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Validation policies for apps and add-ins submitted to the Office Store (version 1.8)

Validation policies for apps and add-ins submitted to the Office Store (version 1.8)

Office and SharePoint Add-ins

This document describes the criteria that are used to validate that Office 365 web apps, Office Add-ins, and SharePoint Add-ins are eligible to be listed in the Office Store.

Last modified: August 11, 2015

Applies to: apps for Office | apps for Office Mix | apps for SharePoint | Office 365 | Office Add-ins | SharePoint Add-ins

Note Note

The names "apps for Office" and "apps for SharePoint" are changing to "Office Add-ins" and "SharePoint Add-ins". During the transition, the documentation and the UI of some Office and SharePoint products and Visual Studio tools might still use the terms "apps for Office" and "apps for SharePoint". For details, see New name for apps for Office and SharePoint.

In this article
1. Apps and add-ins provide value to the Office Store customer
2. Office Store apps or add-ins can display certain ads
3. Apps and add-ins can sell additional features or content through purchases within the app or add-in
4. Apps and add-ins behave predictably
5. Apps and add-ins put the customer in control
6. Apps and add-ins are appropriate for a global audience
7. Apps and add-ins are easily identified and understood
8. App or add-in updates must not decrease the app or add-in’s functionality
9. Refunds
10. Apps and add-ins utilize supported capabilities
11. Add-ins provide a seamless and fluid experience for Office Store customers
12. Office Mix Add-ins
Conclusion
Additional resources

1.1

Your app or add-in must offer unique value or utility within the app or add-in experience that extends Office or SharePoint functionality for Office Store customers.

1.2

Your app or add-in must work according to your description, and must not be in an unfinished state.

1.3

Your app or add-in’s trial functionality must reasonably resemble its paid version.

2.1

Apps or add-ins can contain ads. The primary purpose of the app or add-in must be more than the display of the advertisement.

2.2

Ads in your app or add-in must comply with our content policies, described in policy 6.

2.3

Ads should not interfere with app or add-in functionality and should match our ad design guidelines.

2.4

The elements of your app or add-in's description, such as screenshots, text, and promotional images, must describe your app or add-in and not contain additional advertising.

3.1

Currently, Microsoft does not provide native application programming interfaces (APIs) to support purchases in apps and add-ins. You may use any third-party payment system for those purchases.

3.2

Where an app or add-in requires additional features to operate as advertised, to which an extra charge applies, you must clearly notify users in your description that those payments are required to access those features.

Notification is also necessary if your app or add-in offers additional features or content for sale, either through purchases within the app or add-in or other means.

3.3

If your app or add-in collects credit card information or uses a third-party payment processor that collects credit card information, the payment processing must meet the current PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

3.4

Apps or add-ins running on iOS must not offer any additional features or content for sale.

4.1

Your app or add-in must not stop responding, end unexpectedly, or contain programming errors.

4.2

Your updated app or add-in must not decrease the app or add-in’s functionality in a way that would be unexpected to a reasonable customer.

4.3

Your app or add-in description, imagery, documentation and any other associated metadata must be consistent with the functionality of the app or add-in.

4.4

You must provide instructions and links to resources in the submission form’s testing notes that will be needed for Microsoft validation of your app or add-in. If, for example, your app or add-in requires a login/password, you must give Microsoft a pre-existing working login for testing purposes.

4.5

Your app or add-in must not make unexpected changes to a customer’s document.

4.6

Your app or add-in must not jeopardize or compromise the security or functionality of Microsoft products.

4.7

The app or add-in must be free of viruses, malware, and any malicious software.

4.8

Your app or add-in must not launch functionality outside of the app or add-in experience without the explicit permission of the user.

4.9

No action should take more than three seconds to respond without some type of loading UX or warning.

4.10

Your app or add-in should not consume an unreasonable amount of memory that negatively impacts the performance of an average customer’s environment.

4.11

Your app or add-in UI should not look unfinished.

4.12

Your app or add-in must be fully functional with the supported operating systems, browsers, and devices for Office 2013, SharePoint 2013, and Office 365.

  • Your app or add-in's described features must work on a touch-only device without a physical keyboard or mouse.

4.12.1 Office Add-ins

  • If your Office Add-in is not compatible with Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 10, you must clearly state this in your add-in description and provide an error message in your add-in.

  • Add-ins must be compatible with all versions of Internet Explorer 11 and later, and the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari (Mac OS).

    • Add-ins for Excel must support Excel Online.

    • Add-ins for Word using manifest schema v1.1, Office.js v1.1, and APIs supported by Word Online must support Word Online.

