Visual Studio Marketplace – Publisher Pivot

Visual Studio Marketplace is the exclusive destination for discovering extensions for Visual Studio IDE, Team Services and Code, and purchasing subscriptions. While consumers of the Marketplace benefit greatly from it, we want our publishers to have a great experience too. After all, it is they who make the Marketplace rich with real world extensions and integrations.

This post gives you a sneak peek at the set of publisher centric enhancements that we plan to bring to Marketplace in Q2 CY 2017. As always, the timelines and designs shared in this post are subject to change.

Publisher Hub

As the publisher of a VSTS extension, you want to know how your extension in performing. Publisher Hub would provide you all such context and more:

  • Insights about how your extension is being acquired, such as uptake around VSTS & TFS, conversion funnel from impressions to page views to installs
  • Information w.r.t. uninstalls of the extension along with related reasoning
  • Be able to analyze how the extension is being reviewed/rated & then drive actions right from this hub
  • And also, be able to download this data for your offline processing as need be

Hub

We are likely to enable this for paid extensions first.

Update (April 20, 2017): The publisher hub with Uninstall and Rating & Review Q&A feature is now live on the Marketplace! To access browse to your publisher page and select the extension. Publishers now will have access to how many users have uninstalled the extension, what are they sharing as feedback, top reasons for uninstalling and the daily trend of uninstall to take the required actions. You can use search the data to analyze and draw more insights from the detailed feedback. If your extension is paid, you can also reach out to your customers for transactional communication. Publishers can also view the average rating for the selected period w.r.t. to overall rating, the average rating by number of reviewers and the daily trend of average rating. The details section provides all the reviews and your responses in transactional view and they can take actions of Reply or Edit of a previous response and better manage engagement with your extension users.  Publishers can appeal a review if the issue reported is due to Marketplace or the underlying platform. All the data shared is also available in excel to aid creating custom reports. This is the first milestone and we continue to invest and light other features on this hub.

Support for Extension Versions

Our publishers shared the following cases with us:

  • We wish to test the v2 of my extension while its v1 is being used by customers in production
  • I wish to patch my extension and try it out with a limited set of customers before sharing it more widely

For both above, a versioning story becomes essential where the in-development extension can be privately shared with selective account(s) to solicit feedback and aid testing. Hence we plan to enable a versioning story for extensions (Team Services and TFS only) in coming months. Likely on the following lines:

version

Q&A Support

User reviews on the extensions today is being overloaded by consumers for questions and support as opposed to just reviews. Since rating is mandatory in such situation, this can negatively affect the extension rating overall and in turn the publisher. Hence a Q&A section is being added to support dialogue between publishers and their consumers across all extension targets. Appropriate notifications would be sent when a question is posted or answered. qa

Update (March 30, 2017): The Q&A feature is now live on the Marketplace! Users can now post questions for any given extension on the marketplace from the item details page and have one-on-one public conversations with publishers of that extension. Email notifications are sent to publishers (owners & contributor roles) and users when a question is posted or responded to. With this, users now have two distinct feedback channels – one to rate/review an extension and the other to ask a question & receive answers from publishers.

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