The expert guide to escrow

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More questions?

Do you have more questions? Talk to our consultants

Escrow new to you?

Dive into the beginner guide and learn more about the basics

How does Escrow Alliance draft an escrow agreement?

We work according to the 5-step method. That is our method to quickly reach a successful escrow agreement.

Step 1: Inventory

Our experts make an inventory of the wishes of both the supplier and the user and then draw up the draft agreement.

We always assume a balanced escrow agreement. We make no distinction between how large or small a party is.

Step 2: Assessment

We will send the draft agreement to the party that made the first contact for review. We only deviate from this in exceptional cases. We will discuss this during the inventory.

Step 3: Mediation

The first party will notify us of any changes. If adjustments are required that have consequences for the other party, we will submit them to the relevant party.

We do not provide advice or judgement. Are you not clear what the effect of the adjustment is? Then you must indicate this to us so that we can explain it objectively.

Are there any changes related to Escrow Alliance? Then we assess on a case-by-case basis what we accept or refuse.

Step 4: Signing

Once you have agreed on the agreement? Then we draw up a final version that we send by email in PDF format to both parties.

All parties must then sign the agreement online through Adobe Sign. The supplier must first sign, then the user and finally Escrow Alliance.

Only when everyone has signed the agreement does the agreement take effect and we start preparing for the export.

Step 5: Output

During the export, we collect and verify with the supplier all materials that go into the escrow depot. The exact interpretation depends on the specific agreement. After everything has been stored in our safes, you can always view the status of the deposit via My Escrow.

Which languages do you support?

Escrow Alliance supports the following programming languages. Is the language you use not listed? Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

-Java
- C
- Python
- C++
-Visual Basic .Net
- JavaScript
- C#
- PHP
- SQL
- Objective-C
- Matlab

Which platforms do you support?

Escrow Alliance supports the following platforms. Is the one you use not listed? Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

- AWS (Amazon Web Services)
- Heroku
- Mendix
- Microsoft Azure
-Salesforce

What verification methods do you use?

Escrow Alliance supports the following authentication methods.

- Integrity
- Compilation
- Build
- Restore
- Deploy

Which different delivery methods do you support?

Escrow Alliance supports the following delivery methods. Is the method you want to use not listed? Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Do you opt for physical delivery? Then you can use the following storage media. Do you deliver electronically? Then you will receive a free media carrier from us.

- CD-ROMs
- DVD ROMs
- Blu-ray disc
- USB sticks
- Memory cards
- SSDs
- Hard drives (HDDs)

Physical delivery methods:

- Come and hand over the depot yourself at our Haarlem office
- Have us pick up the depot at your office
- Send by post to our Haarlem office
- Send by courier with a choice of pick up and delivery

Online delivery methods:

- Our delivery site https://transfer.escrowalliance.com
- Continuous deposit
- Dual Depot
- SFTP, SFTP, FTPS, FTPES or SSH tunnel
- Real-time connection to source code management servers based on GIT, SVN, Mercurial or within TFS environments

Do you have a step-by-step plan for submitting the depot?

Before we accept materials for the depot, they must meet a number of conditions.

We do this according to a step-by-step plan. We have described this below for beginners and experts, which is why we explain a number of things that are already clear to some.

It is important to us that everyone knows exactly how we work. During the process itself, you'll get exactly the support you need from our experts.

The exceptions to these rules are the real-time links and if you want customization. That's no problem! In both cases, please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Roadmap

Step 1: the preparation

1a: collecting the materials

The Escrow Alliance verification consultant consults with the supplier about which materials should be placed in the depot.

Use is made of the deposit checklist or specific instructions contained in the escrow agreement.

1b: Compress the materials

The collected materials must now be compressed by the supplier into 1 archive file so that you can be sure that everything ends up in the depot.

We recommend creating a common (possibly encrypted - see step 1c) .ZIP, .RAR or .TAR archive file for long-term compatibility.

Are you dealing with many or large files? Then you could split the archive files into multiple archive files. The chance of errors during the transfer is thus much smaller.

