Steps to get support for WebSphere Application Server

Find answers and solve problems quickly and efficiently

Follow these steps to get help with WebSphere Application Server:

To find answers and solve WebSphere Application Server problems

1. Describe the problem

Try to recreate the problem. Document the following:

When contacting IBM Software Support, an accurate description will ensure your problem is routed to the appropriate product specialist for a quicker resolution.

2. Determine whether this situation has already been reported

The problem might already be documented and resolved, so check these product support resources to see if the answer you are looking for is available:

If you still need help, contact IBM Software Support

3. Find a new release that may solve your problem

For distributed users with active IBM Passport Advantage maintenance agreements, you can submit problems to IBM Software Support. IBM's software support strategy combines software subscription (upgrade protection) and remote technical support in a single, easy-to-buy feature included in the license acquisition for all distributed software products.

For zSeries users with installations that have access to IBMLink, an interactive online database program, you can:

4. Gather background information

Our software specialists need all the relevant information about the problem to help you efficiently. Capturing MustGather information will save you time in the rediscovery process (Support level 1) and proceed more quickly to the problem determination stage (Support level 2).

5. Determine the business impact

You must assign a severity level to the problem when you report it, so it is important to understand the business impact of the problem you are reporting. The following table displays the four different severity levels as defined by the Software Support Handbook.

IBM Software Support severity levels
Severity 1Critical business impact: You are unable to use the program, resulting in a critical impact on operations. This condition requires an immediate solution.
Severity 2Significant business impact: The program is usable but is severely limited.
Severity 3Some business impact: The program is usable with less significant features (not critical to operations) unavailable.
Severity 4Minimal business impact: The problem causes little impact on operations, or a reasonable circumvention to the problem has been implemented.

6. Submit the problem to IBM Software Support

You can contact IBM Software Support online. provided you have already registered and have been added as an authorized caller, you can submit and track your request for assistance on the Web using the Service Request (SR) problem submission tool. The SR tool logs your problem into the IBM problem management system. When using the SR tool, you can:

  • Get help with the SR tool by contacting

You can also contact IBM by phone. Refer to the IBM software support contacts page for phone numbers that service your location.

When a software defect, documentation error, or documentation gap is identified, an Authorized Program Analysis Report (APAR) will be created by IBM Software Support, describing the problem in detail, along with any necessary diagnostic documentation that you might be asked to provide.

  • For distributed platforms, beginning with V5, WebSphere Application Server announces an updated strategy for delivering cumulative fixes.

Closed APARs are published to the WebSphere Application Server and related product support pages daily, so customers experiencing similar problems can benefit from the same resolutions.

7. Submit technical questions to IBM Support

If you cannot find the information you need, we will help you. We can help with WebSphere Application Server-specific, task-oriented questions in the following areas:

Use the PMR process described in step 6 to submit any questions.

Tell us if you are satisfied with the support you received

IBM Software Support is committed to providing superlative customer service and we want your feedback. We monitor responses obtained through customer pop-up surveys and from feedback mechanisms at every step in the process to determine how we are doing and ways to improve your support experience. Please take advantage of these facilities to tell us what you think.

If you need to escalate a PMR:

If you need to reopen a PMR/Incident/Support Case:

Engage IBM Software Services for WebSphere

Deepen your WebSphere knowledge, expand your skills, and apply best practices with expert assistance from IBM Software Services for WebSphere. The mission of this team of product specialists, who have access to product development and support personnel, is to accelerate the use of WebSphere technologies by customers, IBM Global Services and Business Partners. As an integral part of all software sales, IBM Software Services for WebSphere provides worldwide support for WebSphere products through a set of services that make it easy to design, build, test and deploy applications for e-business. Together with the WebSphere Education team, they can also help structure an education program that is right for you.