SaaS Agreements – SLA – Maintenance

In order to maintain the SaaS software that you provide to customers under a SaaS agreement the following issues should be included in the maintenance section of your SLA.

Scheduled Maintenance/ Planned Maintenance

You will need to allow for regular maintenance in your SLA.  This will permit you to carry out planned maintenance to the SaaS software that customers are accessing 24×7.  As this will interfere with the availability of the SaaS software your SLA should set out when standard maintenance will take place. This should also state whether and what prior notice will be given to customers before any planned maintenance is carried out.

Any downtime caused by the scheduled maintenance should be excluded from the calculation of the availability of the SaaS software in the SLA.

Emergency Maintenance

From time to time you will need to carry out emergency maintenance to the SaaS software. You should therefore include an emergency maintenance section in your SLA so that you can install emergency patches and carry out emergency repairs.  The maintenance section of your SLA should permit you to carry out emergency maintenance at any time. The obligation to provide the customer with prior notice should be on a best efforts basis.

Any downtime caused by you carrying out emergency maintenance should be excluded from the calculation of the availability of the  software in the SaaS agreement.


Identify in the SLA whether upgrades are included in the SaaS agreement or not. Will they be free of charge, or are they only provided upon payment of an additional fee? Are upgrades mandatory or voluntary? Also identify what is included in an “upgrade” – usually new or updated applications services or tools (including any software programmes).


Irene Bodle is an IT lawyer specialising in SaaS agreements with over 10 years experience in the IT sector. If you require assistance with any SaaS, ASP, software on demand contracts or any other IT legal issues contact me:

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