Some weeks ago we published a blog about changes for developers in ownCloud and promised to talk more about the app store process this week. In this post we explain the process – how to get your app in the ownCloud app store and how to get it approved for easy installation or update.
ownCloud 8.1 introduces the ability for users to seamlessly install Experimental apps, that is, all apps from the online app store on apps.owncloud.com from the built in App Store app. The video below shows how this works.
As you can see, apps have several labels:
- official – developed by core ownCloud developers; providing functionality we deem important for the vast majority of ownCloud users; stable; and fits well in the ownCloud look and feel
- approved – developed by trusted developers; have passed a cursory security and design check; maintained and openly developed; deemed stable for normal use
- experimental – new and/or not yet stable and/or have not been reviewed for security issues
Getting apps Approved
The big question for app developers is: how to get an app to the approved state so users don’t have to enable the experimental setting? For this, the app will have to be reviewed by the ownCloud community, to check if they fulfill certain requirements.
These are related to how the app is developed (actively maintained in an open, version managed repository), how old it is and who develops it. Moreover, we will have to check the code for security issues.
The exact requirements for each label are described in this documentation page.
Getting the process going requires you to have a good look at the documentation mentioned above and to see if your app fulfills the requirements for getting approved.
If it does, go to this page and fill in the form. Be complete and accurate, this will help us get this done quickly!
Review and Discussion
Submitting the form sends an email to our app review mailing list with your app information and a separate subscription request for your email address. To complete the subscription, click the confirmation link in your inbox! Then, on the mailing list, we can ask follow up questions and discuss the app. This is a public process, which means you’re encouraged to help review other authors’ apps.
Once the reviewers agree, the app will be approved. Note that updates will have to go through the same process, though we can usually do it faster.
Becoming an official app follows the same process, but the bar is significantly higher. In general, decisions about making an app official are most likely to be made at meetings or hackathons.
This is it – getting your apps to an approved state in the app store. Time to get started!