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Understanding and beating SaaS

by Soft2share.com

If you work with software, you’re often under Software as a Service (SaaS), which limits your powers and options. This is especially important for software you use and depend on for work. Even if you have multiple copies in an office, for instance, you actually have multiple licenses, all under the SaaS agreement.

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Since software is only going to become more important, it’s crucial to understand how this works and, perhaps more importantly, how source code escrow can be used to your advantage.

The agreement

SaaS, at its simplest, works on two different ends. The first is you, as the user. By purchasing a license and installing the product, you have entered into the end user agreement. This enables and entitles you to use the product but it does not give you access to the source code. Thus, you cannot make changes so, if something ever goes wrong, you don’t have the means to fix it.

Secondly is the company that provided the product to begin with. They are also entered into the end user agreement, yet their end is different. They have access to the source code as, after all, it is their product and the code is their property.

Yet, in exchange for keeping these privileges, they have to provide a fully working item.

When it doesn’t work

Of course, when this doesn’t work there can be a tricky legal situation. If it is determined the provider has failed to uphold the agreement – through not providing an efficient enough service – SaaS dictates the user can receive the code. This would effectively give you a copy of the product and remove your reliance on the other business.

Yet the provider doesn’t want this and long legal battles to prove anything can take time and, when time is money, this simply won’t do.

A more effective solution requires speed and effective decision making and, as a neutral third party between two different interests, source code escrow works perfectly. Such an agency can determine when SaaS is broken and, when right to do so, has the legal authority to hand over the source code.

This is a much quicker solution but many look to SaaS as a simple form of risk insurance. Any company willing to enter SaaS is prepared to stay the course, after all, so it usually serves as a mark of quality, as well as motivating these firms to keep up the work.

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