Chrome Web Store Payments -- urgent deprecation reminder

88 views
Skip to first unread message

Jeff Johnson

unread,
Jan 12, 2021, 9:02:16 AMJan 12
to Chromium Extensions
I just received an email from Google warning that Chrome Web Store Payments will soon stop working, but I still don't have information from Google about what will happen exactly with my extension.

3 months ago I asked what happens to published upfront paid Chrome extensions in February, and Simeon said, "I'm not aware of any specific plans here so I'm reaching out internally to get clarification." Yet I've seen nothing about this from Simeon since.


Currently my extension is unlisted, and I set the price at $49.99 to dissuade any buyers, though 1 person actually bought it at that price.

My only desire at this point is to continue to provide software updates for previous customers, while preventing anyone new from installing the extension. Hopefully that will be rare, since the extension is unlisted, though there are still direct links to Chrome Web Store listing out there "in the wild" on the internet.

My question is the same as it has always been, since September: if I don't change anything, what happens to my upfront paid Chrome extension in February? It's frustrating that I can't get an answer to this question from Google.

Deco

unread,
Jan 12, 2021, 9:09:37 AMJan 12
to Jeff Johnson, Chromium Extensions
Nothing - new users simply won't be able to buy the extension even at the purchased price. Purchases won't process with the CWS for extensions come February, hence it will be impossible for new users to acquire the extension to begin with.
image.png

Thanks,
Deco

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Chromium Extensions" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to chromium-extens...@chromium.org.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/d/msgid/chromium-extensions/d90fa3ee-c1be-42eb-8ee2-c00107bf73bdn%40chromium.org.

PhistucK

unread,
Jan 12, 2021, 9:09:43 AMJan 12
to Jeff Johnson, Chromium Extensions
From reading the unclear page, it sounds like it will simply be freely installable. If you used to query the licensing API, it should still work (until it stops at a later, unannounced, point). If you did not, maybe you should.

PhistucK


--

Jeff Johnson

unread,
Jan 12, 2021, 9:15:47 AMJan 12
to Chromium Extensions, Chromium Extensions
I'd appreciate it if non-Googlers would please refrain from speculation. One person says "it will be impossible for new users to acquire the extension", while another person says "it will simply be freely installable". These claims contradict each other.

I'm really only interested in official answers from Simeon or another Google employee. Thank you.

Shu

unread,
Jan 12, 2021, 9:19:47 AMJan 12
to Chromium Extensions, Jeff Johnson, Chromium Extensions
I don't understand as well, I plan to publish them "FREE" on Jan 31 and implement free trial + own license api.

The only problem I found, is there any way to add new host permission to the own website for json requests without disabling extension to all users and ask them to approve new permissions? I need just json requests without sending any personal information. User will buy license code, insert it in the script and script will verify is by sending json request...

Simeon Vincent

unread,
Jan 13, 2021, 1:31:59 AMJan 13
to Shu, Chromium Extensions, Jeff Johnson
I just received an email from Google warning that Chrome Web Store Payments will soon stop working, but I still don't have information from Google about what will happen exactly with my extension.

While I understand the desire for clarity, I confess that I don't understand why not having this information would prevent you from migrating. But, that's neither here nor there.

So, let's get into what will happen on Feb 1st, 2020. Starting on this day, users will not be able to acquire items that require an upfront payment. The item's listing will still be visible in CWS, but users will not be able to purchase it. Chrome instances that already have the extension installed will not be affected. Users that have licenses for this item will still be able to download and install it, and they will continue to be able to do so until the licensing API is deprecated "at some future time." That point no one will be able to download the item as there will be no way to determine who should have access.

In order for your extensions to be available to all users, you will need to change the extension's payment settings from CWS Payments to either 'free' or 'third party payments'. Apologies, I can't remember the exact strings in the developer dashboard offhand. Note that when you make this change the extension will be available to all users. As such, before you make this change you should make sure that your extension has been updated to integrate with the third-party payment system and that premium features are gated on appropriate license checks.

FWIW, I've also given myself a bug to integrate the information I shared above into the payment deprecation docs.

Cheers,

Simeon - @dotproto
Chrome Extensions DevRel


--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Chromium Extensions" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to chromium-extens...@chromium.org.

