In the rapidly evolving technology landscape, businesses rely heavily on mission-critical software for seamless operations. This case study explores the pivotal role played by PRAXIS’ solutions, namely Automated Escrow Depositing and Technical Verification in preserving essential software build documentation and ensuring application continuity.
A prominent financial services company relied on a complex software solution from a third-party vendor for key operational functions. To safeguard against unforeseen circumstances, the company had entered into a software escrow agreement with the vendor, emphasizing the periodic depositing of software source code and build documentation so that the company could continue to use the software application even if the software vendor went out of business or otherwise failed to support the application. .
After years of smooth collaboration, the financial services company discovered an abrupt halt in the vendor’s depositing of software build documentation into the escrow account. This deviation raised concerns as it jeopardized operational efficiency, security, and compliance for the client.
Choosing PRAXIS as their escrow services provider, the financial services company benefited from an automated software escrow depositing service called Automated Escrow. Beyond traditional escrow, PRAXIS seamlessly integrated with the vendor’s development workflows, incorporating weekly clones of source code and documentation directly from the software vendor’s source code archive system. Periodic technical verifications were performed to ensure that the escrow deposit was complete, updated and capable of building a working application.
- GitHub Repository Cloning: PRAXIS’ solution cloned several of the software vendor’s GitHub repositories weekly, which included source code and also documentation such as build instructions, lists of third party tools and more. Because the solution is automated the software vendor could maintain 100% compliance with their escrow requirements automatically without any additional effort required after the initial connectivity session.
- Permanent Data Retention: PRAXIS guaranteed permanent retention of all cloned repositories, offering a secure and tamper-proof repository. This archive served as a failsafe in case the vendor failed to deposit updated documentation or attempted to withhold information in the future.
- Logs, Alerts, and Monitoring: The Automated Escrow solution included a robust monitoring system detecting any deviations from the connected repositories, triggering alerts in case of missed deposits. After a few years of successful escrow compliance, PRAXIS received error messages related to one repository. It turned out to be the repository that contained all the documentation for building the application. PRAXIS’ engineers contacted the software vendor multiple times to reconnect the disconnected repositories. The software vendor refused to cooperate.
Technical Verification: The financial services company opted for periodic Technical Verifications of the escrow deposit materials to ensure that the working application could be recreated by using the escrow deposit materials and associated documentation. While most software escrow agreements require a software vendor to deposit and update all of the source code, documentation and other information needed for a “reasonably skilled software engineer” to build and support the software application, unless a Technical Verification is performed periodically there is no guarantee that the escrow deposit is complete and functional. Only a Technical Verification can prove this level of functionality.
The Rescue Operation:
The financial services company began to notice degrading functionality and support of the application from the software vendor, who eventually filed for bankruptcy. The financial services company filed for and successfully received the escrow deposit materials from PRAXIS. In reviewing the escrow deposit materials they learned that the later escrow deposits in fact did not contain the critical build documentation and instructions. However, because they had used the Automated Escrow solution and because PRAXIS never deletes previous updates, the financial services company received a tremendous archive of all repositories and previous updates did contain the critical documentation. Further, having the results from previous Technical Verifications provided the detailed instructions, including videos and screenshots of the test installation, they were able to successfully support their application in the short term while they searched for another software vendor.
- Enhanced Business Continuity: PRAXIS’ automated escrow depositing, data retention policy ensured uninterrupted access to essential software build documentation, preserving operational continuity for the financial services company.
- Holistic Risk Mitigation: The systematic cloning and permanent data retention acted as safeguards, mitigating the risk of losing critical information even as the software vendor tried to remove certain deposit materials.
- Comprehensive Compliance Assurance: Despite the vendor’s failure to comply with the terms of the software escrow agreement over time, the client maintained application continuity by having a complete escrow solution in place from the outset of the relationship.
- Technical Verifications performed periodically throughout the relationship guaranteed the functionality of the escrow deposit materials.
- Operational Cost Savings: PRAXIS’ complete software escrow solution reduced application downtime and averted disaster by providing the financial services company with a legally clear path to application continuity through the automated software escrow, permanent data retention and periodic testing.
In the face of unexpected challenges, PRAXIS’ automated software escrow depositing and technical verification solution emerged as the hero, ensuring uninterrupted operations for a leading financial services company. This case highlights the significance of proactive and technologically advanced escrow solutions, particularly those incorporating technical verification, in safeguarding business continuity in technology-driven industries. The combination of weekly clones, permanent data retention, real-time monitoring and technical verification, provides a robust safety net, allowing companies to navigate the complexities of the modern digital landscape with confidence.