Questions and answers

Fix Central provides fixes and updates for your system's software. You can find the fix or fixes you are looking for by searching by product, by fix ID, or by APAR. Fix Central also helps you identify any prerequisite or co-requisite fixes associated with the fixes you want to download.

How do I search for a fix?

Fix Central offers several ways for you to find a fix or fixes you are searching for. You can search by the following criteria: by product, by fix ID, or by APAR number.

Recommended Fixes

  1. Select product family, product, version and platform, and click Continue.
  2. Select the Recommended option and click Continue.

    Note: Some products may not have any "recommended" fixes at the time of your query. Click browse fixes to see all fixes for your product, version and platform, including the latest maintenance upgrades.

Searching by product

  1. Select product family, product, version and platform, and click Continue.
  2. Select Browse Fixes. Optionally, if you are only interested in fixes that apply to the version that you have installed (selected on the previous screen), and do not want to see fixes that upgrade your installed version or fix pack level, then check the box labeled "Do not show fixes that change my installed version".
  3. Click Continue to begin your search. The search will return all of the fixes on Fix Central associated with your search criteria.

Searching by fix ID

  1. Select product family, product, version and platform, and click Continue.
  2. Select Fix ID(s).
  3. Type one or more fix IDs (each separated by a comma). An asterisk ( * ) may be used as a wildcard character as part of an ID.
  4. Click Continue to begin your search. The search will return all of the fixes on Fix Central that match your search criteria.

Searching by APAR or SPR number

  1. Select product family, product, version and platform, and click Continue.
  2. Select APAR or SPR.
  3. Type an APAR or SPR number.
  4. Click Continue to begin your search. The search will return all of the fixes on Fix Central that match your search criteria.

Searching by Text

  1. Select product family, product, version and platform, and click Continue.
  2. Select Text.
  3. Enter individual words to search for, such as exception names or error message identifiers. Available fixes will be returned that contain all of the words provided, in any order. Wildcard characters are recognized. See How does the text search option work? for more information.
  4. Click Continue to begin your search. The search will return all of the fixes on Fix Central that match your search criteria.

Searching beyond Fix Central

If you are unable to find a fix matching your problem or environment on Fix Central, find the product's support page on IBM Support Portal, and use the IBM online technical support search capability.

If you are still unable to find the solution to your problem, contact product support through your normal problem reporting channels.

In the United States of America:
Contact Support Line at 1-800-IBM-SERV.

For Countries/Regions outside the United States of America:
Contact your regional technical support center.

How does the text search option work?

The text search option finds fixes that contain all of the words, in any order and in both lower and upper case, in a fix text abstract. Wildcard characters are interpreted. The text search will also search any included APAR abstract, Problem Summary, or Problem Conclusion field.

For example, searching for big blue dog will return all fixes that contain the words "big", "blue", and "dog" in any order, upper and lower case.

What is an APAR?

An Authorized Program Analysis Report (APAR) is a problem report specific to an IBM program and release, that has an associated fix. APARs are formally tracked until a solution is provided. The APAR is given a unique number for tracking and a target date for solution. A Program Temporary Fix (PTF) is developed that will temporarily solve the problem associated with the APAR. You can use the unique number given to an APAR to search for a fix on Fix Central.

Note: If an APAR is resolved both as an individual fix (iFix, PTF, or patch for example), and as part of a fixpack or other maintenance upgrade, the recommended practice is to apply the upgrade rather than the individual fix if possible.

What is an SPR?

An SPR is similar to an APAR. It refers to known problems with the Lotus brand of products.

How do I find fixes that are not hosted on Fix Central?

Fixes for additional products will be added to Fix Central over time. For IBM software products that have not yet adopted Fix Central, fixes will continue to be made available on the software support Web sites that follow. Legacy fixes that have not been migrated to Fix Central can also be found on the following Web sites:

What does "Recommended" mean on the main search page, and what can I expect when I select that option?

