Enable Yourself to Down Load IBM Software

Dean Compher

15 November 2007

Updated 30 April 2015




From time to time you will need to install some database related software because you bought something new, you want to put what you already have on a new server, or for some other reason.  You will need to register for IBM Passport Advantage to download software, and now you need be registered to download fix packs as well.  IBM usually does not send CDs or DVDs with softwa30e anymore, but instead places it on a website where you can download it called Passport Advantage (PPA).  Since this is licensed software, there is a process to ensure that only those entitled to get your software can download it. As long as your organization keeps paying the maintenance on your software, all current versions of it on all operating systems where it runs will be on the PPA site.  Just remember that just because it is on your PPA site does not mean you can install the software as much as you want.  For most software you are allowed to run it on some limited number of CPU’s or have a limit on the number of users who can use it.  If you are unsure of these limits, you can contact your friendly Sales Rep or IT Specialist to get the exact answer. 


In this article I will summarize how to get registered on PPA to down load software and provide some of my personal insights which may be of questionable value, but which may be entertaining none the less.  You can also watch instructional videos on the web about down loading or you may just want to read about the process.  If you encounter any problems getting registered or just have some questions about the process please call 1-800-978-2246.


Before we jump into the specific instructions of registering for software downloads, I want to take a moment to talk about the IBM ID.  At one time you needed to create various IDs for various items like support requests, downloading white papers and the like.  It was difficult for everyone to keep track of a bunch of IDs and passwords, so IBM now has one ID that you use for just about everything, including software downloads.  So you may have one already, and if you do it would be a good time to find your id and password.  This id will generally be your e-mail address.  If this is not convenient or you can’t remember if you have one or not, don’t worry because I’ll explain how to create your ID or reset your password.



In general the registration process is:


  1. Primary Contact  registers with IBM
  2. Determine who your Primary Contact is
  3. Determine your “Site Number”
  4. Nominate yourself to download software
  5. Primary Contact authorizes you to download software



1. Primary Contact registers with IBM


When your company purchases information management software like DB2, Informix or other products for Linux, UNIX or Windows, IBM sends a package of information the Primary Contact.  This person is identified when the software is purchased.  The Primary Contact is the person who must authorize you to download software before you can do so.  In this package of information is a temporary login for the Primary Contact to register and instructions on how to do so.  The instructional video and documentation mentioned above also show the Primary Contact how to register.


2. Determine who your Primary Contact is


Due to the fact that little thought is usually given to the designation of the Primary Contact, this person often winds up being the president of the company, an employee in the purchasing department, or someone else who you would never expect to be your Primary Contact.  In any case, if you don’t know who the Primary is call your Sales Rep to get this or your IT Specialist who can ask the Sales Rep to get back to you with this information.  Then talk to the Primary Contact to see if they have registered.  If they have no idea what you are talking about then either get your Sales Rep to contact them to help them get registered or contact your Sales Rep to get the correct person designated as the Primary Contact and get them registered.  If you don’t know who your Sales Rep is then your IT Specialist can determine his identity for you.


3. Determine your “Site Number”


The site number will be in the package of information that I mentioned in step 1.  You can also call your IT Specialist or Sales Rep to get it.


4. Nominate yourself to download software


Once you find your Primary Contact and his e-mail address, know that he is registered, and know your Site Number you are ready to nominate yourself to download software.  Go to Passport Advantage to begin the process.  Click the  link on the right side of the page to begin the nomination process.  On the sign-in page you can either enter your IBM ID and password, you can click the “Forgot Password?” if you have an IBM ID.  If you do not have one, then you can complete the information on the sign-in page to create your IBM ID under the “New Customers” heading.  Once you have signed-in with your IBM ID the Self-nomination window will be displayed.  Here you enter your Site Number and a note to justify to the Primary Contact why you need to download software.  When you click submit, the system will generate an email to the Primary Contact.  This may not happen immediately. 


5.  Primary Contact authorizes you to download software


Your Primary Contact will get an e-mail notifying them of your nomination.  This note will contain instructions for authorizing you.  In my experience it is a good idea to call them before they get the note and let them know what you are doing and that it is important that they do not just delete the e-mail. Once they approve you, your IBM ID is permanently associated with the site number and you can just sign in as describe above and begin downloading software. 



Once your Primary Contact has given approval you can now start to download software on line.  Enter this site by visiting Passport Advantage and signing in as describe in step 4.  This time the sign-in will take you to the page where you can download the software for the site(s) for which you have been approved.  If there are any problems in this process please call eCustomer Care at 1-800-978-2246.  If they do not help you in a timely manner then call your Sales Rep or IT Specialist.


Once you sign in you will probably see a bewildering array of software entries just begging you to down load them.  Take a look over them and see if you can find what you need.  If you have any trouble call your IT Specialist.  The reason that there are so many is that each main piece of software that you buy entitles you to several components.  For example, if you purchase DB2 ESE you will see media for DB2 v10.1 and DB2 v10.5 since they are both in support.  For each version you also get the DB2 Client, and a few other components.  But wait!  There’s more!  For each component you get a download for each operating system where it runs like Linux on x86, Linux on Itanium, Linux on …, Solaris on SPARC, Solaris on Intel, and so on.  So as you see each of these things just multiplies the number of possible files that you can down load, but chances are you only really need one or a very few files. 


Versions of software are taken off of PPA when they reach their out of service date.  If you choose to continue running a version of something after it goes out of support, you should download that version before it goes out of support and put your copy of the media someplace safe.  I have seen more than one customer have an old server that dies with old software it, but not have a copy of the old software to install on the replacement server.  DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!  It is often impossible for me to get the old software and if I can find it, it will take a long time.


Here are links to DB2 and Informix out of support dates for the various versions.


DB2 End of Support by Version

Informix End of Support by Version (You will need to scroll down to the Informix section.)



Versions of software such as DB2 are usually left in their General Arability (GA) maintenance level on PPA.  This means that you will almost always want to download and apply the newest fix pack after installing the base build of the software to ensure you are running at a level with the “less desirable” features removed.  The DB2 and Informix fix packs can be found on their respective “Favorite Links” pages on my web site at:


DB2 Favorite Links

Informix Favorite Links






If you have any additional thoughts or shortcuts to this process, please post them to my Facebook Page or the db2Dean and Friends Community.


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