Simeon Vincent

unread,
Jan 13, 2021, 1:47:44 AMJan 13
to Shu, Chromium Extensions, Jeff Johnson
The only problem I found, is there any way to add new host permission to the own website for json requests without disabling extension to all users and ask them to approve new permissions? I need just json requests without sending any personal information.

I'm not completely sure what you mean by "the own website". If you're referring to a website that you own and control, you don't need to add those permissions for that site to your extension. Rather, you should update your website to properly handle CORS requests coming from your extension. Notably, requests coming from an extension that does not have his permissions for a domain will contain an Origin header that identifies the request as sent from your extension's origin. If you meant something else, please clarify and I will do my best to provide more information.

There is a way that you can add a new host permission to your extension without disabling the extension: add it as an optional_permission and request host access at runtime using chrome.permissions.request

User will buy license code, insert it in the script and script will verify is by sending json request...

Not that this approach will not work in the future as Manifest V3 will no longer allow remotely hosted code.

If you want to restrict access to Only people that have purchased the extension or have an active subscription, you may want to consider limiting access using CWS's trusted testers feature. While CWS does not provide an API to manage the list of trusted testers programmatically, the trusted tester list can include a Google Group's email address. All members of the group will be considered trusted testers and I believe Google Groups have an API that you can use to manage membership. 

Cheers,

Simeon - @dotproto
Chrome Extensions DevRel

Jeff Johnson

unread,
Jan 13, 2021, 8:09:25 AMJan 13
to Chromium Extensions, Simeon Vincent, Chromium Extensions
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 12:31:59 AM UTC-6 Simeon Vincent wrote:
I just received an email from Google warning that Chrome Web Store Payments will soon stop working, but I still don't have information from Google about what will happen exactly with my extension.

While I understand the desire for clarity, I confess that I don't understand why not having this information would prevent you from migrating. But, that's neither here nor there.

That's because I am not migrating. I am effectively discontinuing my extension on the Chrome Web Store, and my only wish is to support my customers who previously paid.
 

So, let's get into what will happen on Feb 1st, 2020. Starting on this day, users will not be able to acquire items that require an upfront payment. The item's listing will still be visible in CWS, but users will not be able to purchase it. Chrome instances that already have the extension installed will not be affected. Users that have licenses for this item will still be able to download and install it, and they will continue to be able to do so until the licensing API is deprecated "at some future time." That point no one will be able to download the item as there will be no way to determine who should have access.

Thank you for the information.

So it sound like everything will be ok in the near future, but at some point in the indefinite future, I will no longer be able to provide software updates to my discontinued extension for previously paid customers?
 
Message has been deleted

Shu

unread,
Jan 13, 2021, 12:57:27 PMJan 13
to Chromium Extensions, Jeff Johnson, Simeon Vincent, Chromium Extensions
Hello,
thanks Simeon.

Here is more clarification:
Extension will send a json request using :
n = new XMLHttpRequest();
n.open("GET",  "https://www.example.com/v_tri?g=" + licenseCODE , !1),

On that page the response is very simple:
{"result":"OK","message":"License verified"}
{"result":"NO","message":"License expired"}  

As I understand this approach should work with V3, there is no js code (which will be banned in V3), this is just a simple JSON with 2 parameters. Or you want to ban such requests as well?

The google groups "testers" approach is not good, people mush share their emails and can get spam, also everything must be done manually... I hope you allow to send simple json messages, limit them by length so they are more secure.

> you should update your website to properly handle CORS requests 
Thank you! I found a way to make it work without adding permissions to manifest!:)
Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin '*' - WORKS
Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin 'chrome-extension://xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx' - WORKS
Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin 'chrome-extension:*' - doesn't work (strange, I miss something basic here :D).
So, I'll use the first one.

Hope that this will work with V3, if not, we will have 1 more year to find the fix for this :)

Veera Sekhar Babu Golla

unread,
Jan 14, 2021, 10:01:16 PMJan 14
to Shu, Chromium Extensions, Jeff Johnson, Simeon Vincent
@Simeon Vincent  Is there a chance that these payments deprecation can be extended by a month ?  Sorry, missed earlier communication and now the alert is too late to migrate. Thanks for looking into this.
Veera



--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Chromium Extensions" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to chromium-extens...@chromium.org.
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages