SaaS Agreements – FAQs – What is SaaS and Essential Terms to include in a SaaS Agreement

SaaS is the abbreviation for “software as a service”. You may know this under another name, for example subscription agreement, software on demand, software subscription agreement, cloud computing or ASP services (application service provider). These names all refer to the same thing – software being made available via the Internet to users.

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SaaS Agreements – SLAs – Business Continuity and Escrow Agents

SaaS customers are increasingly asking for disaster recover provisions to be included within the terms of a SaaS agreement to ensure that they have access to their data and continuity of service if a problem arises at the SaaS supplier’s data centre. The costs of providing disaster recovery used to be prohibitive, due to the requirement of having mirrored servers and transferring data, however there is now a new market opening up with former escrow providers offering a variety of disaster recovery options at affordable prices.

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SaaS Agreements – FAQs – Source Code

When negotiating a SaaS agreement you will come across the terms source code, object code and open source. What is the difference if any between source code, object code and open source?

Source Code

Source code is the version of a computer programme (SaaS software) that exists prior to the software being ready to compile and run on a computer. The source code consists of a number of statements created in a text form by a programmer. These statements are saved in a named file and are called the source code.

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SaaS Agreements – Need for an Escrow Agreement

Having an escrow agreement in place protects all parties involved in the development, supply and use of business critical SaaS applications. It provides customers with peace of mind for securing long-term availability of a critical SaaS application by enabling customers to update software and fix any bugs even if the supplier is no longer able to support them.

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SaaS, ASP Agreements – FAQs – Confidential Information

What confidentiality provisions need to be included in a SaaS agreement?Define Confidential Information.
Parties will obtain and have access to the business critical information of each other as a result of entering into a SaaS Agreement. For example, they may have access to customer lists, banking information, IPR, source code and object code or business secrets and processes. Confidential information should be defined in the SaaS agreement to make clear what is, and what is not, confidential. Do not simply refer to documents which are “marked as confidential” or “which should be treated as confidential”. Not all confidential information exists in a physical format, particularly in a SaaS scenario – so do not restrict your definition to just documents.

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SaaS, ASP Agreements – FAQs – Escrow

When negotiating a SaaS agreement you may come across the term escrow. What is escrow and is an escrow agreement necessary? Under the terms of a SaaS agreement you do not own or have any rights to the software (which includes the source code) that you are accessing. This is usually not an issue until technical problems arise, i.e. unexpected service interruptions, downtime, loss of application functionality and loss of data. This can add significant costs to your business and you are dependent upon the supplier to resolve these issues, unless you have an escrow agreement in place.

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SaaS, ASP Agreements – Source Code and Object Code

When negotiating a SaaS agreement you will come across the terms source code and object code. What is the difference between source code and object code? Source code is the version of a computer programme that exists prior to the software being ready to compile and run on a computer. The source code consists of a number of statements created in a text form by a programmer.

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