First off, Happy New Year! I hope 2011 finds you and yours safe and well.
Second, we want to share a compliment we are very proud of:
In December, we posted a video to help explain how IM Support uses Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) and some of the benefits: http://ow.ly/3yKEO
David Kay, one of the leading voices in KM and KCS, just posted a "pat on the back" for the video in his blog: Communicating KM to Customers: IBM does it right
We're still maturing as an organization using KCS, but hopefully you've seen the improvement in our ability to provide support content to help guide you and answer your technical questions.
We're proud of the progress we've made, and look forward to doing more in the future!
Prior posts about KCS in IM Support:
The KCS Shift and the Information Shuffle - is that a new dance?
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You asked for it, and soon you'll be able to use the completely refreshed and redesigned IBM Support Portal!
Among the many improvements, you'll find:
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Today we are very excited to announce two new ways to get Support information specifically for DB2!
A crack team of DB2 experts around the world will be sharing their expertise through Twitter and Facebook.
These channels will cover DB2 Tools...
... and DB2 Engines
DB2 Blog posts will continue to be posted here on our Thoughts from Information Management Support blog.
Follow DB2 Support on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to stay connected and take proactive steps to support your DB2 database. Encourage your coworkers to do the same!
Today's Technical Tip is not only a milestone because we are now 1/5 through our Technical Support Tip series, this tip covers our most important and anticipated events of the year -- Information on Demand! (Click here to learn more about our Technical Tip Series.)
Once again, Information Management Support and the Accelerated Value Program will be at Information On Demand and ready to discuss your Software Support innovations, goals, and priorities. Get helpful tips on new ways to optimize our Support portfolio of offerings and get the most out of your IBM software. Learn about:
Located inside the EXPO, the Support Hub (booth 625), and AVP Red Carpet Lounge (space 431) will be hosting discussions and presentations each day. We encourage you to stop by and find out how IBM Support can help you improve the stability, performance, and availability of your IBM Software. Check out the detailed list of our activities below and plan to connect with us at IOD 2011! We have also included some popular education and training activities that may be of interest to you.
Remember, IBM Software Support offers comprehensive maintenance and support for all phases of the software life-cycle. Delivered by a team of world-class technical specialists and award-winning portfolio of electronic tools and resources, IBM Support is available to help you around the clock, whether you are installing new products, upgrading to current releases, or transitioning to new software platforms - all part of your current software subscription and support agreement. Connect with us at IOD to ensure you are getting the most out of your product's Support!
Enjoy IOD 2011 and make sure to plan ahead to get the most out of your conference experience!
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What's new for you?
Thanks to everyone who has been out there rating our documents on the web, we're now able to show you a list of the top rated documents in Support Portal. This is in addition to the "Most recent" and "Most viewed". So, if you are working in "browse" mode, trying to be proactive by visiting the Support Portal to keep an eye on - what's new, of course - then you need to check out the "Overview top ten" portlet!
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Time for a Tune-Up!
Information Management Support wants to let you know that this weekend, we'll be taking advantage of the US Labor Day holiday to perform some critical maintenance on our systems.
As such, our technical support content will be unavailable for parts of Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, September 5.
What you can expect:
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If you are an IBM Site Technical Contact (STC) or if you want to know how to identify STCs in your organization, you should watc
Each organization selects a Site Technical Contact when it purchases software from IBM. The STC completes the following common tasks to make sure you and your colleagues can easily access IBM Support:
The video provides simple, step-by-step instructions on:
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The IBM Support Portal will soon have a new look! Our friends on the Elec
Part 3: Comm
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While your business is growing, you might face some performance issues, that weren't there when you started using DataStage, or even worse, DataStage, has never been as fast as you thought it would be.
As follows, I'm sharing with you some tips to check in general and specific environments, maybe it's matter of changing a parameter or maybe you have to install a product Fix, but remember, it's always useful to test in a controlled environment, stress your environment, and review if modifications helped or not.
Improving DataStage job performance on Solaris
Parallel Engine in IS 8.7 has poor performance creating lookup tables.
