What is an App?

An app can be any piece of functionality that complements a product or platform. You decide what defines an app on your platform or what information must be submitted for each app type. 

Each app is a JSON representation of an application submitted by a developer. The structure of an app can be customized using the customData object. When creating or updating an app, the customData object can be set to hold fields and arrays which gives you the flexibility to completely customize the structure of your app. The OpenChannel platform will automatically detect and handle your custom app structure.

Things to know

Apps are the main component of a marketplace, so most of what you want to achieve will depend on how you manage your apps. Apps can be created in different ways and to different users, so this article will just go over the most common use cases.

Creating and Updating Apps

When we talk about creating and updating an app, we are almost always talking about creating a new version of an app. The creation of an App can be done by a developer in the developer portal or by an administrator using the dashboard. 

The app creation flow to the developer portal will be defined in the dashboard. Where the administrator will be able to define the different types and categories of apps and the fields that need to be filled for an app to be published.

For more information, please see the Creating Your First App guide.

App types and categories

App types and categories are two ways of differentiating your apps. Basically the app type describes how the app is implemented, while the category is a tag that allows users to more easily navigate and discover apps.

Here are some examples of different app types:

  • OAuth2 integration
  • Downloadable file
  • Docker container
  • Just a plain listing

While categories can be more like:

  • Finance
  • Productivity
  • Compliance

Publishing Apps

Publishing apps is a two step process that will involve the developer and the marketplace administrator. Once the developer finishes uploading all the necessary information to his app, he will be able to submit the app to be published. Once published, the app becomes visible to marketplace administrators and receives a status of “pending”. The app will not become publicly visible to marketplace users until approved by a marketplace administrator.

Managing Apps

Marketplace administrators have the capacity to create, view, approve, reject, suspend and delete apps listed in the dashboard.

  • Create Apps: Allows the administrator to create a new app or version directly from the dashboard
  • View Apps: View the full list of apps that have been submitted to the platform
  • Approve App: Approve an app that was submitted by a developer to make it publicly visible to the users.
  • Reject App: Reject an app version that was submitted by a developer. The app version will not become visible to the users
  • Suspend App: Temporarily hide an app so it disappears from the marketplace
  • Delete App: Deleting apps permanently removes the app and all app versions.

App Ownership

Ownership is the relation between a user and an App. Basically, when a user acquires a license to use an app, an ownership record is created. Once the ownership record is created, the user will be able to install an app.

To read more about Ownership, please check the Getting started with ownership guide.