The Recommended search option lets you find fixes recommended by IBM tech support for the product, version and platform you have selected, such as the latest published maintenance upgrade and any critical interim fixes.

Note: Some products may not have any "recommended" fixes at the time of your query. Click browse fixes to see all fixes for your product, version and platform, including the latest maintenance upgrades.

What is a group?

A group fix contains a collection of fixes for the same brand, product, and release or releases, and related fixes such as prerequisites or corequsites. Group fixes are automatically searched for as part of your fix search.

Groups are usually created to help you avoid problems, by presenting related and co-dependent fixes together for a one-time download. If the fix you are looking for is shown as part of a group, you may wish to download and install all of the fixes in the group.

What does "Upgrades Product to Version" mean?

Upgrades product to version is the release level the product will be at only after applying a specified fix. It is visible when the target release (the version after installing the fix) is different from the source release (the version(s) to which the fix is applied).

How do I view a readme for a fix?

If a readme (or other text file) has been attached to fix by IBM support, you can obtain it by selecting that fix for download. To view a readme before you download a fix, select download the fix using your browser (HTTPS). This option allows you to download each file as a separate link. By clicking on the readme.txt (or similar) link, you can immediately load this file and display its results in a browser.

Note: Not all fixes offer a readme as a separate file. If the readme is only provided as a file embedded in the fix download, you will have to download the fix first, extract or install it, and then browse to the readme on your system.

If you choose to download using Download Director, the readme will be included in the download. You can view the readme after the download has completed by unpacking the file from the downloaded bundle.

Viewing a readme using your browser (HTTPS)

  1. Find and display your fix or fixes by searching by product, by fix ID, or by APAR.
  2. After you have located your fix, from the Select fixes and download method panel, select the fix or fixes that you want to download.
  3. Select Download using your browser (HTTPS).
  4. The contents of your fix will be displayed including the readme.
  5. Select the download link next to the readme to save and view the file.
What is Download Director?

Download Director provides enhanced download capabilities for Internet and Intranet applications. Download Director is used to download files, resume interrupted downloads and perform downloads through firewalls. Download Director is a Java applet that is launched in a browser window to provide a graphical user interface (GUI) for performing downloads and viewing download progress. Multiple files may be downloaded at the same time using a single user interface. Using Download Director for large files tends to be much faster than HTTPS, and is the recommended download method.

See What is Download Director? for more information on Download Director.

Where can I learn about fix terminology?

The following are common fix related terms used in Fix Central:

Group
A collection of related fixes created for our customers' convenience. For example, they may be fixes that IBM recommends most customers install for a specified level of the product (that is, the release of the product on a specified operating system), or for a particular solution, involving updates to more than one product. This collection is a reference to these fixes, but not an actual repackaging of those fixes.

Fix Pack
A cumulative collection of all fixes available to registered customers since the last release of the product. It can include fixes that have not been previously released and can span multiple products or components. Usually, a fix pack can be applied on top of any earlier maintenance.

Refresh Pack
A cumulative collection of all of the function and fixes that have been made available since the last major release of the product. The function and fixes might not have been previously released, and they can span multiple products or components. A refresh pack can be usually be applied on top of any earlier maintenance.

Interim Fixes
A tested and verified fix. It can contain fixes for one or more product defects (APARs). If a given fix is listed in a fix pack for the affected product, we recommend that the fix pack be applied, rather than the interim fix. However, there may be cases where your situation calls for the installation of an individual interim fix

For additional information see acronyms, abbreviations, and other terminology related to software support.

What are prerequisites and co-requisite fixes?

Many fixes' install steps require that you install an additional fix or set of fixes before or at the same time. A prerequisite to a fix can typically be installed, tested, and used regardless of whether the fix itself is installed. In the case of co-requisites, however, the fix and all of its co-requisites should be installed before using the affected product.

Note: Fix Central can only display the prerequisite and co-requisite fixes currently available on the site. To determine whether there may be other prerequisite or co-requisite fixes, consult the readme files associated with the fixes displayed.