    • Add-ins for Outlook must support Outlook Web App.

    • Add-ins for PowerPoint must support PowerPoint Online.

  • Add-ins that support iOS must be fully functional on the latest iPad device using the latest iOS operating system.

4.12.2 SharePoint Add-ins

  • SharePoint Add-ins must be fully functional with Windows 7, Windows 8, all versions of Internet Explorer 11 and later, and the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox.

  • If your SharePoint Add-in is not compatible with Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 10, you must specify this in your add-in description and provide an error message in your add-in.

4.12.3 web apps using Azure AD

  • Your app must correctly use OAuth and OpenID Connect protocols.

    For more information, see Have your add-in appear in the Office 365 add-in launcher.

  • A user cannot be blocked from authenticating and consenting to an app. If you want to do a user authorization check, you must do so after authentication and consent.

  • Apps must be fully functional with Windows 7, Windows 8, all versions of Internet Explorer 11 and later, and the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox.

  • If your app is not compatible withInternet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 10, you must specify this in your app description and provide an error message in your app.

4.13

Your SharePoint Add-in must not have remote debugging settings enabled.

4.14

The manifest for your SharePoint Add-in must not include the DebugInfo element.

4.15

Your SharePoint Add-in must not have any unauthenticated pages or APIs, with the exception of the error page.

4.16

The (unauthenticated) error page should not have links to other pages or other protected resources of the add-in.

4.17

Deleted.

4.18

Your add-in may not alter, or promote the alteration of, SharePoint or Office except via the Office and SharePoint Add-ins model.

4.19

Your app experience must not prompt a user to disclose the credentials of a Microsoft identity (for example, Office 365 or Microsoft Azure Organizational Account, Microsoft Account, or Windows Domain Account) except through Microsoft approved OAuth flow, where your app is authorized to act on behalf of the user.

For more information, see the following:

4.20

If your app or add-in depends on additional services or accounts, this dependency must be clearly called out in the description you submit in the Seller Dashboard.

4.21

Your app or add-in must not install or launch other executable code on the user's environment.

5.1

You must submit a privacy link. The linked privacy documentation must be clearly titled as such. The content of the privacy statement must be under the direct control of the app or add-in provider.

If your app or add-in does not collect or transmit user information, you must link to a statement that states this fact.

For information about common mistakes to avoid, see How can I avoid errors when submitting my app or add-in to the Office Store? in Office Store app and add-in submission FAQ.

5.2

Your app or add-in must obtain consent to publish personal information.

5.3

Your app or add-in must not obtain or store customer information or content without notifying the user.

5.4

Your app or add-in must not pass or transmit customer data without notifying the user.

5.5

Your app or add-in must protect customers from unintentional large data transfers over metered networks.

5.6

Your app or add-in must not implement geo-blocking of customers without explicitly stating this in the description.

5.7

Apps and add-ins must be secured with a valid and trusted SSL certificate (HTTPS).

For more information, see Why do my apps and add-ins have to be SSL-secured? in Office Store app and add-in submission FAQ.

5.8

Apps and add-ins may not open pop-up windows unless they are triggered by explicit user interaction.

5.9

Your app or add-in cannot request full-control permission.

SharePoint Add-ins that request full-control permissions are not accepted in the Office Store.

5.10

You must specify an icon for your app or add-in in your add-in package or manifest, and that the icon must be correctly sized and formatted.

For more information, see How can I avoid errors when submitting my app or add-in to the Office Store? in Office Store app and add-in submission FAQ

5.11

Content add-ins for PowerPoint which use restricted permissions are required to clearly display links to their Privacy Policy and Terms of Use information on the first screen of the add-in. If your add-in does not collect or transmit user information, you must link to a statement that states this fact.

5.12

Content add-ins for PowerPoint may not activate their content (e.g. play audio or video) until after Office.initialize event (JavaScript API for Office) has been called. This ensures that content display will synchronize with presentations correctly.

6.1

Your app or add-in must not contain adult content.

6.2

Your app or add-in must not contain content that advocates discrimination, hatred, or violence based on membership in a particular racial, ethnic, national, linguistic, religious, or other social group, or based on a person’s gender, age, or sexual orientation.

6.3

Your app or add-in must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes illegal activity.

6.4

Your app or add-in must not contain or display content that a reasonable person would consider to be obscene.

6.5

Your app or add-in must not contain content that is defamatory, libelous or slanderous, or threatening.

6.6

Your app or add-in must not contain content that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs or weapons.

6.7

Your app or add-in must not contain content that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes extreme or gratuitous violence, human rights violations, or the creation or use of weapons against a person or animal.

6.8

Your app or add-in must not contain excessive or gratuitous profanity.

6.9

It is your responsibility to determine if you have the right to use the chosen name, content, logos, copyright, trademarks, code, online services and APIs.

6.10

Your app or add-in must not encourage or enable piracy of copyrighted content.

6.11

You must provide details on the submission form if your app or add-in calls, supports, contains, or uses cryptography.

6.12

Your app or add-in must not be designed or marketed to perform, instruct, or encourage tasks that could cause physical harm to a customer or any other person.

6.13

If your app or add-in is a game distributed in markets which require a game rating, you must make the rating available in your description.

Supported ratings boards include:

  • CERO

  • CRB

  • DJCTZ

  • ESRB

  • FPB

  • GRB

  • OFLC - New Zealand

  • PEGI

  • USK

7.1

The metadata that you submit with your app or add-in must be accurate.

For information on common mistakes to avoid, see How can I avoid errors when submitting my app or add-in to the Office Store? in Office Store app and add-in submission FAQ.

7.2

Your app or add-in must have a unique name.

7.3

Your app or add-in’s description must be reflective of its functionality. If you make alterations such that the functionality is discrepant from the add-in description, you must resubmit your app or add-in.

7.4

Apps or add-ins listed in multiple languages must be easily identified and understood.

The Office Store supports merchandising of aps and add-ins in the following languages:

  • Arabic

  • Bulgarian

  • Chinese (Simplified)

  • Chinese (Traditional)

  • Croatian

  • Czech

  • Danish

  • Dutch

  • English

  • Estonian

  • Finnish

  • French

  • German

  • Greek

  • Hebrew

  • Hindi

  • Hungarian

  • Indonesian

  • Italian

  • Japanese

  • Kazakh

  • Korean

  • Latvian

  • Lithuanian

  • Malay (Latin)

  • Norwegian (Bokmål)

  • Polish

  • Portuguese (Brazil)

  • Portuguese (Portugal)

  • Romanian

  • Russian

  • Serbian (Latin)

  • Slovak

  • Slovenian

  • Spanish

  • Swedish

  • Thai

  • Turkish

  • Ukrainian

  • Vietnamese

Note Note

English apps and add-ins are distributed to all Store-supported markets by default. Providers can block English apps and add-ins from distribution via Seller Dashboard.

7.4.1

You must localize your app or add-in metadata (descriptions, screenshots, title) to be easily understood for each submitted languages.

7.4.2

The primary language selected when you submit your add-in must be one of the supported languages within your add-in's functionality as declared in your add-in's manifest.

This policy does not apply to dictionary add-in submissions.

7.4.3

You must specify language support for your add-in in your add-in's manifest.

7.4.4

Deleted.

For more information, see How do I declare language support for my add-in? in Office Store app and add-in submission FAQ.

7.5

Your app or add-in must not falsely declare language support.

7.6

The capabilities you declare must relate to the core functions and description of your app or add-in.

7.7

You must provide at least one screenshot of your app or add-in.

7.8

Your add-in’s packages must be correctly formatted and conform to the current manifest schema. For Office Add-ins, this is manifest schema version 1.1.

For detailed manifest schema information, see Schema reference for Office Add-ins manifests (v1.1) and Schema reference for manifests of apps for SharePoint. Also see What are some common errors to avoid when submitting my add-in to the Office Store? in Office Store app and add-in submission FAQ.

7.9

The categories you assign your app or add-in must correspond to the character or purpose of the app or add-in.

Note Note

Non-productivity apps or add-ins must be categorized in the Lifestyle category and only in that category.

7.10

Your app or add-in must not be a duplicate of an app or add-in you’ve already submitted.

7.11

Your app or add-in must include the app or add-in name, version information, and technical support contact information that is easily discoverable.

7.12

The experience provided by an app or add-in must be reasonably similar in each language as declared in your add-in's manifest.

For more information, see How do I declare language support for my add-in? in Office Store app and add-in submission FAQ.

7.13

Your add-in name may not include "app" or "plug-in" or derivatives.

7.14

All Office Add-ins must use the Microsoft-hosted Office.js file.

For more information, see How do I reference the JavaScript APIs for Office in my add-ins? in Office Store app and add-in submission FAQ.

7.15

You must specify a valid Support URL in the SupportURL element of your Office Add-in manifest.

7.16

If you wish to submit multiple variations of an app or add-in (for example, where different functionalities are unlocked at different price points), you must submit these separately, with separate product IDs.

