IBM Support Updates for

DB2 for LUW and Z

24 February 2010


In recent months new tools have been added to help you get support and find support information for your  IBM software including your database software.  These changes include the new Support Portal and tools you can download.  In some cases you can even do a live chat with support after opening a ticket with them.  You can customize the Support Portal  to have the information about the products that you use the most at your fingertips.  You can even choose to get automatic notifications of important information through RSS feeds and Twitter.  These tools can be used to help you prevent problems as well as to expedite the resolution of problems you may encounter. 


Where to Start


The Tools & Resources tab is great because it lists the most useful tools for getting help and support.  Further, you can hover your mouse pointer over each tool to see a short description.  These tools include the following and several others:


My Notifications

Sign up to get notified of new technical information including new fix packs.

Find information

Search existing PMR knowledge base, redbooks, product documentation, tech notes, and much more.

Join the Conversation

Join the Support Community, watch the support blog, follow support on twitter and join groups and forums.

IBM Service Request

Has the link for opening an Electronic PMR also known as an ESR (Electronic Service Request).  PMR's are now generally known as Service Requests.

IBM Support Assistant

A software tool you can download to help you expedite the collection of information for support. 


There are lots of other useful links.  I highly recommend you take a few minutes to look them over.


In addition to the Tools & Resources tab the Electronic Support Page also includes the About tab with a high level description, an IBM Support Portal tab that links you to the Support Portal and an Expand Your Support tab that has additional support options.


Use the Support Portal


This Support Portal can be highly customized so that you can make it best suit your needs.  Even if you don't like moving things around, at a minimum you should select the products that you support so that the information about those products will just show up when you go to this portal.  To do this just click on the arrow in the blue dot at the bottom of the box labeled “Choose your products” in the left column:



In the “Choose your products” box you can search for- and choose- the products that you want such as:

       “DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows”

       “DB2 for z/OS”

       “DB2 Connect”

       “IBM Data Studio”

       “Integrated Data Management”


One of the links on the support portal is the “Open service request” link for opening Electronic Service Requests or on line PMRs.  I prefer opening PMRs on the web to opening them on the phone because I can quickly add all of the relevant information instead of having to relate complex error codes and message to a call center person.  However, you must be registered to open a PMR.  You do not want to do the registration process during a system outage so get that done now!  See my article entitled, Enable Yourself to Open IBM Support Requests for registration details. 


Support Videos


It is hard for me to comprehend, but some of you get bored reading about how to get support.  Therefore, you can learn more about how to improve your support experience by watching videos on the topic!  Support videos include how to personalize your support portal, how to troubleshoot and how to use the support portal. 


New Tools


Since I last wrote about getting help in 2007 some new tools have been introduced that you may want to investigate.  Here is a list of them with short descriptions.


IBM Support Assistant

The IBM Support Assistant (ISA) is a software tool that you download and install on your workstation and on your database servers to help you automate data collection for PMRs and to help you determine the causes of problems on your own with built in tools.  ISA Light is not available for DB2 yet, so don't bother with it.  However, make sure to use the DB2 product specific add-on for your flavor of DB2 and get the latest fix pack for the support assistant by clicking the link for for the latest version at the ISA main page.


Electronic Service Agent

The Electronic Service Agent (ESA) is installed on your System x or System p system and automatically reports hardware and Operating System problems to IBM Support.  If your database runs on either of these hardware platforms, then you might want to talk to your System Administrator about using it. It also reports an inventory of your systems to IBM Support and updates that inventory list as you add systems. 


DB2/LUW Health Advisor

The IBM DB2 team is offering a FREE (currently anyway) pilot program where you can forward them diagnostic information about your DB2 on Linux, UNIX and Windows systems and they reply with a report of recommendations to improve performance and availability of your system!  This is a great way to easily avoid preventable problems.  IBM will also keep an archive of this information that will allow us to compare it to future health advisor files that may be taken when you are having problems.  It works for both single-partition databases as well as DPF systems.  I highly recommend that you avail yourself of this pilot for  your databases immediately.  A limited number of systems will be allowed into the pilot, so if this is of interest to you, please sign up now.



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