From an idea to AppSource:
our journey to the marketplace

March 10, 2022

A story behind efficient time management

Global Mediator has always relied on the cloud first. Even in the early days, we started connecting our Atlassian Jira instance with NAV on a virtual machine. Some of our partners started to show an interest in our solution as it enables the expedient transfer of time entries to be used for invoicing. Based on this, we decided to turn it into a product on Microsoft AppSource – our first product.

“With Jira Connector for Dynamics 365 Business Central, Global Mediator aims at delivering additional value to the customer. A solution once aimed at facilitating time management processes evolved into a separate efficient product that businesses already use and benefit from doing that.”Nicolai Krarup, COO at Global Mediator

The main insights from the journey

Launching Jira Connector for Dynamics 365 Business Central on AppSource was a learning experience for Global Mediator. We carved the path by trying, evolving, and learning to handle it – even after we saw the green light. Literally, the publish progress line in the marketplace goes green once you’ve met all the entrance criteria. Now that the first achievement is unlocked and the emotions are no longer running high, we are ready to share the key takeaways from our journey to MS AppSource.

  • Since you are reading this, it is most likely your first endeavour to conquer MS AppSource. The next step after becoming a Microsoft partner (the foremost prerequisite) is to thoroughly explore documentation related to AppSource publishing processes. Microsoft prepared a great compilation of documents to guide product owners (or other responsible persons) on their way to a successful offer publishing. A thing to remember here is to filter information and stay on track while clicking on the cross-references and diving deeper into the information materials.
  • Make sure you distribute a solution that meets the quality requirements set by MS. You can rest assured that the software giant will check every possible aspect of your application – be it technical or marketing: object ranges, code prefixes and suffixes, branding, screenshots, and more. We also recommend that the QA team is engaged in the development process as early as possible. Early testing is one of Global Mediator’s best practices and we do test new code on a daily basis.
  • Non-technical details matter. Make sure you provide all the product-related documentation in the necessary format and that the product description complies with the marketplace’s requirements. You will not be able to publish your offer unless you provide the legal terms and conditions and supporting documents, application logos, and screenshots of the appropriate size along with the extensions. The good thing is that before it is published, the offer remains an editable draft that might be changed along the way.
  • Consider the following nuances from the very beginning. First and foremost – think of the name of the product carefully. MS will block it if you use the abbreviations related to their products as part of your name. Whether it is title bars or documentation, videos or screenshots – you can only refer to the correct MS branding. The localisations you mention will directly influence the number of markets your product will be available in.
  • Make sure you get your APP package file (code, extension package) signed with an independent certificate (for either independent or non-Microsoft publishers, depending on your case).
  • Linking a lead management system to your AppSource offer is one of the prerequisites. This step might need some tweaking to make it work – and it’s great that MS offers several options here (Power Automate HTTPS endpoints to manage our CRM turned out to be a viable option for us).
  • To see the “green light” faster, keep in mind the efficient process organisation, teams’ – developers, QAs, marketing, top management – timely input and cooperation.

 

Delivering additional value to customers with Jira Connector for Dynamics 365 Business Central

 

“Notwithstanding the online guides, the publishing process might be a challenging task, so communication is vital. Human factors should definitely be considered. And do not be afraid to ask questions – the specialists from Microsoft willingly assist with important issues.” – Anastasiia Sakhnenko, Product Owner at Global Mediator

What’s next?

Publishing our first product on AppSource is certainly a great milestone for Global Mediator. With this new exciting experience, Global Mediator started a new chapter as a software product company. Publishing the product was clearly an intermediate point, not the end of the journey. Jira Connector for Dynamics 365 Business Central is ready to evolve as a product, its code and functionality might be refined. There are still areas of the MS marketplace that need investigation and trying out, but we already see its great potential.

“Publishing Jira Connector for Dynamics 365 Business Central on AppSource was like diving into the ocean – a huge new space for us. It suggests numerous possibilities, both for Global Mediator and its product. What we have to do now is test this ocean’s water and deal with its waves.” – Evgeny Buriak, Director of Delivery at Global Mediator

We chose to strengthen our product along the way. We chose not to wait for MS to change the rules of getting to AppSource or the product to get outdated while chasing some phantom perfection. We are building up a relevant product that delivers value to customers right here, right now.

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