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Flaw in app manifest revision submission process RRS feed

  • Question

  • There is some flaw in the process of updating Office add-in manifest.  Today, to update manifest, a developer submit a revision on https://sellerdashboard.microsoft.com/.  It takes a few days before an approval decision comes back.  If approved, the new version of the manifest is published, otherwise the old manifest remains there and you get a testing report with suggested changes.

    Suppose an add-in uses DialogAPI to do 3rd party service auth sign-in.  It worked for quite a while until it started to have issues with communicating tokens from the dialog back to the add-in parent. The fix is to navigate to 3rd party sign-in page directly inside the add-in without opening any dialog.  This requires both server change and manifest changes (i.e., add <AppDomains>) at the same time.  If we deploy server change first and wait for manifest change to be approved, all the sign-in will fail because it is navigating to an untrusted AppDomain.  If we submit manifest change first, it will be rejected due to issues with communicating tokens from dialog back to the add-in parent window.  So we are stuck!

    Looking at the situation in a more general perspective, manifest revision and add-in (i.e., a web app) update itself are 2 separate processes.  There is no way to roll out a revision that contains changes in both manifest and add-in itself.  When certain change requires manifest and add-in changes to happen at the same time like the scenario above, it is simply stuck. Meanwhile, add-in is not functioning well, users are impacted, and developers can’t fix the issue.

    Could someone from Microsoft advise how to solve this?  If this indeed is a scenario that current manifest revision process can’t support, could someone from Microsoft pass this onto the team who owns the system and make this work for developers and ultimately unblock end users?  Thanks! 
    • Moved by Chenchen Li Monday, October 9, 2017 9:43 AM Office Store
    Thursday, October 5, 2017 2:33 PM

All replies

  • Are there any Microsoft moderators on this forum at all?  I feel stuck and helpless.  Anyone could point to a way forward?  Thanks!
    Friday, October 6, 2017 2:24 PM
  • One more critical missing piece is Expedited Review for manifest submission that is meant to fix a critical bug in the add-in.  The end of the day, the office store platform's success is based on rich collection of high quality apps/add-ins.  Add-in developers try best to make the bug fixes, but is then hindered by the manifest review process.  The result is that bug fix can't get in, bugs remain in the add-in that developers can't do anything about it, and users are blocked due to the bug.  It is a loose-loose-loose situation.  I truly hope Microsoft moderators can either help provide an advise how we can get the bug fix in or pass this feedback to the team who runs the manifest review process.  Thanks!
    • Edited by Data Coffee Friday, October 6, 2017 4:55 PM
    Friday, October 6, 2017 4:54 PM
  • Hi Data Coffee,
    This forum(Developing Apps for Office 2013) is for development issue related to Office Apps. Since your office add-in has been developed and your issue is more related to publishing in Office Store, I would move the thread to Publishing Apps for the Office Store forum. Thanks for your understanding.
    Besides, I would suggest you go to https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/dashboard/directory  to select the question mark at the top-right corner and then select Feedback to submit a feedback for your issue.
    Best Regards,
    Terry

    MSDN Community Support Please remember to click &quot;Mark as Answer&quot; the responses that resolved your issue, and to click &quot;Unmark as Answer&quot; if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Monday, October 9, 2017 9:22 AM
  • Hi Terry,

    Thanks for moving the thread to the right forum!  I did submit similar feedbacks at https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/dashboard/directory.  I also created event and also did chat session to get help.  However they said they can't do anything and asked me to post my feedbacks here on this forum. I wish someone can pass my feedback on to the team who manages app publishing.  If there are some good workaround I didn't know, I'm all ears to learn.  If this is indeed an issue with the publishing flow, it'd be great if Microsoft could make some changes to improve it, which would be good for all the parties on this platform.

    Thanks!

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017 4:36 AM
  • Other developers have specified different URLs in the updated manifest either via a different path or using a query param. Either way should allow your code to adapt if the user is on the newer manifest. You can't assume all users will automatically switch over to the latest one so I'd recommend you're backwards compatible to at least n-1

    Thanks

    Phil


    Phil Smail, Sheriff of Finance/Program Manager, XNA Team

    Monday, December 18, 2017 11:53 AM