Benefits of a software escrow agreement with verification
Having an escrow agreement in place gives licensees the rights and access to the source code, designs, processes or formulae behind their mission critical material or application in the event of vendor failure.
It does not, however, guarantee that licensees will always be able to use the material released to them in a timely fashion.
Our in-house experts will validate the escrow materials and can provide a comprehensive build and deployment report using the deposited materials. Each party can then be provided with a report outlining the full build and deployment process, leaving both parties knowing the deposit will be functional and deployable in a timely fashion.
NCC Group strongly believes in verification, which is why under our escrow agreements all deposited material undergo a media check free of charge.
Media checks ensure material deposited are free of malicious virus, accessible and of the expected type. A Media Check involves the following:
- Virus check
- Media read check
- Compression check
- Password/encryption check
- Source code check
Types of software verification
We offer a range of specialist verification services to suit different requirements. All of our below testing is delivered by our experienced, in-house testing team in addition to the Media Check. Which type of verification is best for you?
A Deposit Review involves an independent audit which records and inventories the full source code documentation files, third party utilities/software and build architecture.
Entry Level Verification
Our Entry Level Verification expands on the Deposit Review and observes and captures the end-to-end build process of the application, from source code to working system.
User Assured Verification
User Assured Verification is for licensee that wish to ensure they have the ability to build and maintain the software in their own environment. This is done by simulating a real life escrow release event.
This involves an NCC Group Verification Consultant building the application from the source code and verification documentation held within the escrow deposit at the licensee’s site. This is carried out with the software vendor’s permission and we welcome software vendors to supervise the whole process.
Independent Build Verification
Independent Build Verification is for licensees that wish to ensure they have the ability to pass the source code to a new software vendor to build and maintain on their behalf. This is done by simulating a real life escrow release event.
This involves an NCC Group Verification Consultant building the application from the source code and verification documentation held within the escrow deposit at our secure test laboratory. This build will include a full recreation of the development environment to mimic the process your new software vendor will take. This is only permitted with the current software vendor’s permission and we welcome software vendors to supervise the whole process.
A Secure Verification provides independent assurance that the source code and associated files deposited in escrow have been scanned to identify any security vulnerabilities which exist in the application source code. Find out more about our different levels of Secure Verification.
You establish an escrow agreement to provide a continuity plan around licensed, mission critical software, but how can you be sure the materials can be used in a timely, successful way? Software Verification can offer you that assurance.
With the initial escrow deposit and each subsequent update, we test the integrity of the escrow deposit. This complimentary test assures the deposit is free of viruses, fully accessible, functioning and contains source code.
For your most mission critical technology, however, you should also consider a higher level of verification to ensure that if a release event occurs you would know how to rebuild the software into a working application. Verification is strongly recommended for all mission critical applications.
Our Software verification services are designed to give your clients confidence in the materials you have provided and help to strengthen your relationship with your users.
Creating the escrow deposit is the first step in having a usable set of materials. Our escrow experts will provide guidance to you around what makes an effective escrow. You can ship the materials to us or use a secured file transfer protocol connect to deliver the deposit.
Our complimentary media check assures the deposit is free of viruses, fully accessible, the media functions and the deposit contains source code. Only NCC Group offers this service without additional charges.
Our approach to verifying the deposit and providing freedom from these risks is unique to our industry. The testing is designed in cooperation with your own development team. We believe a partnership between all involved parties is ideal. Our experienced, in-house testing team – another industry exclusive – works with you to validate all the necessary components of the escrow deposit are present and check the functionality of the media, uncovering many errors, security locks or omissions.
The entire process and action items are detailed in a comprehensive report that is provided to each party and you are left knowing the deposit will be functional and deployable in a timely fashion.
How can a licensee have confidence the escrow materials can be used in a timely, successful way?
NCC Group will work with each party to jointly design a custom testing plan that will inspect the escrow deposit materials, test their functionality and design a deployment plan should the escrow deposit ever be released.
Our testing is designed and performed by our experienced, in-house testing team. We validate all the necessary components of the escrow deposit are present and then check the functionality of the media, uncovering any errors, security locks or omissions. Further, our verification experts will work with both the licensee and vendor to ensure that the source code compiles into the expected application, deliver a report documenting the build and compilation processes and identify what resources and staffing needs will be required to utilize the escrow deposit.