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Is it safe to have multiple LAFIXes in a Maximo environment?

Technical Blog Post


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Is it safe to have multiple LAFIXes in a Maximo environment?

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Have you asked yourself whether it is safe or not to have multiple LAFIXes in a Maximo environment ?     

 

Well.... In response to your inquiry, here is an explanation that I believe will help.

 

My answer to you is Yes, there is a way to get individual fixes (aka LAFIXes) , however we do not recommend it, and I will explain why.

The LAFix: Limited Availability Fix - is a one-off hotfix containing a fix for ONE specific APAR, it is an unofficial way to deliver emergency fixes for severe product issues that cannot be delayed until the next regular maintenance delivery, in scenarios like this : 
 
- A high severity issue in production without a fix already published in the standard maintenance streams and no work around. 
- A high severity issue that is blocking a go-live for an upgrade where  the fix is not available in an interim fix for the recently upgraded fixpack level. 
- A high severity issue on a system that because of 3rd party regulatory compliance can not have published maintenance applied in a reasonable amount of time. 

This means a single APAR fix delivered directly to a customer from Support. An example of an LAFIX is :  LAFIX_APAR_IV92639_7.6.0.5_IFIX20161111

However, there are risks of having LAFIXes in your environment because : 
 
- LAFixes are not tested prior to delivery. 
- They are specific to the clients individual environment. 
- Subsequent maintenance or additional LAFixes can easily cause regressions. 
- Increases difficulty for support to perform diagnostics and increases likelihood that issues can not be reproduced in-house or are unique to that environment. 
- More than 90% of LAFixes requested had been delivered in standard maintenance more than 30 days earlier. 
 
Now, we in Support think you should always be on latest and greatest Maximo Fix Pack. That way you can take advantage of all available fixes for defects, perhaps obtain any new functionality or improvements that have been made to the product overall, such as performance related enhancement. However, we understand that this is not always possible; We're well aware your deployment schedule may not allow you to apply the latest fix pack. 
 
Our recommendation to upgrade to the latest FixPack for your current version is because you may come across a defect, for which you require a fix, and the best part of this is - IFIXES (a bundle of fixes that have gone through comprehensive QA testing before being released) and FixPacks are available via Fix Central for you to download without even having to log a new PMR in order to get the latest IFIX, both of them bundle important fixes together, you will get code fixes for issues before these turn into a problem for your company. 
 
From a Support perspective these should absolutely be your very last resort. We discourage anyone from requesting and installing them. Whilst this type of fix may be provided faster than an IFIX, and whilst it may be faster to test and implement, you introduce a risk to your environment. Additionally, we expect you as our clients to do the testing yourself in your environments. LAFixes don't go through any testing and therefore create a higher exposure to risk or potential regressions. In addition, an LAfix makes your environment unique and therefore more difficult to support. 
 
So again, from a support perspective, we are keen advocates of Fix Packs and IFIXES and discourage LA Fixes in most circumstances, unless you are having a high impact with the points given above, in this message. 
 
If you still believe you can't go with the latest FixPack or Interim Fix for your current version, please let me know the reason why and then we can discuss about this, once your Maximo version is not part of the newest and latest Maximo versions. 

Do you plan to upgrade your system, or install the latest IFIX/Fixpacks available for your current version? We always recommend the clients to be at the latest FixPack or IFIX level of Maximo versions they use, because the more up-to-date you are with its version, the more efficient your system will work, due to the fixes that are included. 

Upgrading your Maximo system to the latest FixPack or IFIX of it available, avoid many issues that you might be experiencing at the moment or some other issue not discovered by the client because each IFIX package or FixPack release fixes issues from all Maximo applications, and the combination of multiple fixes help to prevent other issues that were not seen yet.

 

See ya

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