Guide & Information

Source Code Escrow

Learn how source code escrow protects software developers and their
clients as part of end-user licensing and service level agreements.

What is source code escrow?

Source code escrow puts a contractual obligation on a software developer or supplier (licensor) to store the complete and up-to-date source code — and sometimes also object code — of a business-critical application in a format readable by humans with a trusted escrow agent such as Codekeeper.

In particular, by escrowing the source code of a critical application, the end-user (licensee) protects their software investment by means of ensuring they can maintain and update it irrespective of the developer or supplier's operational statuses. Such circumstances include the software developer discontinuing maintenance and support, running out of business, or breaching the licensing agreement in any other way.


Source code escrow is a specialized software protection solution designed to store the source code of a critical software application, ensuring access in case the software's maintenance cannot otherwise be assured, as defined in agreed-upon conditions.

Who is source code escrow for?

It is intended for all software developers and suppliers who deploy business-critical, on-site software applications as part of service level and license agreements, as well as their clients (end-users).

Though source code escrow is most commonly used for traditional on-site software licenses, it’s a versatile software protection solution that can also be employed for development agreements, software acquisition agreements, and other transactions involving software.

Why do developers use source code escrow?

Successful software developers and suppliers leverage source code escrow during licensing negotiations to offer more value to their clients and stand out from competitors, which is why some business development executives refer to it as “the great sales enabler.” By storing source code in a secure location, developers also deploy source code escrow to increase security and protect intellectual property.

Why do end-users use source code escrow?

Licensees — companies whose operations rely on third-party software applications — primarily use it to mitigate risks. With the ability and documented right to maintain and update essential parts of a critical software product, end-users reduce the chance of interruption or damage to their business and ensure business continuity in case their software supplier undergoes acquisition, runs out of business, fails to provide adequate maintenance, or otherwise breaches the agreement.

Source code escrow for agile companies

Discover how Codekeeper’s modern escrow solutions help leading global companies protect the source code they need to operate critical business functions.


How does Codekeeper help?

As a trusted escrow agent, Codekeeper’s role is to receive, store, and protect mission-critical software assets. With cost-effective pricing, you can securely store your escrow deposits in our world-class data centers for as low as $79 per month, with a start-up fee of only $249.

All plans come with cutting-edge automation technology, advanced security features, rich integrations, unlimited continuous deposits, free escrow agreements and confirmations, and more.


Information Security Guide

Download our guide to learn more about the measures Codekeeper takes to ensure utmost security for your source code escrow.


Explore the Codekeeper blog

Visit our blog to read more in-depth articles and actionable tips on topics ranging from risk management to software licensing to source code escrow... and much more!



Introduction to Software Escrow: A Guide

Learn how software escrow helps you mitigate risks and ensure your mission-critical systems remain unaffected through any circumstance.

Protect your source code with Codekeeper

Software escrow secures the source code needed to recover if a supplier is no longer able to provide access or support the software you need for your business operations with an independent 3rd party.