A service agreement that specifies delivered services; service measures; levels of acceptable and unacceptable services; and expected responsibilities, liabilities, and actions of both the provider and customer in anticipated situations. (See also “measure,” “service,” and “service agreement.”)

A service level agreement is a kind of service agreement that documents the details indicated in the definition.

The use of the term “service agreement” always includes “service level agreement” as a subcategory and the former may be used in place of the latter for brevity. However, “service level agreement” is the preferred term when it is desired to emphasize situations in which distinct levels of acceptable services exist, or other details of a service level agreement are likely to be important to the discussion.