Application stores are a mainstay of every modern operating system. Microsoft is working towards bringing this concept to the business application space.
The Dynamics 365 App Source concept allows ISVs and partners to bring their addons to a centralized marketplace. App Source can help partners and customers find business users and customers. On the flip side, customers can find validated solutions that have gone through a validation and approval process.
Unlike a traditional App Store, business apps are generally more complex to implement than a PC or mobile app. Many times code, business processes, and data need to be tested and promoted to various systems to make the solution work. The Dynamics 365 for Operations App Source site connects to a management toolkit called Lifecycle Services that helps strategically deploy the key assets into various environments.
At the tech conference, Shefy Manayil Kareem (@Shefymk) from Microsoft discussed the following key features of App Source:
- A new publishing portal for Dynamics 365 due later in 2017
- For ISVs, improved actionable insights for App Source hits and leads
- New predictable trial experience
- Announcement of “Test Drive”, where a managed environment is already running and ISVs can temporarily allow access to an environment for a prospective customer
- Leveraging multiple components from D365 Operations, Sales, PSA, PowerBI, Common Data Service, and Power Apps
- Reviews and ratings displayed in App Source based on the trial experience
The App Source concept is a few years old, and continues to round into form. Key upcoming features like Test Drive should lead to simpler trial experiences should significantly increase the value of having a solution on App Source. Ultimately, ISVs and partners hope to decrease the time for prospects to investigate the features of an product and drive sales.