FujiForty - Getting in the ServiceNow Store

I've mentioned the marketplace or store in plenty of earlier posts. Yesterday during the Knowledge15 conference the ServiceNow Store was officially launched. CAVUCode was involved in launching two certified application which are now available in the store. Here's a run through of what it takes to get an application into the store.


It starts with joining the Technology Partner Program (TPP). Once you have been accepted into the program you will be provisioned dedicated vendor developer instances. These instances will be tagged with a unique vendor key. This vendor key is what allows all applications in the store to have unique names. I'll outline my full SDLC process for certified apps in a later post. For now let's assume we've built a complete application and performed thorough testing, so we're ready to submit for certification.

From the application record in your vendor instance you will use "Publish to Store". This packages your application and uploads it to the store for review. It doesn't actually publish, it's really just a submit.

 

 

You'll need to provide your HI credentials and have the option to add release notes. This is what the customers will see when they select your app for install or upgrade.

 

 

 

 

After the file has been uploaded you should be redirected to the publisher portal. This is where you can define the marketing material and how your app will be represented in the store. There's a preview option that will help you see what the app page will look like in the store. You don't need to worry about any of this at first since you still need to get through technical review.

When you are ready to get into the certification queue you will submit this record. The last pieces of information you'll need before the submission is complete is documentation. The TPP portal as well as the submission form has links to the templates defining what the certification team is looking for. You'll need a design document outlining the technical details of the app and it's components, an installation and configuration guide, and a detailed test plan.

Behind the scenes, the team will review your documentation and run your application through some automated checks to identify any obvious issues. If anything is found they will notify you for clarification and possibly request an updated app submission. The more information you can provide on why this app exists the faster they will understand the process and how it will be used by customers.

Next they will contact you to schedule a demo of the app. On the call they will provide a clean instance and ask you to install your application. They will have already made it available to that instance in the same way as a store purchase would. Then you'll need to step them through the install and configuration guide. Finally you will demonstrate the test cases you've documented. If there are integration or orchestration with external systems be sure to have them available and know what needs to be done to connect to a new instance. They want to see the actual steps your customers would have to go through.

Up to this point it's the same process for all apps. Now for the fun part. The certifiers will challenge you with questions around performance, scalability, security, usability, and troubleshooting based on the type and design of the app. Again, the more you can document ahead of time the easier this will be on you, and the sooner you'll be on your way to having customers download your product.

If needed, they will ask you to update documentation or make changes to the app and upload a new version. Based on the amount of changes you may or may not need another demo session.

When the technical review is complete you will receive the congratulatory email notification.

Now it's time to work on the marketing messaging, collection some good screenshots and add a fancy feature tile image. The feature tile image is the first thing the store shopper will see so make it good if you want to get their attention.

Now it's ready to publish to the store.

It's a requirement to have HI credentials to download from the store to your instances. This is how payment and usage are managed. The customer will need to accept the latest agreement. Once processed, the customer will then be able to see the application listed in their instances and install.

From the vendor perspective you'll have access to the list of customers that have purchased the application.

I hope this helps you understand the process of publishing applications to the ServiceNow store. If there's anything that CAVUCode can help with, please let us know.