Provide a way to mark a Store submission as a bug fix so it can skip or fast-track certification
From my recent experiences it seems that an app submission can pass certification with no problems, but then a subsequent submission that only makes a very minor code change such as bug fix can fail certification. I accept that this will probably happen in general because full checks cannot be applied every time and different testers may pick up on different things.
However, it concerns me that one day I will run into the following hypothetical scenario:
I release a major app update which passes certification fine. I then notice a critical bug in the app which I need to fix as soon as possible. I release the bug-fixed version to the store, but it spends 3 days in certification and then fails certification. I then have to work out why it failed and make the necessary updates or etc and resubmit it for certification which could take another 3 days. That means it's taken me a week to deliver a critical bug fix, which could lose a lot of customers etc. Note that I have already experienced less serious versions of this scenario.
Therefore I would like to propose the ability to mark an app submission for an already-published app as a bug fix, which would either skip or fast-track manual certification (automatic certification using the Certification Kit would still be done). I realise this could be open to abuse, but perhaps there are some rules you could produce which a submission would have to obey in order to qualify - for example the app manifest should be unchanged except for the version number.
Thanks for considering this idea.
Ben Stevens commented
I had a couple of other thoughts. Perhaps bug-fix releases could be limited to within the two weeks after a normal release or something.
Another possible less ideal but less open to abuse way of solving the problem I described in the hypothetical scenario would be the ability to revert to a previous submission (which would not require certification). This would obviously require that the Store should keep the previous submission and app packages, but it would only need to keep the one previous one, not the whole history.