Service Level Agreement (SLA)
A Service Legal Agreement (SLA) is an agreement between two parties, generally the service provider and their customer(s) that sets out what services that the service provider will provide and what the required standards of those services are.
SLAs play an important role in managing relationships between two parties by pulling together information on all contracted services and their agreed-upon expected provision of those services in a contractual agreement. They spell out things like metrics, parties’ responsibilities, and core expectations so that if issues arise, all parties understand their obligations to one another and can work together to reach an amicable resolution quickly.
A web hosting provider, for example, might promise 99.99% uptime per annum of its servers in its SLA, and offer customers certain reparations (e.g., pro-rated refunds for web hosting services) in case that the particulars of the SLA aren’t met.