Note: there is a limit of 2TB per deposit. Do you need more space? Please contact us for customization.

1c: encryption

We already mentioned in 1b that we recommend encrypting your archive files. In this way, the files are more secure during upload, transport or storage.

When encrypting a seat belt in a car, think of it: will things ever go wrong in the worst case? Then you have that (often life-saving) certainty.

We prefer to advise you personally about the type of encryption and the software that is best for you.

Note: if you use your own cryptographic keys, you must supply them separately. See 2a. These keys are also stored separately from the deposit.

1d: control

The last step before delivery. Check whether you have all files (possibly with the correct version numbers) from the escrow agreement in the archive file, whether everything is correctly encrypted and whether you have any of your own keys to hand.

Step 2: the delivery

2a: check and return the escrow deposit form (EDF)

You will receive this pre-completed form from us when the escrow arrangement starts. Check all data, correct where necessary and then return it.

Here are a few questions to keep in mind:

-Do you use encryption?
Don't forget to check this if you have encrypted the files. You will automatically receive the public key from us.
- Do you want to use our FTP server?
Check this box and we will pass on the access data.
- Do you use your own cryptographic keys, passwords or different security?
Check this box and we will send you the delivery instructions. Please note: this is a separate delivery process.

2b: Verification by our verification consultant

We verify everything according to Technical Verification Service (TVS) Level 1 before it is stored as a deposit.

You will receive a verification report within 5 days. If something goes wrong, we will contact the supplier.

Which deposit verifications do you use?

We offer various depot verifications to ensure that the materials in the depot are complete and - if necessary - can be used immediately.

Which verification is required when depends on the material. We are happy to advise you on this.

The Depot Check Service

Also known as DCS. During this basic verification, we only check the (physical) quality of the materials and any storage media before they are included as a deposit.

Technical verification service

Also called TVS. This is an extensive verification that consists of a DCS in combination with a thorough analysis and extensive technical verification of the depot.

During the analysis, the verification consultant checks whether the materials are complete and technically in order. The verification is to check whether it can really be compiled and immediately used again.

Afterwards you know for sure that everything is complete, that it works and that you can use it immediately if necessary.

What needs to be done depends on the type of escrow arrangement and what level you need.

What are the 4 levels of the TVS?

We offer the TVS on 4 levels or levels so that we can meet the diverse wishes of our customers.
- TVS Level 1
- TVS Level 2
- TVS Level 3
- TVS Level 4

TVS Level 1

Our standard authentication for most escrow arrangements.

Method

We start with a DCS (Depot check service). Then we do a deposit analysis and finally a technical verification. All verifications at TVS Level 1 are performed at our office by screened verification consultants with many years of experience in this field.

Deposit analysis:

- Check whether everything described in the escrow deposit form (EDF) has been submitted
- Check if all materials are in order
- Check whether the technical documentation is correct
- Check if the passwords that are in a separate password repository work

Technical verification:

- Verify that the storage media and materials are free of malware (viruses, spyware, etc.)
- Unpack and test the materials in a special environment.

Transportation

Know that we have very strict shipping guidelines for the packaging, security and storage of the depot.

For (possible) transport to our office or to our storage vaults, we only work with companies that specialize in data transport.

Report

Afterwards, both parties will receive an extensive verification report in PDF format via email.

TVS Level 2

This verification is for software that:
- falls outside the normal updates or compilations
- is developed by other suppliers
- has been developed as customization in addition to a standard program

Method

At TVS Level 2, a verification consultant comes to a supplier's location. He helps an engineer put together the escrow depot, after which they carry out the DCS together.

It is then transported to our office. There we then have the extensive verifications of TVS Level 1 carried out by screened verification consultants with years of experience in this field. That way we know for sure that everything is correct.

Deposit analysis:

- Check whether everything described in the escrow deposit form (EDF) has been submitted
- Check if all materials are in order
- Check whether the technical documentation is correct
- Check if the passwords that are in a separate password repository work

Technical verification:

- Verify that the storage media and materials are free of malware (viruses, spyware, etc.)
- Unpack and test the materials in a special environment.

