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Standards for Source Code Escrow

A world first from NCC

Until now, no standards for source code escrow have been set. NCC, with legal and technical expertise from across the world, and the backing of the European Commission, has set the standards.

The industry consensus guide supplies:

  • Promotes the use of escrow to purchasers so that the need for escrow may be identified
  • Ensures that agreements can be set up at the proper time
  • Instructs suppliers as to what and when they need to deposit into escrow
  • Directs escrow agents as to what facilities an escrow agent must offer
  • Describes safeguards for the interests of both software purchasers and suppliers
  • Guides assessment organisations in whether:
    • An escrow agent warrants the award of EN ISO 9000
    • The processes of software purchasers and suppliers meet the requirement of EN ISO 9000

Practical and ready to use

The guidance contains procedures and checklists which are ready to use and ensure adequate arrangements are made for support, maintenance, service level agreements and source code escrow.

The procedures also cover software, which has already been purchased.

Setting standards

This project has provided the source material for European and International standards. These standards protect procurement by reducing risk.


Part 1: An introduction to source code escrow (for anyone involved in the IT development and supply life-cycle including technical and legal staff)
Part 2: A guide to using source code escrow to protect procurement (for purchasing officers, end users and facilities management providers)
Part 3: A developer's guide to taking part in source code escrow (for suppliers/developers)
Part 4: A guide to providing a reliable escrow service (for escrow agents and legal practitioners)
Part 5: A guide to auditing the escrow process (for internal auditors and ISO 9000 assessors)

Download all 5 parts of the Escrow Guide from our download page (you will need to register to access this page).

The complete Escrow Guide was published by CEN - The European Committee for Standardisation as CEN Workshop Agreement 13620.

This project is partly funded by the European Commission in the framework of the SPRITE-S² pilot action. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the publisher, and represents in no way the views of the Commission. The European Communities and/or their institutions cannot be held liable for the information contained in the present publication or for any use of the information provided.




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