Distribute LOB apps to enterprises

You can publish line-of-business (LOB) apps directly to enterprises for volume acquisition via Microsoft Store for Business or Microsoft Store for Education, without making the apps broadly available in the Store.

Note

At this time, only free apps can be distributed exclusively to enterprises via Microsoft Store for Business or Microsoft Store for Education. If you submit a paid app as LOB, it will not be available to the enterprise. 

Important

You cannot use the Microsoft Store submission API to publish LOB apps directly to enterprises. All submissions for LOB apps must be made by using the Windows Dev Center dashboard.

Set up the enterprise association

The first step in publishing LOB apps exclusively to an enterprise is to establish the association between your account and the enterprise’s private store.

Important

This association process must be initiated by the enterprise, and must use the email address associated with the Microsoft account that was used to create the developer account. For more info, see Working with line-of-business apps.

When an enterprise chooses to invite you to publish apps for their exclusive use, you’ll get an email that includes a link to confirm the association. You can also confirm these associations by going to the Enterprise associations section of your Account settings (as long as you are signed in with the Microsoft account that was used to open the developer account).

To confirm the association, click Accept. Your account will then be able to publish apps for that enterprise’s exclusive use.

Submit LOB apps

Once you’re ready to publish an app for an enterprise’s exclusive use, the process is similar to the app submission process. The app goes through the same certification process, and must comply with all Microsoft Store Policies. There are just a few parts of the process that are different.

Visibility

After you've set up an enterprise association, every time you submit an app you’ll see a drop-down box in the Visibility section of the submission’s Pricing and availability page. By default, this is set to Retail distribution. To make the app exclusive to an enterprise, you’ll need to choose Line-of-business (LOB) distribution.

Once Line-of-business (LOB) distribution is selected, the usual Visibility options will be replaced with a list of the enterprises to which you can publish exclusive apps. No one outside of the enterprise(s) you select will be able to view or download the app.

You must select at least one enterprise in order to publish an app as line-of-business.

Organizational licensing

By default, the box for Store-managed (online) volume licensing is checked when you submit an app. When publishing LOB apps, this box must remain checked so that the enterprise can acquire your app in volume. This will not make the app available to anyone outside of the enterprise(s) that you selected in the Distribution and visibility section.

If you’d like to make the app available to the enterprise via disconnected (offline) licensing, you can check the Disconnected (offline) licensing box as well.

For more info, see Organizational licensing options.

Age ratings

For LOB apps, the age ratings step of the submission process works the same as for retail apps, but you also have an additional option that allows you to indicate the Store age rating of your app manually rather than completing the questionnaire or importing an existing IARC rating ID. This manual rating can only be used with LOB distribution, so if you ever change the Visibility setting of the app to Retail distribution, you'll need to take the age ratings questionnaire before you can publish the submission.

Enterprise deployment of LOB apps

After you click Submit to the Store, the app will go through the certification process. Once it’s ready, an admin for the enterprise must add it to their private store in the Microsoft Store for Business or Microsoft Store for Education portal. The enterprise can then deploy the app to its users.

Note

In order to get your LOB app, the organization must be located in a supported market, and you must not have excluded that market when submitting your app.

For more info, see Working with line-of-business apps and Distribute apps using your private store.

Update LOB apps

To publish updates to an app that you’ve already published as LOB, simply create a new submission. You can upload new packages or make any other changes, then click Submit to the Store to make the updated version available. Be sure to keep the enterprise selections in Visibility the same, unless you intentionally want to make changes such as selecting an additional enterprise to acquire the app, or removing one of the enterprises to which you’d previously distributed it.

If you want to stop offering an app that you’ve previously published as line-of-business, and prevent any new acquisitions, you’ll need to create a new submission. First, you’ll need to change your Visibility selection from Line-of-business (LOB) distribution to Retail distribution. Then, in the Discoverability section, choose Make this product available but not discoverable in the Store with the Stop acquisition option.

After the submission goes through the certification process, the app will no longer be available for new acquisitions (although anyone who already has it will continue to be able to use it).

Note

When changing an app to Retail distribution, you'll need to complete the age ratings questionnaire if you haven't done so already, even if the app will not be available for new acquisitions.

Distribute LOB apps through sideloading

Making apps available to an enterprise through Microsoft Store for Business or Microsoft Store for Education ensures that the app has been signed by the Store and complies with the standard Store Policies.

In some cases, companies may not want their LOB apps to be submitted through the Windows Dev Center (such as for compliance reasons or for apps that need additional capabilities). In this case, the enterprise can deploy apps directly to machines via sideloading, without using Microsoft Store for Business or Microsoft Store for Education.

For more info, see Sideload LOB apps in Windows 10.