Defining the end-to-end process for commercial apps in Software Center

Registered by Robbie Williamson on 2010-10-19

Our current process for adding a commercial, for purchase item to Software Center is listed here:

https://wiki.canonical.com/InformationInfrastructure/ISD/Docs/SoftwareCentre/AddingSoftware

However, we still need to better define the QA process, signoff, etc...

Blueprint information

Status:
Not started
Approver:
Rick Spencer
Priority:
Undefined
Drafter:
None
Direction:
Needs approval
Assignee:
None
Definition:
Discussion
Series goal:
None
Implementation:
Unknown
Milestone target:
None

Related branches

Sprints

Whiteboard

[Copied from Gobby document: appdevs-n-commercial-apps]

Key:
 #. current step
  > Work item to improve or eliminate it (copied with [assignee] in "Work items" section)

Process for adding a new application:
 0. developer discovers that it's possible to sell applications in Ubuntu at all
  > On developer.ubuntu.com, describe the possibilities and process for publishing commercial applications
 1. developer figures out how to contact Randy Linnell (<email address hidden>)
  > Organize design and implementation of application submission form
 2. a commercial agreement is signed between Canonical and the vendor (>1 week)
  > Decide and make public standard application sale terms soon: TODO
   - app restrictions/requirements (eg don't break existing packages)
     - will we allow dpkg-diversions / replacement of system parts?
   - Canonical's cut
   - support obligations (eg life of release)
   - contact information/digital signature
   - license restrictions
 3. application goes into a staging PPA
  - not important to automate this cycle
  - do you want me to add a 1000 $1 apps randy and move them by hand ?
 4. Canonical QA does some sanity QA
  - making sure the package doesn't replace the kernel etc
  - first step to eliminate this step: vendor submits .deb packages
    - rules on what the .deb is allowed to do
    - or a simpler tarball in defined format that can automatedly become a .deb
      - similar to extras apps, would be nice to share tools
  - second step: tool to check .deb packages (cf. "packageme")
    - install package in a virtual machine
 5. Corporate Services moves package from staging PPA to purchase archive
   > admin console containing a button to move package from staging PPA to purchase archive
    * LOSA needs to provide API
      * parts of this can be self-serve (set price, etc)
 6. LOSA enters information (pricing, screenshots, etc...) into Software Center Agent, which makes the product available to users.

Consider for n+1 letting Software Center know when an app update is a security update rather than a normal one (we don't have a security pocket for commercial apps)

Process for updating an existing application:
 * currently the same as for a new application

What happens when someone upgrades to the next version of Ubuntu?
 * e.g. Skype was incompatible with new platform
 * We can tell, before the upgrade, whether an application is available for the next version
   - no current code for detecting applications broken after upgrade
   - we need to do a better job of presenting which *applications* won't work or aren't available
    - though, other operating systems don't do a good job of this either
      - however other operating systems update much less than every 6 months
    - sometimes in the proprietary world the vendor will put out a new product version for a new OS version, and this is something we can consider supporting/discouraging explicitly
   * Standard messaging for users that commercial software may not work on future versions (Ensured to work on the current version but may not work on future versions.)
    > Design presentation for commercial applications when you upgrade the OS
    > Implement presentation for commercial applications when you upgrade the OS

What happens for software that wants to replace an existing version of a package?
 * It's not common at the moment, but may happen in the future

Commercial availability for things that used to be only available illegal
- rom files
- cbt discs
- fonts
- movies
- keys that unlock a app function

Work items:
[mpt] On developer.ubuntu.com, describe the possibilities and process for publishing commercial applications: TODO
[mpt] Organize design and implementation of application submission form: TODO
[ranman] Decide and make public standard application sale terms soon: TODO
admin console containing a button to move package from staging PPA to purchase archive: TODO
[mpt] Design presentation for commercial applications when you try to upgrade the OS: TODO
[mvo] Implement presentation for commercial applications when you try to upgrade the OS: TODO

(?)

Work Items