Using software fixes

Keep your IBM® i operating system and other software current with fixes (or program temporary fixes, PTFs). Fixes play an important part in your system's maintenance strategy. Your maintenance strategy can reduce system downtime, add functionality, and provide optimal availability.

About this task

Periodically, problems are discovered in IBM i programs. IBM issues a fix (also known as a PTF, or program temporary fix) to correct the problem. Multiple fixes are bundled together to form a cumulative PTF package, which contains certain recommended fixes. Cumulative PTF packages should be installed twice a year in dynamic environments, and less frequently in stable ones. Cumulative PTF packages should also be considered when you make major hardware or software changes to your environment.

Fixes, fix groups, cumulative packages, and high-impact pervasive (HIPER) fixes play an important part in your system's maintenance strategy. Your maintenance strategy can reduce system downtime, add functionality, or provide optimal availability.

The IBM Navigator for i web based tool contains technology for doing system management tasks across one or more systems at the same time. IBM Navigator for i provides wizards that simplify fix management. The wizards allow you to easily send, install, and uninstall fixes on multiple systems. You can also use the compare and update wizard to compare a model system to multiple target systems to find missing or extra fixes. Additionally tools like IBM Administration Runtime Expert for i and Anisble can be used to not only compare, but automate this process.

The following figure shows the life cycle of a fix and includes the following tasks:

Procedure

  1. Report a problem or perform maintenance. You may have occasion to report a hardware or software problem, which can result in a PTF being created to fix your problem. Typically, as part of your preventive maintenance strategy, you will identify fixes that are needed to keep your business running smoothly.
  2. Order. As part of your normal fix strategy, you will order fixes to keep your software current. Once you have identified which fixes you need, the next task is to order them.
  3. Receive fixes. After you order them, you receive the fixes either electronically or on media.
  4. Install. When you receive the fixes, you can install them.
  5. Redistribute (optional). If you received them on media and you want to distribute the fixes, you need to copy your save files from media before you can send and install the fixes to target systems.

Results

Life Cycle of a Fix