Being a good support technician doesn't always mean knowing an answer. Many times you only need to know where to look to find it.
Most often, the place to look is a public document on ibm.com. I like to keep a "WMB" (WebSphere Message Broker)tab of bookmarks in my browser pointing to the different WMB pages I use daily. If I need something that I haven't bookmarked yet, I can find it by drilling down on ibm.com, but I find that direct links are quicker for documents that I access frequently. I would recommend that all Broker Administrators/Users/Developers keep a similar list.
Here are the ones I consider absolutely necessary:
- The IBM Support Portal for WMB - Here you can find technotes, redbook publications, APARs, WSTEs, and fixpacks, all searchable specific to the WMB product line.
- WMB Information Center Library - The "Infocenter" is provided with the WMB Toolkit, but you can find online and downloadable versions here. This is the best place to go to gain a working knowledge of a product component.
- WMB System Requirements - An easy way to check whether your configuration is supported.
- WMB Recommended Fixes - Looking for the latest fixpack? Look no further!
- APAR Fixlists for WMB 6.0, 6.1, 7.0, 8.0 - These fixlists are linked from each fixpack page, but I find I need them more often. This is a great way to see whether the next fixpack contains a crucial fix for a problem you are seeing.
- WMB Support Pacs - Many SupportPacs have found their way into newer versions of WMB. However, some can still only be found here. A word of caution: Many SupportPacs aren't actually supported by IBM, so check the category of the ones you're interested in and understand the terms.
- WebSphere Request For Enhancement (RFE) Community - Have you thought of a great new idea for the product? Pitch it here, or vote for others!
Of course, if you are opening a PMR (problem record) or a SR (service request), there are a few more links which are also useful:
- IBM Service Request Tool - Here, you can open, close, update, and manage all of your SRs/PMRs.
- WMB Mustgather - If you open a PMR with the WMB Support team, chances are you will be asked for some supporting documentation. The "mustgather" site steps you through what might, and what will, be needed.
- WMB Trace Instructions - If you're able to easily recreate a problem, you'll probably want to capture it in some kind of trace. All WMB trace instructions are available, here.
- ECuRep file upload - Many "mail shields" are very adept at deleting important attachments if a threat is suspected. This page will let you upload your files directly into your PMR for IBM Support, without having to hassle with email.
- IBM AssistOnSite - A tool that creates a one time link between you and IBM support, allowing IBM to see your screen so you can recreate your problem in real time. Ask whether it is right for your PMR!
Do you have any WMB links you consider vital?