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Featured Database Articles

DB2

Posted Jul 11, 2003

Saved by the APAR or How to Use IBM's Self Help Web Support - Page 2

By Marin Komadina

FixPack, HotFix, APAR, Hiper APAR

IBM DB2 database software is just like any other software. It is buggy and has a certain amount unknown defects in the code. During the database software usage, customers and IBM support personnel often discover some of those defects in the database code. Many different resources with DB2 UDB database information exist on the Internet. Some of them are out of date and without any useful information, while many of them are related to the Host technology (zSeries formerly S/390 IBM's mainframe line). IBM's official support Web site provides a very good, sorted and organized source of information. Even then, if the solution for the problem is not found, we can contact IBM customer support.

For a known problem with DB2 software code, IBM support can direct the customer to apply a new FixPack or HotFix, install a new database release, change database settings or change the application code. All communication with the customer will be logged in the Incident/Support Case Log.

A PMR (Problem Management Record) is opened on a case-by-case basis by IBM support, for new, unidentified problems in the database software code. Every PMR gets a unique identification number (for example PMR 31045,025,722); all communication and support activity is handled under this number. PMR is first investigated by the Support Team and then handed over to the Development Team. IBM specialists will then try to isolate the error and detect the failing database software component. When the problem is reproducible and isolated, an APAR will be opened.

An APAR (Authorized Program Analysis Report) is a named issue with an IBM program, and is opened after the customer or IBM support personnel discover a problem with the database software code. Every APAR has a unique identification number. As an example, I have summary information for APAR IY39922 below:

IY39922: CRASH WHEN LOADING INTO TABLE WITH GENERATED COLUMN(S) USING GENERATEDMISSING MODIFIER. 
Fixes are available 
DB2 Universal Database Version 8 FixPak 1
DB2 Universal Database Version 8 FixPak 2
APAR number IY39922 
Reported component name DB2 UDB ESE SOL 
Reported component ID 5765F4102 
Reported release 810 
Status CLOSED PER 
HIPER NoHIPER 
Submitted date 2003-01-29 
Closed date 2003-01-29 

After the IBM development Team solves the problem defined in the APAR, the database software fixes will be provided through DB2 FixPack or HotFix.

HIPER APARs ( HIgh Impact PERvasive APARs) are critical DB2 bugs of which all customers should be aware. Fixes for HIPER APARs are provided through DB2 FixPack and HotFix.

FixPack is the software update for the main database release. IBM Acronyms & other terms documentation says: "the means by which some products deliver service".

Fixpacks are delivered for separate database versions. FixPacks can be cumulative or separated. A short overview over the amount of the solved problems in different FixPack version is listed below:

DB2 FixPack Version

Number of APARs fixed

Number of HIPER APARs fixed

DB2 V7 FixPack 1

82

20

DB2 V7 FixPpack 2

289

DB2 V7 FixPack 3

371

DB2 V7 FixPack 4

319

DB2 V7 FixPack 5

224

DB2 V7 FixPack 6

171

DB2 V7 FixPack 7

220

DB2 V7 FixPack 8

273

DB2 V7 FixPack 9

283

DB2 V7 FixPack 10

269

     

DB2 V8 FixPack 1

154

 

DB2 V8 FixPack 2

286

HotFix is a separate database fix, aimed to solve a problem for a particular customer or a particular problem not covered so far by any FixPack or the regular database release.

A short description for the one HotFix:

APAR number IC32650 
Local fix  A hotfix has been sent to the customer.
Problem conclusion  Fix required
Temporary fix  Temp fix sent to customer and approved
Reported component name IM SCORING AIX 
Reported component ID 5724A6000 
Reported release 710 
Status CLOSED PER 
PE NoPE 
HIPER NoHIPER 
Fix information 
Fixed component name IM SCORING AIX 
Fixed component ID 5724A6000 
Applicable component levels 
R710 PSY IP22398 UP02/02/22 I 1000


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