Transportation

Know that we have very strict shipping guidelines for the packaging, security and storage of the depot.

For (possible) transport to our office or to our storage vaults, we only work with companies that specialize in data transport.

Report

Afterwards, both parties will receive an extensive verification report in PDF format via email.

TVS Level 3

This verification is for customers with source code escrow who want to make sure that code can actually be compiled into the program itself. In this case, the supplier must perform the compilation itself.

Method

At TVS Level 3, a verification consultant comes to a supplier's site to observe and document the compilation of source code into program.

An employee of the supplier first compiles the escrow depot for the DCS, depot analysis and technical verification, among other things.

The supplier then receives a test machine from us, after which the verification consultant comes by. If they encounter errors, they are rectified on the spot.

It is then transported to our office. There we then have the extensive verifications of TVS Level 1 carried out by screened verification consultants with years of experience in this field. That way we know for sure that everything is correct.

Deposit analysis:

- Check whether everything described in the escrow deposit form (EDF) has been submitted
- Check if all materials are in order
- Check whether the technical documentation is correct
- Check if the passwords that are in a separate password repository work

Technical verification:
- Verify that the storage media and materials are free of malware (viruses, spyware, etc.)
- Unpack and test the materials in a special environment.
- Observing and documenting the compilation of the source code into the program by following the instructions provided step-by-step.
- Solve any problems and correct any errors in the instructions

Transportation

Know that we have very strict shipping guidelines for the packaging, security and storage of the depot.

For (possible) transport to our office or to our storage vaults, we only work with companies that specialize in data transport.

Report

Afterwards, both parties will receive an extensive verification report in PDF format via email. In this case, the observations of the verification consultant will appear in the report.

TVS Level 4

This verification is for customers with source code escrow who want to make sure that code can actually be compiled into the program itself. In this case, our specialists will do the compilation at our office.

Method

At TVS Level 4, our verification consultants use the supplied materials to compile the source code into a program.

An employee of the supplier first compiles the escrow depot for the DCS, depot analysis and technical verification, among other things.

Then we go to work in our office. If we encounter errors, we will contact the supplier to provide an adapted depot and adjust the instructions.

After that, we have the extensive verifications of TVS Level 1 done by screened verification consultants with years of experience in this field. That way we know for sure that everything is correct.

Deposit analysis:

- Check whether everything described in the escrow deposit form (EDF) has been submitted
- Check if all materials are in order
- Check whether the technical documentation is correct
- Check if the passwords that are in a separate password repository work

Technical verification:

- Verify that the storage media and materials are free of malware (viruses, spyware, etc.)
- Unpack and test the materials in a special environment.
- Compiling the source code into the program by following the instructions provided step-by-step.
- Let us fix any problems and correct any errors in the instructions

Transportation

Know that we have very strict shipping guidelines for the packaging, security and storage of the depot.

For (possible) transport to our office or to our storage vaults, we only work with companies that specialize in data transport.

Report

Afterwards, both parties will receive an extensive verification report in PDF format via email. In this case, everything that the verification consultants encounter will be included in the report.

customization

Of course we also provide customization when it comes to verifications. Below are a few examples. Contact us to discuss your wishes.

Technical Verifications

Source code and runtime comparison research
Password and Login Verification
Comparison of document specifications and content
Database File Integrity
Graphics File Verification
Samples on depot

Integrity and Evidence Investigations

Conduct Contingency Surveys for SaaS Applications
Identifying chain bottlenecks for SaaS environments
Database integrity checks for Saas environments

We work with SaaS, how do I make a quick restart if things go wrong?

If your SaaS supplier goes down very unexpectedly, you can make a quick restart for the short term via our Continuity and Guarantee Escrow Alliance Foundation (SCWEA.org).

Through SCWEA we host the entire environment for a short time. As a user, you can continue working with your online software immediately and in the meantime work on a solution for the longer term.

SCWEA is a foundation that was established solely to ensure that this security is there for our customers. We have no profit motive or interest in hosting any online software.