You’ve launched your new app on the Marketplace. Congratulations! As you settle down from your launch celebration, you start to wonder how your app’s doing in the Marketplace. Is there a way to monitor how many people are viewing it and downloading it? And what about those features that didn’t make this release? How difficult will it be to upload your app’s next version with those features? Don’t sweat it. The Liferay Marketplace and app wizard are here to help.
The Liferay Marketplace lets you track app performance. You can see its trends with respect to views, downloads, and purchases. And the app wizard lets you upload new versions of your app and it lets you make changes to some of its details. In this article you’ll learn how all of this works.
Tracking App Performance
One of the main reasons for developing and publishing apps on the Marketplace is to drive downloads and adoption of your app. The Marketplace enables you, as the developer of your app, to get detailed reports about the number of views, downloads, and purchases of your app(s). To access these metrics, navigate to Home → Metrics (under Development).
The view shown above is the default metrics view for a single app. Across the top is a list of data series options (Views, Downloads, or Purchases). Below that, a date range can be chosen. In the middle, a graph is shown for the data within the date range. Finally, the same data that is graphed is also shown in tabular format, in case you want to know the exact values making up the graph. The different types of data available to view are described below.
When someone searches or browses the Marketplace, they click on apps to see detailed views of the apps they’re interested in. When this occurs for your app, a View is recorded for the app, and this data is what is shown on the App Metrics screen when Views is selected at the top. Views is also the default view, as shown above. The number of recorded views per day per user is unlimited.
A download is recorded for your app when someone downloads a specific package of a specific version of your app. The number of recorded downloads per day per user is unlimited.
The Marketplace makes an effort to count the total number of purchases for your app.
It’s great that the Liferay Marketplace provides these app monitoring features. As you see areas to improve your app or when necessary changes come up, you’ll want to know how to make changes to your published app. The next section explains what changes you can make.
Making Changes to Published Apps
After your app is published and approved, you will undoubtedly need to make one or more of these kinds of changes during the life of the app:
- Editing your app details (e.g., description, icon, etc.)
- Adding new license bundles (quantities)
- Editing app prices of bundles
- Modifying regional availability
- Adding support for a new version of Liferay Portal
- Releasing a new version of your app to fix bugs or offer new functionality
- Disabling your apps
Your currently approved app remains available while you’re in the process of submitting changes to your app and while your submitted changes are under review and testing.
Liferay Marketplace supports all of the above operations as described below.
Editing Your App’s Metadata
App metadata includes the name, description, icon, screenshots, and other information that you supplied on the first screen during the app creation process. To make changes to this content for your app, navigate to Home → Apps and select the app you wish to edit. Click the Edit button to edit that app.
This screen shows you what the app looks like on the Marketplace. To edit the detail information, click the Edit button at the bottom of the preview. This allows you to edit details (as well as add new files to your existing version). Note that the current values as they appear in your app are used to pre-fill the form. Make any changes as needed on this screen and click Next. If you do not need to edit any more variations, you can continue clicking Next until you reach the final preview screen. Click Submit for Review to submit your changes for review. All changes must go through the submission process. If your app revision only consists of metadata changes, it need only go through the App metadata review phase of the review process.
Once approved, the changes you request appear for your app on the Marketplace.
Editing App Prices
You can change your app’s prices, add or remove bundles, and modify regional availability if you wish. This can be for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to run a promotional offer, or to adjust your pricing model to better account for app demand. To make changes to your app, navigate to Company Profile Home → Apps, then click the app you wish to edit, and then at the bottom, click Edit → Pricing. When you’ve finished editing your app’s prices, click Next.
These changes do not require Liferay verification process to approve. Simply make the changes you wish and save your app. These new prices are reflected immediately.
You however, cannot modify the following attributes of an approved app:
- Free vs. paid
- License term (perpetual vs. non-perpetual)
- Support subscription offering (cannot be removed)
Next, you can consider adding support for new versions of Liferay.
Adding Support for New Versions of Liferay Portal
If you need to add files in support of another Liferay release, the process is similar. Navigate to navigate to Home → Apps and select the app you wish to edit. Click the Edit button to edit that app. Click Next to advance past the details screen (making any changes as needed), and click Next to advance past the version edit screen (you can’t actually edit the version number of an already-approved version, but you can edit the “What’s New” information if needed).
Once you advance past the version edit screen, you’ll be at the File Upload screen. This screen should look familiar–it’s the same workflow used when you initially created your app! The difference is that you can’t edit pre-approved files for specific Liferay releases. You can only add new files for a different Liferay release (if you actually need to update existing files, you must create a new version of the app–see the later section on adding versions for details on how to do this).
Upload your new files (ensuring that your new plugins have updated compatibility information: see the section on Specify App Compatibility for details on versions), click Next, and observe the newly-added files listed at the bottom of the preview screen. Click Submit for Review to submit your requested change (adding of files). The files will be reviewed by Liferay, and once approved, the new package becomes available for download in the Marketplace.
Releasing a New Version of your App
As time passes, you may wish to add new functionality to your app or fix a batch of bugs. This can be accomplished by releasing a new version of your app. New versions offer your users new functionality and bug fixes, and users are generally encouraged to always use the latest version. In addition, when a new version of your app becomes available, existing users are notified automatically through Liferay’s notification system.
New versions of your apps are created in a similar fashion to creating new apps. To add a new version, navigate to Home → Apps and select the app you wish to edit. Click the Edit button to edit that app. You are taken to the Details screen. At the bottom of the Details screen, click the Add New Version button. This button begins the process of adding a new version, starting with the App Details screen. In this case, the screen is pre-filled with data from the current version of the app.
You can make any changes to the pre-filled data on this screen. Since this is a new version of an existing app, making major changes (such as completely changing the name or description) might be unsettling to your existing users. It is common that you’ll want to upload new screenshots and refresh the icon. Note that you cannot change the app owner (such as moving from a personally-developed app to a company-developed app).
Clicking Next takes you through the same screens you’ve already seen. On the Add App Version screen, you can specify a new version name for this version of your app. Also, note that when adding new versions to an existing app, you have the option to add What’s New text. This typically lists changes for this version, such as significant new features or bug fix information. Clicking Next from here allows you to upload the files associated with the new version of the app. For a new version of the app, you must upload all files for all supported Liferay versions again, even if they have not changed since the last version.
Deactivating Your App
When the time comes to retire your app, you can Deactivate it. Deactivating an app causes the app to become unavailable from the Marketplace for new customers, and it doesn’t appear in any public Marketplace listings. Existing customers that have already downloaded your app can continue downloading the legacy versions of the app they have already acquired, but they can’t download any versions they’ve not already received. The app remains in your inventory, with all of its history, in case you need to re-activate or reference it in the future.
To deactivate your app, navigate to Home → Apps and select the app you wish to deactivate. Click the Deactivate button.
In this set of articles, we looked at how to create, publish, maintain, and track Liferay Marketplace apps. You can do this through the App Manager that’s available on your profile liferay.com page (liferay.com account required!). Then, we covered the requirements for publishing apps, which did not differ significantly from requirements for general Liferay development. Next, we showed how you can publish apps on the Marketplace and how you can modify it as the app evolves. Finally, we looked at how to track the adoption of apps using view, download, and install metrics.