7.16.1

Each app or add-in must have a unique name (e.g. Test Add-in, Test Add-in: Premium).

7.16.2

The binary may remain the same across the multiple app or add-in listings.

7.16.3

We recommend, as best practice, that you notify users that multiple app or add-in listings exist in the description for each. This ensures users are aware that different cost/functionality tiers are available.

7.17

You may submit an education app or add-in to the Office Store. Education app or add-in have the following additional requirements:

  • An education app or add-in is used in a class or study context, by teachers and/or students.

  • An education app or add-in is submitted under the "Education" category.

  • An education app or add-in must provide in the testing notes at least one and up to three applicable subjects and a minimum of one applicable age range from the following list:

    Subjects:

    • Math

    • Literacy (English Language Arts)

    • Science

    • Social Studies

    • Health and Fitness

    • Engineering and Technology

    • Business, Finance, and Economics

    • Computer Science

    • Languages

    • Art and Music

    • Teaching Tools and Resources

    Age ranges:

    • Preschool and Kindergarten

    • Elementary School (1st-5th Grade)

    • Middle School (6-8th Grade)

    • High School (9-12th Grade)

    • Higher Education

8.1

If you update your app or add-in’s pricing/licensing terms, you must continue to offer the original functionality to the existing customer base at the original pricing. New prices and/or licensing terms may only apply to new users.

8.2

If you update your app or add-in’s pricing from free to paid, existing users must receive the same level of functionality as before the update.

8.3

If you update your app or add-in from supporting site licenses for free to not supporting them, existing users must continue to be supported for free.

8.4

Your app or add-in cannot be resubmitted more than ten times per month, up to a total of 30 times per year.

8.5

If you withdraw your app or add-in from sale, you must ensure any external web services and/or web pages that support the app or add-in will continue to function for 90 days. Failure to do so will make you responsible for refund liability towards your customers.

8.6

Apps and add-ins may convert from free to subscription pricing. If you update your app or add-in’s pricing from free to subscription, existing users must receive the same level of functionality as before the update.

Converting from a paid to a subscription app or add-in is not currently supported.

9.1

If your app or add-in is found to violate any of our store policies, it can be removed from the Office Store. If a customer needs to be refunded, the refund will be deducted from any pending payouts to your account.

10.1

Your paid app or add-in must follow the Office Store commerce requirements.

For more information, see Can I submit a paid app or add-in to the Office Store? in Office Store app and add-in submission FAQ.

10.2

If your SharePoint Add-in has autohosting capabilities, it will not be accepted in the Office Store.

For more information, see Update on Autohosted Add-ins Preview program.

10.3

The version number you specify for your add-in on the Seller Dashboard submission form must exactly match the version number in the add-in manifest.

You must specify your add-in version using the following syntax:

a. b. c. d

Where a is an integer between 1-9999, and each of b, c, d are each integers between 0-9999. For example:

  • 1.0.0.0

  • 6.23.0.1

10.4

Add-ins that utilize deprecated functionality will not be allowed in the store.

For more information, see SharePoint 2013: List of obsolete types and members.

10.5

Paid mail add-ins must support a site license.

10.6

Submitting Office Add-ins that are hosted within Access as paid add-ins is not currently supported.

10.7

Deleted.

10.8

For your Office Add-in to be available on iOS, it must be free. It must not include "app" in the App Title or App Short Description. You must also do the following on the Seller Dashboard submission form:

  • Accept Apple’s Terms and Conditions by selecting the appropriate checkbox.

  • Provide a valid Apple ID.

10.9

Office Add-ins must use version 1.1 of the Office.js library and the manifest schema.

11.1

Add-ins can fail validation for issues related to Office Add-in design guidelines and SharePoint Add-in design guidelines and which impede the customer experience within Office and SharePoint.

11.2

Add-ins that depend on external accounts must provide a clear and simple sign in/sign out and signup experience.

12.1

Office Mix Add-ins must be for an educational purpose.

12.2

Office Mix Add-ins must be created using the Office Mix platform.

12.3

Office Mix Add-ins must be free.

12.4

Office Mix Add-ins must start in the Play View when published to Office Mix.

12.5

All restrictions that apply to content add-ins for PowerPoint also apply to Office Mix Add-ins.

As these requirements evolve, we will continue to update our documentation. Stable requirements are critical to your doing your best work, so we aim to ensure the changes we do make are sustainable and continue to protect and enhance your add-ins.

Thank you again for joining us in this commitment to delivering fantastic experiences.

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