Fix Central does not know what is already installed on the target system your fix is going to. If you know that the target system already has one or more of the listed prerequisites installed, you do not have to download or install those.

Prerequisite
A prerequisite of a fix is software (such as another fix, or operating system minimum level) that must be installed prior to the selected fix in order for the installation to work correctly.

Co-requisites
Sometimes two or more fixes have to be installed together for a system to work properly. When this is the case, one or more fixes are listed as a "co-requisite" to the fix you have selected for download. (A prerequisite, on the other hand, can usually be installed and used regardless of whether the fix you want is also installed.)

Check the readme or other documentation provided with the co-requisites to determine if there is a required order in which to install the downloads.

How do I ensure that I have all the prerequisite or co-requisite fixes I need?

Many fixes require that you install an additional fix or set of fixes before or at the same time as the fix that you are currently planning to download and install. Fix Central will only display the prerequisite and co-requisite fixes currently available through Fix Central. To determine whether there may be other prerequisite or co-requisite fixes, consult the readme files associated with the fixes displayed.

To ensure that you have access to all the prerequisite and co-requisite fixes that are offered on Fix Central, perform the following steps:

  1. Find and display your fix or fixes by searching by product, fix ID, or APAR.
  2. From the Select fixes and download method panel, select your fix or fixes, and select Include prerequisites and co-requisite fixes.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. This will display the contents of your selected fix or fixes, and will also display any additional fixes that you may need to download before or along with your currently selected fix or fixes.

Note: Fix Central does not know what is already installed on the target system your fix is going to. If you know that the target system already has one or more of the listed prerequisites installed, you do not have to download or install those.

Fix Central does not provide prerequisites that belong to products whose fixes are not yet hosted in Fix Central. See the supported products page for a complete list of products currently available through Fix Central.

How do I determine if I need entitlement or an IBM Web ID to download a fix?

Most fixes are either openly available or require only a freely available IBM Web ID. Some fixes require entitlement, but if you purchased the product you are downloading fixes for, it is likely that your customer ID has already been associated with your IBM Web ID. If there is a problem with entitlement, you will be prompted with an error message. See the following table for more details on the different levels of authority required to download a fix:

Why do I get an "entitlement failed" message when I try to obtain a fix?

If you receive an error message like The following fix cannot be downloaded due to entitlement restrictions or entitlement failed, you do not have the correct entitlement through IBM to complete the download.

This restriction applies to some IBM Software Group products (Information Management, Lotus, Rational, Tivoli, and WebSphere brands). It means that in order to download the fix, your IBM Web ID must be associated with an IBM Customer Number that is entitled to download the base product and any maintenance under the Passport Advantage program.

You may see this error because of any of the following reasons:

For more information on entitlement , see Entitlement.

Why do I get an "export control failed" message when I try to obtain a fix?

Some software, including fixes, are legally prohibited from being granted to specific users or corporations, or from being exported (including via download) to certain countries. If you receive this error, you will be contacted by an IBM representative who will verify whether you should actually be prevented from obtaining the software.

How do I obtain an IBM Web ID?

Fix Central may require you to log in using your IBM Registration user ID. IBM Registration is a central location for user information used throughout IBM web sites. If you have a signon to IBM web sites like Alphaworks or Passport Advantage, this signon is a valid IBM Web ID and can be used to log in to Fix Central. If you are prompted to sign in with an IBM ID and you do not have one, you can acquire one for free at Sign up to IBMid.

How do I get help or make suggestions about this site?

Use the feedback button on the Fix Central web site to report problems, ask questions, or make suggestions.

How do I get help with an IBM software product?

If you require immediate hardware or software technical assistance, contact product support through your normal problem reporting channels.

In the United States of America:
Contact Support Line at 1-800-IBM-SERV.

For Countries/Regions outside the United States of America:
Contact your regional technical support center.

See the IBM Passport Advantage site if you need to obtain an IBM technical support contract.