Glossary

Document definitions

APAR (Authorized Program Analysis Record)

Authorized Program Analysis Report. A formal report to IBM development, of a problem caused by a suspected defect in a current unaltered release of an IBM program.

Driver

Also called a device driver, it is a program routine that links a peripheral device to the operating system.

Education

Online tutorials and education related information.

Fix

A software maintenance package such as an interim fix, fix pack or PTF that solves one or more product defects.

Fix list

A list of the fixes currently available for a particular product.

Fix pack

Fix pack ( also known as FixPak, fixpack, fixpack, fixpac): A specific fix 'package' that is a cumulative collection of all fixes available up to that point for the base release (V.R.M). A fix pack can include fixes that have not been previously released and can span multiple products or components. A fix pack can be applied on top of any previously shipped maintenance to bring the system up to the current fix pack level.

For example:

  • Product X has a release called "3.2.0" that becomes generally available (GA).
  • Interim fixes or LA interim fixes named "IF0001LA", "IF0001", "IF0002", "IF0003", "IF0005","IF0006" and "IF0007" are delivered as fixes for problems in release 3.2.0.
  • Fix pack 1 ("FP0001") must then supercede all fixes previously shipped. That is to say, all of the fixes mentioned in the previous bullet will be contained in fix pack 1. Additionally it could contain fixes not yet shipped in a fix package. Fix pack 1 creates a new maintenance "base level".
  • Interim fixes or LA interim fixes named "IF0008", "IF0009", "IF0010A", IF0010", "IF0012", "IF0013" are subsequently shipped and should be applied on top of fix pack 1.
  • Fix pack 2 ("FP0002") must supercede all previous fixes, that is to say, it must supercede fix pack 1 plus the fixes listed in bullet number four, and may include additional fixes as well.

Fix Read Me

Detailed information about a fix including any special instruction.

Flash

Alert notification of significant product related issues.

Forums/discussion groups

An informal electronic forum where community members can share their knowledge and experience with others. These groups are not part of formal IBM support.

HIPER

High Impact. An APAR that describes a serious problem. The APAR should be reviewed and if applicable, the fix should be installed as soon as possible.

Interim fix

A certified fix that is generally available to all customers between regularly scheduled fix packs, refresh packs or releases. It can contain fixes for one or more product defects (APARs). The associated APARs are closed.

Limited availability (LA) interim fix

A fix that is offered on a limited basis. It may contain one or several APARs.

Manual

IBM warranted product documentation that normally ships with a product.

Manufacturing refresh

See modification release.

Newsletter

Online or email publication that highlights recent support related documents and downloads, also product announcements, customer e-business solutions, and other new materials on the web.

Preloaded Software

Lists the software that comes preloaded on personal computer systems.

Preventive Service Planning

Service recommendations summary, installation information, documentation changes.

Product Documentation

Last minute documentation that gets included on the CD shipping with products.

Product LifeCycle

Product announce and market availability, end of service dates, follow-on product upgrade.

Product Readme

Helpful information about a product, intended to be reviewed prior to product installation.

Program temporary fix (PTF)

For zSeries, iSeries and pSeries products, a PTF is a fix that is made available to all customers. A PTF is tested by IBM. It contains a PTF record. Related term: fix pack.

PTF cover letter

PTFs (Program Temporary Fix) are typically released between OS releases. The cover letter describes the content of the PTF or the problems being fixed.

Redbooks

A pointer document describing the contents of a specific Redbook. A Redbook is a technical manual that provides positioning and guidance, installation and implementation experiences, typical solution scenarios, and step-by-step "how-to" scenarios.

Refresh pack

See release modification.

Release date

This is a field that appears in a fix list in the "Details" section for a particular fix. It is the date that the fix was made available on the internet.

Release modification

A release modification is a fix that delivers new functionality for a particular Version and Release. There are two types of release modification:

Refresh pack: A cumulative collection of all of the function(s) and fixes that are available since the base version (V.R.) of the product. The refresh pack may contain function and fixes not previously released, and they can span multiple products or components. A refresh pack can be applied on top of any previously-shipped maintenance to bring the system up to the current refresh pack level.

Manufacturing refresh: An update to an existing product version in which the product media are completely replaced. A manufacturing refresh contains new function(s) and cumulative fixes. It is intended for new customers who want to install the current level of the product.

Release Notes

Documentation that support a release of a product, listing the modifications and fixes included in the release as additions or modifications from the prior release.

Severity (Sev)

The severity of a particular APAR can range from one to four. Severity values are defined in the IBM Software Support Handbook (in particular with regard to how problem records should be classified, but the same guidelines apply to APARs too).

Severity 1

Critical Impact/System Down: Business critical software component is inoperable or critical interface has failed. This indicates you are unable to use the program resulting in a critical impact on operations. This condition requires an immediate solution.

Severity 2

Significant impact. A software component is severely restricted in its use, causing significant business impact. This indicates the program is usable but is severely limited.

Severity 3

Moderate impact. A noncritical software component is malfunctioning, causing moderate business impact. This indicates the program is usable with less significant features.

Severity 4

Minimal impact. A noncritical software component is malfunctioning, causing minimal impact, or a nontechnical request is made.

Technote

A document that helps users solve problems. Technotes address two types of problems:

  • Technote (FAQ): A frequently asked question technote describes a single question and one or more answers. Frequently, the Technote (FAQ) answers "how to" questions that complement the task-based documentation in information centers, such as "How do I determine if my application is running from a command prompt?"
  • Technote (Troubleshooting): A Troubleshooting technote describes a single problem and one or more solutions or workarounds. These documents describe a problem from a user perspective, and provide a solution or workaround. As appropriate, the Troubleshooting technote might include root cause, details about the environment associated with this problem, and directions for determining if this problem and solution information is applicable to the user. Many Troubleshooting technotes include an error message in the symptom, such as "mqjms2008."

 

 

Test fix

A temporary fix that is supplied to specific customers for testing in response to a reported problem.

Tools/Utilities

A program used for software development or system maintenance. Virtually any program or utility that helps programmers or users develop or maintain their computers or applications can be a tool. Utilities support everyday use of the computer ie file management, searching, comparing files as well as performing diagnostic routines to check performance and current health of hardware.

Updates

A program used for software development or system maintenance. Virtually any program or utility that helps programmers or users develop or maintain their computers or applications can be a tool. Utilities support everyday use of the computer ie file management, searching, comparing files as well as performing diagnostic routines to check performance and current health of hardware.

Upgrade

A new version or release of a software product.

Utility

A software tool that assists with software installation, migration, testing, configuration, administration, or development.

Version, release and modification (VRM)

The combination of "version", "release" and "modification" numbers uniquely identifies the version that fixes apply to.

  • The "version" number indicates a separate IBM licensed program that usually has significant new code or new functions.
  • Each version potentially has multiple "releases". Each release makes available major new product functionality.
  • Generally if new functionality is included in a delivery (modification release), then a new modification level will be created.

Webcast

A document that enables the replay of a presentation or discussion using one or more multimedia formats. A typical techdoc will include a link to a voice recording of a presentation or discussion, as well as a pointer to the slides used during the presentation. In some cases, video and audio are combined in a single file. Also, a Webcast document can contain pointers to materials for an upcoming presentation that will be recorded, such as a link to a PDF file and directions for dialing into a teleconference.

 

 

White Paper

Document that describes high level solutions or strategies, or give technology and/or product overviews.

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