then publish it to the commercial marketplace. We also cover how to check your publishing status as it proceeds through the publishing steps. You must have already created an offer that you want to publish.

Offer status

You can review your offer status on the Overview tab of the commercial marketplace dashboard in Partner Center. One of the following status indicators is displayed in the Status column for each offer.

Status Description
Draft Offer has been created but it isn't being published.
Publish in progress Offer is working its way through the publishing process.
Attention needed We discovered a critical issue during certification or during another publishing phase.
Preview We certified the offer, which now awaits a final verification by the publisher. Select Go live to publish the offer live.
Live Offer is live in the marketplace and can be seen and acquired by customers.
Pending stop sell Publisher selected "stop sell" on an offer or plan, but the action has not yet been completed.
Not available in the marketplace A previously published offer in the marketplace has been removed.

Validation and publishing steps

When you are ready to submit an offer for publishing, select Review and publish at the upper-right corner of the portal. The Review and publish page shows the status of each page for your offer, which can be one of the following:

  • Not started – The page is incomplete.
  • Incomplete – The page is missing required information or has errors that need to be fixed. You'll need to go back to the page and update it.
  • Complete – The page is complete. All required data has been provided and there are no errors.

If any of the pages have a status other than Complete, you need to correct the issue on that page and then return to the Review and publish page to confirm the status now shows as Complete. Some offer types require testing. If so, you will see a Notes for certification field where you need to provide testing instructions to the certification team and any supplementary notes helpful for understanding your app.

After all pages are complete and you have entered applicable testing notes, select Publish to begin the validation and publishing processes. The phases and overall sequence can vary depending on the type of offer you are publishing. The following table shows one possible publishing flow. Each phase is explained in more detail in the following sections.

Phase What happens
Automated validation We process a set of automated validations.
Certification We conduct manual validations.
Preview creation The listing page for your offer preview is available to anyone who has the preview link. If your offer will be sold through Microsoft (transactable), only the audience you specified on the Preview audience page of your offer can purchase and access the offer for testing.
Publisher sign-off We send you an email with a request for you to preview and approve your offer.
Publish We run a series of steps to verify that the preview offer is published live to the commercial marketplace.

Automated validation phase

The first step in the publishing process is a set of automated validations. Each validation step corresponds to a feature you chose when you created the offer. Each validation check must be complete before the offer can advance to the next step in the publishing process.

  • Offer purchase flow setup (<10 min)

    We ensure your offer can be fulfilled when purchased by customers through the Azure portal. This step is only applicable for offers being sold through Microsoft.

  • Test drive data validation (~5 min)

    We validate the data you provided on the Technical configuration page of the offer. We test and approve test drive functionality. This step is only applicable for offers with a test drive enabled.

  • Test drive provisioning (~30 min)

    After validating the data and functionality of your test drive in the previous step, we deploy and replicate instances of your test drive so they are ready for customer use. This step is only applicable for offers with a test drive enabled.

  • Lead management validation and registration (<15 min)

    We confirm that your lead management system can receive customer leads based on the details you provided on the Offer setup page. This step is only applicable for offers with lead management enabled.

Certification phase

Offers submitted to the commercial marketplace must be certified before being published. Offers undergo rigorous testing, some automated and others manual. To learn more, see commercial marketplace certification policies.

Types of validation that take place during certification

There are three levels of validation included in the certification process for each submitted offer.

  • Publisher business eligibility
  • Content validation
  • Technical validation

Publisher business eligibility

Each offer type checks a set of required base eligibility criteria. This criteria may include publisher MPN status, competencies held, competency levels, and so on.

Content validation

The information entered when you created your offer is checked for quality and relevance. These checks will review your entries for the marketplace listing details, pricing, availability, associated plans, and so on. To meet the listing criteria of Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace, we will validate that your offer includes:

  • A title that accurately describes the offer
  • Well-written descriptions that provide a thorough overview and value proposition
  • Quality screenshots and videos
  • An explanation of how the offer utilizes Microsoft platforms and tools.

Learn more regarding the content validation criteria by reading the general listing policies.

Technical validation

During technical validation, the offer (package or binary) undergoes the following checks.

  • Scanned for malware
  • Network calls monitored
  • Package analyzed
  • Thorough scanning of the offer's functionality

The offer is tested across various platforms and versions to ensure it’s robust.

Certification failure report

If your offer fails any of the listing, technical, or policy checks, or if you are not eligible to submit an offer of that type, we email a certification failure report to you.

This report contains descriptions of any policies that failed, along with review notes. Review this email report, address any issues, make updates to your offer where needed, and resubmit the offer using the commercial marketplace portal in Partner Center. You can resubmit the offer as many times as needed until passing certification.

Preview creation phase

During the preview creation phase, we create a version of your offer that will be accessible to only the audience you specified on the Preview audience page of your offer, if any. The preview version of your offer won’t be available to anyone outside the preview audience until you publish the offer live.

Note

Do not use the preview audience to give people outside your organization visibility into an offer. Use the Private Offer option instead. At this point, your offering has not been fully tested and validated, and is not ready for outside distribution.

Publisher sign-off phase

When the offer is ready for you to review and be signed off, we’ll send you an email to request that you review and approve your offer preview. You can also refresh the Offer overview page in your browser to see if your offer has reached the Publisher sign-off phase. If it has, the Go live button and preview links will be available.

The following screenshot shows the Offer overview page for a SaaS offer. The validation steps you’ll see on this page vary depending on the offer type and the selections you made when you created the offer.

Illustrates the Offer overview page for an offer in Partner Center. The Go live button and preview links are shown.

Previewing and approving your offer

Important

To validate the end-to-end purchase and setup flow, purchase your offer while it is in Preview. First notify Microsoft with a support ticket to ensure we don't process a charge.

On the Offer overview page, you will see preview links under the Go live button. There will be a link for either AppSource preview, Azure Marketplace preview, or both depending on the options you chose when creating your offer. If you chose to sell your offer through Microsoft, anyone who has been added to the preview audience can test the acquisition and deployment of your offer to ensure it meets your requirements during this stage.

After you approve your preview, select Go live to publish your offer live to the commercial marketplace.

If you want to make changes after previewing the offer, you can edit and resubmit your publication request. If your offer is already live and available to the public in the marketplace, any updates you make won't go live until you select *Go live. For more information, see Update an existing offer in the commercial marketplace

Publish phase

Now that you’ve chosen to go live with your offer, which makes it available in the commercial marketplace, we perform a series of final validation checks to ensure the live offer is configured just like the preview version of the offer.

  • Offer purchase flow setup (>10 min)

    We ensure your offer can be fulfilled when purchased by customers through the Azure portal. This step is only applicable for offers being sold through Microsoft.

  • Test drive data validation (~5 min)

    We validate the data you provided on the Technical configuration page of the offer. We test and approve test drive functionality. This step is only applicable for offers with a test drive enabled.

  • Test drive provisioning (~30 min)

    We deploy and replicate instances of your test drive so they are ready for customer use. This step is only applicable for offers with a test drive enabled.

  • Lead management validation and registration (>15 min)

    We confirm that your lead management system can receive customer leads based on the details provided on your Offer setup page. This step is only applicable for offers with lead management enabled.

  • Final publish (>30 minutes)

    We ensure your offer becomes publicly available in the marketplace.

After these validation checks are complete, your offer will be live in the marketplace.

Next steps

Access analytic reports for the commercial marketplace in Partner Center