Paid extensions in the Visual Studio marketplace

It’s hard to believe it but it’s been almost a year since we introduced the Visual Studio Marketplace.  It provides a single point of entry for finding extensions for Visual Studio, VS Team Services and VS Code – and since then hundreds upon hundreds of new extensions have been published.  From day one, our vision was to enable the marketplace to be, well, a marketplace – meaning that part of its purpose is to provide a venue for extension authors to sell their creations.  While I expect the vast majority of extensions will continue to be free, I expect to see an increasing number of high value, high quality extensions to be paid.

We’ve been working on getting the commerce portion of the marketplace (both the publisher side for registering extensions and the consumer purchasing side) for the last several months.  Today, we are launching the first two paid non-Microsoft extensions.  We’ve partnered with Berichthaus (you may remember they were on stage with me last November when we introduced the marketplace) and Spartez.  They’ve been guinea pigs, in a manner of speaking, to work with us through all the planning, testing, and rollout of this new capability and I’m grateful for all the help they’ve given us.  I’m also proud to have two great extensions (Agile Cards and TFS TimeTracker) to launch this effort with.

agile-cards TFS Timetracker

As you can see in the screenshots I’ve included, paid extensions have a 30 day free trial and a new “Buy” button that allows you to purchase the extensions.  Extensions are licensed monthly on a per user basis and sold in groups of users (usually 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 10,000).  You then assign extension licenses to individuals in your Team Services account.  You can use the Users hub on your Team Services account home page as shown below:UserHub

The marketplace allows you to purchase paid extensions on an Azure subscription you associate with your Team Services account.  The “Buy” workflow will help you create an Azure subscription if you don’t already have one.

For now, the marketplace only supports these commerce scenarios for Team Services.  We’ll be adding support for on-prem TFS in the upcoming TFS 15 release.  Until then, you can contact the publisher about purchasing the extensions for TFS.

Try it out and please share any feedback.

Brian