Please, if you have any other performance question or specific environment, let us know and we'll help you to find a techdoc that might help you.
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There are two recently published InfoSphere Information Server related Education Assistant modules
The first module points to an IBM Education Assistant module about starting node agents as a non-root user
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Have you heard of IBM Support Assistant? This handy tool can help you organize, analyze, diagnose, and resolve issues you face with IBM software and applications. A new video has recently been released covering how to download IBM Support Assistant and providing a great demo of the tool.
Help shape future enhancements to IBM Support Portal, Fix Central, My notifications, Service Request, and more
Are you interested in helping to shape future enhancements to IBM Support Portal, Fix Central, My notifications, Service Request, and other online tools? The IBM Electronic Support user experience team is currently recruiting clients to participate in design reviews and usability testing. You can choose from several different opportunities to participate:
What: Participatory design session
Complete online feedback and surveys
What: Provide feedback any time you visit our online resources or through our online electronic support survey
Thank you in advance for your participation!
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Last week, IBM significantly updated the IBM Support Portal with improvements to make this worldwide one-stop site for technical resources for all IBM products even more effective and useful for our clients. Some are adjustments our clients have requested, others are redesigns to improve our clients' efficiency in finding the information they need. Here's a quick rundown of new capabilities to look for.
You will find additional details and screen captures for all the updates plus some "before & after comparisons on the IBM Support Portal's technical blog.
Keep up-to-date with IBM Electronic Support through these social media channels:
IBM Electronic Support Info Site | Twitter | Facebook | IBM Electronic Support Community Blog | YouTube | LinkedIn
If you can't access YouTube, our videos are also available in the IBM Electronic Support Information site. See the video section at the bottom of the Overview page. You may navigate to additional videos by clicking the grey arrows on the left and right of this section.
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During the process of Problem Determination with IBM Support Team, you will probably listen to the terms APAR and FixPack. As follows, an explanation for them:
What is an APAR?
An Authorized Program Analysis Report (APAR) documents and tracks software defects reported by you, the IBM customer. Support Team creates an APAR when it determines that a problem that a customer is experiencing is a suspected defect.
After an APAR is a created, a corresponding Software Problem Report (SPR) is created. Any SPR with a related APAR is a customer reported defect, while any SPR without an APAR is an internally reported defect that either the customer has not experienced or reported yet.
APARs contain information about a single defect that one or more customers have experienced. The APARs listed in a Fix List are reported customer defects that have been corrected in a release or that are planned for a future maintenance release.
If you have been given an APAR number to track a reported defect, you can find information about the defect through the Product Fix List.
APARs have unique identifiers. For example, "IY53671" and "JR19727". Each APAR is specific to a particular version of a product (for example, DB2 version 8 or DB2 version 7).
The APAR process
The first step in the APAR process is that a Level-2 representative from the support organization enters an APAR containing a description of your problem into the RETAIN® system. If you have a means of getting round the problem, details of this are entered as well. Your name is also entered, so that your support organization knows who to contact if the service team need to ask anything further about the APAR documentation.
At this stage, you are given an APAR number. This number is always associated with the APAR and its resolution and, if a code change is required, is associated with the fix as well.
The service team may ask for additional backup documentation, normally via the Level-2 representative. The specific documentation required will vary from problem to problem, and depends on what information has already been supplied during the PMR stage.
During the investigation, you can ask your support organization at any time about how your APAR is progressing, particularly if it is a problem of high severity.
What are the FixPaks?
A FixPak contains updates and fixes for problems (Authorized Program Analysis Reports, or "APARs"). These APARs address problems found during testing at IBM(R), as well as fixes for problems reported by customers.
FixPaks are cumulative. This means that the latest FixPak for any given version of the product contains all of the updates from previous FixPaks for the same version of the product. It is recommended that you keep your environment running at the latest FixPak level to ensure problem-free operation.
Viewing APAR content
Every FixPak is accompanied by a document, an APAR list, which lists the APARs contained in the FixPak. The full description of the APAR can be found on the IBM Products Support website for all available platforms.