What you always wanted to know about hotfixes...
SinaWhiston 2700004XC7 Comments (3) Visits (5502)
Firstly, let me introduce myself - my name is Sina Whiston and I am the Smarter Infrastructure L2 (Level 2) Support Manager in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Today I want to talk (or rather write) about product maintenance and hotfixes...
Let's get the terminology out of the way:
Now, we in Support think you should always be on latest and greatest Maximo Fix Pack. That way you can take advantage of all available fixes for defects, perhaps obtain any new functionality or improvements that have been made to the product overall, such as performance related enhancement.
However, we understand that this is not always possible; we’re well aware your deployment schedule may not allow you to apply the latest fix pack. However, you may come across a defect, for which you require a fix. In these cases, we will suggest that you install an IFIX - a bundle of fixes that have gone through comprehensive QA testing before being released. As this type of hotfix bundles important fixes together, you will get code fixes for issues before these turn into a problem for your company. And the best part of this is - IFIXES are available via Fix Central for you to download – meaning you don’t even have to log a new PMR in order to get the latest IFIX.
This leaves us with LA fixes - from a Support perspective these should absolutely be your very last resort. I strongly discourage anyone from requesting and installing them. Whilst this type of fix may be provided faster than an IFIX, and whilst it may be faster to test and implement, you introduce a risk to your environment. Additionally, we expect you as our clients to do the testing yourself in your environments. LA fixes don't go through any testing and therefore create a higher exposure to risk or potential regressions. In addition, an LA fix makes your environment unique – and therefore more difficult to support. So again – from a support perspective, we are keen advocates of Fix Packs and IFIXES and discourage LA Fixes in most circumstances.
In line with the above, I think it is helpful for you to understand our strategy for code fixes, so please read on…..
IBM's release strategy for code alteration (for defects) on IBM Maximo is through a Fix Pack strategy and an Interim Fix (IFIX) strategy for use between fix packs. If your problem is having a critical impact on your day to day business operation, a (cumulative) Interim Fix can be requested.
Further to my comments above, the following considerations in regards to installing one-off hotfixes should be carefully reviewed:
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