Azure Marketplace Service Providers Guide

This guide provides an overview of Azure Marketplace and the basic processes that Azure partners must follow from joining Azure Marketplace to publishing products, as well as issues to note.

1. Applicability

  • This guide is applicable to Azure partners that want to use Microsoft Azure (operated by 21Vianet) to provide products including virtual machine (VM) images, Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates and custom services on Azure Marketplace, and that serve users in China.
  • This guide is intended for business decision makers, IT specialists and developers (including specialized roles such as DVA, SecOps and DevOps) who are familiar with the basics of the Azure platform.
  • This guide is not applicable to service providers who provide products that are not VM images or custom services (such as SaaS and API service providers).

2. What is Azure Marketplace?

Azure Marketplace, which is operated by 21Vianet, is a unified portal for displaying Microsoft partner products and services. Azure Marketplace is an image warehouse, one of the core engines for Azure cloud services, and a connection platform through which Azure partners can provide customers with the best solutions and services.

There are three types of product/service on Azure Marketplace: image-type applications and ARM templates published by Azure partners, and custom services.

It is easy for independent software vendors (ISV) to become Azure partners and publish products/services on the Azure platform. No fees are charged for joining Azure Marketplace or publishing partners’ Azure products/services.

3. The benefits of joining Azure Marketplace

Azure Marketplace provides Azure partners with new service channels and users, enables partners to market their products/services by providing promotional support and alliances and stimulating demand. Azure Marketplace product pools can form the core of cloud service engines, as well as massively simplifying the process of software promotion, management and deployment.

By making the most of the functions of Azure Marketplace to expand services, you can generate potential customers and leads; add service value, increase the size of transactions with existing and new customers, and shorten the sales cycle; find out about content for implementation and the potential customers generated, and optimize marketing campaigns.

Azure Marketplace and Azure portal make it easier to find, obtain, and use products/services that were built and thoroughly tested on Azure. Azure images help Azure users quickly create VM instances, ARM templates help users deploy clusters at the press of a button, and Azure custom services help users to find powerful Azure-based solutions that are appropriate to their needs.

4. Business model

Azure Marketplace currently supports the free and bring-your-own-license (BYOL) models. The pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model is not currently supported. Please note that while Azure Marketplace does not charge customers separate licensing fees under any of these models, customers will need to pay for Azure resources used by subscriptions if they deploy VM images or ARM templates.

The table below explains the business models currently supported by Azure Marketplace. A single product/service can include SKUs that use different pricing models. For custom services, customers can find suitable solutions by contacting the service provider directly.

Pricing models Explanation Intended users
Free Free SKUs. Customers are not charged any Azure Marketplace fees for the use of the offer, and they are also not charged any product fees. VM images and Resource Manager templates
Free trial A promotional version of the SKU, with a time limit. Customers are not charged any Azure Marketplace fees for the use of the product or service during the trial period. After the trial period expires, customers are charged at the standard rate for using the product. Azure Marketplace cannot currently prevent customers from creating multiple subscriptions for free trial products, but service providers who want to provide free trial product subscriptions can provide appropriate restrictions. VM images and Resource Manager templates
BYOL Bring-your-own-license (BYOL) SKUs. License fees are determined by negotiation between the customer and service provider, and customers are not charged Azure Marketplace fees for using the product/service within Azure Marketplace. VM images and Resource Manager templates

5. Prerequisites for registering to become an Azure Marketplace service provider

Please read the Azure Marketplace Service Provider Agreement carefully

The Azure Marketplace Service Provider Agreement describes the relationships between the service provider, Azure Marketplace, and 21Vianet, the operator of Azure Portal. Azure partners must abide by the terms of this Agreement when registering to become an Azure service provider, publishing products/services on Azure Marketplace, or participating in marketing activities.

Please read the Azure Marketplace Participation Policy carefully

Please read the Azure China Marketplace Participation Policy carefully. Azure partners must abide by the terms of this document and/or the policies referred to at all times when registering to become an Azure service provider, publishing products/services on Azure Marketplace, or participating in marketing activities.

You can apply to have your services displayed on Azure Marketplace

On the Service Provider page, select “Learn More” and then “Apply Now.” You can then apply to publish your service on Azure Marketplace without logging on to the Azure Marketplace publication platform. If the content you applied for is appropriate for Azure Marketplace, an operator will contact you once your request has been received.

Register for an Azure China account

You must first register for an Azure China account. Azure China accounts are similar to: If you have not yet applied for an account, you can do so at the following address: Azure Trial Request Form (please select “Enterprise Request” when you apply). You can use this account to log on to Azure Marketplace as a service provider. Or contact 21Vianet Azure Support.

