Contacting IBM Software Support

If the self-help resources do not provide a resolution to your problem, you can contact IBM® Software Support. IBM Software Support assists in resolving product issues.

Before you begin

To submit your problem to IBM Software Support, you must have an active Passport Advantage® software maintenance agreement. Passport Advantage is the IBM comprehensive software licensing and software maintenance (product upgrades and technical support) offering. You can enroll online on the Passport Advantage website.
  • To learn more about Passport Advantage, see the Passport Advantage FAQs.
  • For further assistance, contact your IBM representative.
To submit your problem online (from the IBM website) to IBM Software Support:
  • Be a registered user on the IBM Support website. For details about registering, see Registering on the IBM Software Support website.
  • Be listed as an authorized caller in the service request tool.


  1. Determine the business impact of your problem. When you report a problem to IBM, you are asked to supply a severity level. Therefore, you must understand and assess the business impact of the problem that you are reporting.
    Option Description
    Severity 1 The problem has a critical business impact: You are unable to use the program, resulting in a critical impact on operations. This condition requires an immediate solution.
    Severity 2 This problem has a significant business impact: The program is usable, but it is severely limited.
    Severity 3 The problem has some business impact: The program is usable, but less significant features (not critical to operations) are unavailable.
    Severity 4 The problem has minimal business impact: The problem causes little impact on operations or a reasonable circumvention to the problem was implemented.
  2. Describe your problem and gather background information, When you describe a problem to IBM, be as specific as possible. Include all relevant background information so that IBM Software Support specialists can help you solve the problem efficiently. To save time, know the answers to these questions:
    • What software versions were you running when the problem occurred?
      To determine the exact product name and version, use the option applicable to you:
      • Start the IBM Installation Manager and select File > View Installed Packages. Expand a package group and select a package to see the package name and version number.
      • Start your product, and click Help > About to see the offering name and version number.
    • What is your operating system and version number (including any service packs or patches)?
    • Do you have logs, traces, and messages that are related to the problem symptoms?
    • Can you re-create the problem? If so, what steps do you complete to re-create the problem?
    • Did you change anything on the system? For example, did you change the hardware, operating system, networking software, or other system components?
    • Are you currently using a workaround for the problem? If so, be prepared to describe the workaround when you report the problem.
  3. Submit your problem to IBM Software Support. You can submit your problem to IBM Software Support in the following ways:
    • Through your IBM Representative: If you cannot access IBM Software Support online or by phone, contact your IBM Representative. If necessary, your IBM Representative can open a service request for you. You can find complete contact information for each country at IBM Directory of worldwide contacts.


If the problem you submit is for a software defect or for missing or inaccurate documentation, IBM Software Support creates an Authorized Program Analysis Report (APAR). The APAR describes the problem in detail. Whenever possible, IBM Software Support provides a workaround that you can implement until the APAR is resolved and a fix is delivered. IBM publishes resolved APARs on the Software Support website daily so that other users who experience the same problem can benefit from the same resolution.