Publishing your app using the Chrome Web Store

Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Slides add-ons and Drive apps must be published in the Chrome Web Store, but it is possible to simultaneously publish them to the G Suite Marketplace as well. This allows admins to install the app for their domain users through the Marketplace.

Once you have set up your project, built your app, and tested that it works, you can publish it to both stores.

Before you publish

Here are a few things to consider as you prepare to publish:

  • If you have never published an app on the Chrome Web Store, you must register and pay a one-time fee using Google Pay. Go to Chrome Web Store Developer Dashboard to register.
  • When you publish an app to the Chrome Web Store and G Suite Marketplace, you create separate listings for each. Once you publish these listings, they undergo separate review processes. Once the app enters the stores, these two listings are not linked and do not sync automatically. See Publish in the Chrome Web Store for more information.
  • While it isn't a requirement, it's often helpful to have your own Google enterprise domain "sandbox" where you can install and test your app after you publish it on the G Suite Marketplace.

Required resources

In order to complete both listings, you need to supply a number of image and text assets. For the G Suite Marketplace, you must provide the assets required by the G Suite Marketplace SDK.

In order to complete the Chrome Web Store listing, you must provide a few more assets:

Manifest file

When an app is added to the Chrome Web Store, it is usually bundled into a compressed zip archive and uploaded from the Chrome Web Store Developer Dashboard. The zip archive must include a manifest file that describes the app. Depending on the type of your app, you may need to construct this manifest.

The manifest is a JSON file, which must be named manifest.json. It contains the a collection of name/value pairs like this one:

{
  "manifest_version": 2,
  "name": "Welcome Aboard",
  "version": "0.0.0.1",
  "description": "a plain text description",
  "icons": {
    "128": "icons/128x128-icon.png",
    "16": "icons/16x16-icon.png"
  },
  "container": ["DOMAIN_INSTALLABLE"],
  "api_console_project_id": "428464274542",
  "app" : {
    "launch" : {
      "web_url" : "http://www.example.com/morepath/"
    }
  }
}

Some of these values are required when an app is published in the G Suite Marketplace as well as the Chrome Web Store:

  • The api_console_project_id is your app's project number. You can find it by opening your app's Cloud Platform project in the API console.
  • The value for container is an array containing one or more of the following strings:
    • DOMAIN_INSTALLABLE: all Marketplace apps include this container
    • GOOGLE_DRIVE: include this container if your app is a Google Drive app; see Drive App listings for more details.
  • The app section of the manifest prevents your app being listed as a Chrome extension and must be included. See the Chrome Developer's Guide for more about the difference between extensions and hosted apps, and for details on all these manifest fields.
    • The web_url string in the app section of the manifest defines the actual URL used to launch your app.

For more information about creating manifests and publishing to the Chrome Web Store, see the Chrome Web Store tutorial.

Chrome Web Store visibility

When you publish your app, you must select its visibility—who is able to find and install the app from the store.

For apps published to both the G Suite Marketplace and the Chrome Web Store, the visibility is controlled in the Chrome Web Store dashboard. When the app is first published to the G Suite Marketplace, the visibility setting is imported there.

While you are completing the publishing process, you should see the following Visibility options section when you are completing your app's Chrome Web Store listing. This section lets you choose the visibility for both store listings:

Chrome Web Store visibility options

  • Public indicates that any user can find and install the app from the Chrome Web Store.
  • Unlisted indicates that any user can install the app, but they must have a link to its listing in order to find it. In addition, the app is can be found in the Chrome Web Store by anyone in your domain.
  • Private indicates that installation of the app is restricted. You can limit user to everyone in your domain, or specific individuals belonging to a Google Group you manage.

Publish your app

Once you have all the assets for your app's listing, follow the steps described below to create listings in Chrome Web Store and G Suite Marketplace (depending on the app type).

Once you submit your app for publication, G Suite Marketplace and Chrome Web Store review teams separately investigate your application to ensure that it meets the requirements of both stores. Note that it can take up to a week to verify that your app meets technical requirements before it appears on the G Suite Marketplace.

After your application is approved, it appears on the stores. It's good practice to install the app in a test domain and verify it behaves as intended.

Docs, Sheets, Forms, or Slides add-ons

If your app is a Docs, Sheets, Forms, or Slides add-on, follow the add-on publication instructions and be sure to include the steps detailed in Publishing add-ons for domain-wide installation, as these ensure the add-on is published to the G Suite Marketplace.

Drive apps

To publish a Drive app to both stores, you generally follow the same process used to publish to the Chrome Web Store only. The Chrome Web Store tutorial outlines this process, and the Drive Chrome Web Store listing guide provides some Drive-specific details. In order to publish to both stores, the process is slight modified, as you need to configure the Marketplace SDK as well:

  1. Enable the G Suite Marketplace SDK for your app.
  2. Complete the Configuation panel of the SDK.
  3. Create the app manifest file, being sure to include DOMAIN_INSTALLABLE and GOOGLE_DRIVE in the container array.
  4. Create the zip file that contains the manifest file and icons.
  5. Create a new item in the Chrome Web Store developer dashboard.
  6. Update the zip file and fill out the Chrome Web Store Edit item form. Provide required and optional assets, and choose your app's visibility.
  7. Preview your app listing by clicking Preview changes.
  8. Click Publish changes to request publication in the Chrome Web Store and G Suite Marketplace.

Updating your app

If you need to update your app to a new version, follow these steps:

While doing this you can change elements of the Chrome Web Store listing, such as the add-on description. If you do make changes to the Chrome Web Store listing, be sure to make the corresponing change in the G Suite Marketplace listing, as the two are not automatically synced.

To update your app's Marketplace listing, do the following:

  1. Open your app's Cloud Platform project in the APIs & Services dashboard and find the "G Suite Marketplace SDK" you enabled. Click the settings icon to open the SDK control panel.
  2. Navigate to the Configuration panel, make any required changes, then click Save changes.

Unpublishing your app

To unpublish your app from the Chrome Web Store, do the following:

  1. Open the Chrome Web Store developer dashboard.
  2. Find your app's listing, and click Unpublish. You can republish the app later by doing the same and clicking Publish.

To unpublish your app from the G Suite Marketplace, do the following:

  1. Open your app's Cloud Platform project in the APIs & Services dashboard and find the "G Suite Marketplace SDK" you enabled. Click the settings icon to open the SDK control panel.
  2. Navigate to the Publish panel, and click Unpublish. You can republish the app again later by doing the same and clicking Publish.

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