Publish products/services that comply with the relevant standards

Service providers may only publish products that comply with the standards of the Azure Marketplace. If you do not publish any appropriate products/services within three months of registering to become an Azure Marketplace service provider, Azure Marketplace has the right to cancel your Azure Marketplace service provider account.

Azure Marketplace products/services must use or expand Azure Services (e.g. computing, networks or storage), and must be categorized into existing Azure Marketplace categories (e.g. databases, networks). Products/services must include publicly accessible URLs for the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, so that customers can get help via the relevant URL. For trial use, you must provide support during the trial period without charging any additional fees.

6. Become an Azure Marketplace service provider

Go to the Register to become an Azure Marketplace service provider page and carefully fill in the service provider registration information as shown below.

6.1 Contact information

Includes the names, phone numbers and email addresses of the contact people. Please only enter genuine information. Please note that contact person details may only be viewed within the Azure service provider account, and customer support information must be entered separately for every product/service published by the service provider.

6.2 Registered company name

For the registered company name, you must use the name of an entity that operates legitimately and is located within China. The name must be the company name shown on the company’s business license, and you cannot simply enter any name at will. This name will be verified and approved by our legal team.

6.3 Company display name

The company display name is generally used only for display purposes, but may also be used in the Azure Marketplace and Azure Portal. Please choose the display name carefully and note that it may only include a maximum of 15 Chinese characters or 30 English letters.

6.4 Company website

The company website is the platform for a company’s website construction and image promotion on the Internet.

6.5 Microsoft Partner Network ID

Follow the instructions at Join the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) to apply for an ID. This ID will mainly be used for post-release images or ARM templates.

6.6 Unified social credit code

Please note that the “double-soft” certification number or Organization Code is not the same as the business license number. Questions regarding the specific details should be directed to the relevant department of the company that the service provider is part of.

6.7 Published offer types

The Azure Marketplace has three offer types: VM images, ARM templates, and custom services. Please select the first offer type that needs to be published on the Azure Marketplace.

6.8 Offer name and description

Please enter the name of the offer that needs to be published on the Azure Marketplace, as well as a brief description of the offer.

6.9 Upload a scan of the business license

The scan of the business license is one of the most important pieces of registration information. A clear, complete image of the business license must be uploaded in JPG or PNG format. The file size must be no larger than 2 MB, otherwise the upload may fail. The scanned business license will be carefully reviewed and approved by specialist personnel.

6.10 Confirm submission

Please read the Azure Marketplace Participation and Azure China Market Provider Agreement, click the “Submit” button, and await review by a member of the Azure Marketplace staff.

7. Produce and publish products/services on Azure Marketplace

7.1 Building VM images, ARM templates or custom services for use in publishing

  • See the Azure Marketplace Virtual Machine Image Creation Guide for details of the production process for VM images. Once an image has been produced and tested, it must be uploaded to an Azure Storage account.
  • See the Azure Marketplace ARM Template Creation Guide for details of the production process for ARM templates. Once an ARM template file has been produced, it can be saved to an Azure Storage account or a storage account outside Azure, but we recommend you save it in an Azure Storage account.
  • For custom services, prepare the relevant documentation resources for the solution.

7.2 Staging

Staging means simulating the publication of the actual product in a “sandbox” environment. Ensure that you have already obtained a service provider account before publication. Please refer to the following Azure Marketplace documentation: Publishing VM images; Publishing ARM templates; and Publishing custom services.

  • Sign in to the Cloud Parter Portal(CPP) using your service provider account.
  • Complete the publication request form, including the image and ARM template files or the custom service, and then submit the form. After submitting the form, you can view the publication status of all services under the "All Offers" menu.
  • After a product has passed the review process, the Azure Marketplace team will notify the service provider by email to begin testing and verification of the staged product/offer.
  • The service provider clicks to go to the published service, then under the "Status" column, they click on the two links under "Azure portal" and "Azure Marketplace" to test image deployment and preview interfaces.

7.3 Official publication

  • After the service provider’s tests have been passed, click the "Onboard" button in the "Status" column of the published service to carry out official publication.
  • You will be notified by email as soon as official publication of your product is complete.
  • You can view your published images or ARM templates on the Azure Marketplace or Azure portal. As custom services cannot be directly deployed to Azure, they can only be displayed on the Azure Marketplace.

8. Azure Marketplace support channels

  • Regarding your application to become a publisher in the Azure China Marketplace, please submit user feedback here.
  • If you are already a publisher in the Azure China Marketplace, please submit a support request in the Publisher portal or request help through Azure Customer Support.
  • You can also look for solutions in the FAQs.