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  The rights and duties are specified by three groups of information shown in figure [*]: legal, organizational and technical information. To be considered valid a SLA must comply with all formalities, e.g. names, addresses and signatures of the contracting parties are needed. This legal information is important for a contract, but it is regulated by law. Therefore, this paper focuses on organizational and technical aspects of the customer-provider relationship.

[Elements of SLAs]Elements of SLAs   [r][width=6cm]bilder/contractaspects

The service is described by technical information on functionality, capacity, quality and the interfaces for usage and management. Functionality describes what the service supports to do, not how it is done. Capacity and quality criteria specify the service level that must be fulfilled. The usage interface is the service access point. A management interface is needed for monitoring and controlling the service from the customer's domain.

The organizational information includes all interactions between customer and provider for the usage and management of the service. Usage interactions are for example the login process for ordering a product. Interactions like adding a new dealer or problem handling are management interactions.

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