This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about the IBM Support Assistant V4.0. Please visit the Support Assistant V3 FAQs page for information on previous versions of the Support Assistant.
A: The IBM Support Assistant V4.0 comes with many new features, including:
- Activity-based Workflow - The Support Assistant now groups various actions geared towards a similar goal into "Activities". Users may choose from support-related activities such as "Find Information", "Analyze Problem" and "Manage Service Request", or use the Guided Troubleshooter for step-by-step help with analysis and resolution.
- Case Management - The Support Assistant allows you to organize your troubleshooting data in "cases"; these cases allow a user to store the description, any log files from local or remote systems, data collection results, inventory reports, etc. in easy to manage locations and then export and share these cases with other problem analysts or with IBM Support.
- Improved Flexibility - Users may now add their own search locations to the "Search" page, host their own update sites if internet access is controlled, and get the latest product news and updates, all from the same application.
- Ease of Use - The new welcome experience guides users through the initial customization of network preferences and update sites, the migration wizard allows easy portability from the previous version of IBM Support Assistant and tutorials provided with the Support Assistant help you get the most out of the new application.
All these new features are provided in addition to the functionality provided in Support Assistant V3.
A: After you've downloaded and installed the IBM Support Assistant V4.0 Workbench,:
- Click on "File"->"Preferences...". A preferences panel will pop up.
- Select "Network Connections" on the left panel.
- Input your proxy server information
Q: My proxy server configuration has to explicitly allow access to websites. What websites should I add to that configuration in order to allow IBM Support Assistant to work?
A: Ideally, you would want to add all IBM.com sites (i.e. *.ibm.com). If you must list explicit sites, the list should include the following:
download.boulder.ibm.com -- used by the "Updater" component of the Support Assistant
www.google.com -- used by the "Search" component of the Support Assistant
www.ibm.com -- used by the "Search" component of the Support Assistant
www-1.ibm.com -- used by the "Search" component of the Support Assistant
www-128.ibm.com -- used by "Search" for DeveloperWorks items
www-925.ibm.com -- used by the "Service" component of the Support Assistant
Depending on the product add-ons which are installed, there may be additional servers that need to have access granted to them. In particular are the servers that host our on-line Infocenters and some of our other support resources. For reference, the following ones might also need to be added...
There may be additional resources in individual product plug-ins. These other links would appear on the Product Information panel. If you hover over them with the mouse, the URL to which they point should become visible in the status bar at the bottom of the user interface.
A: The Portable Collector is a feature in the IBM Support Assistant Workbench that allows you to export the data collection functionality into a small archive consisting of a Java application. This jar/zip file can then be transferred to a remote system where the data collection can then be performed.
The portable collector is useful when a user cannot install the IBM Support Assistant Workbench or Agent on a target system due to any restriction, but the user would still like to run the data collection scripts in the Support Assistant. In such a case, the portable collector allows a manual process of gathering data and creating the collector file which can then be used for problem determination and analysis activities.
For more information on the Portable Collector, refer to the documentation within the IBM Support Assistant Workbench Help content.
A: These are the known issues with the IBM Support Assistant V4.0 at the time of release. This list will be updated as important issues are discovered:
- Workbench Collector : missing input to dialogs causes autopd error / early termination of autopd collection
During data collection some scripts will prompt the user for various forms of input. If the input field is a text-entry field (not a choice list, etc) and the user leaves it blank, then the data collection may finish with an error or terminate early. Text-entry fields should have some sort of data entered into them. If skipping the text entry field is a valid option, then there should be either a button allowing the user to skip out of the entry or there should be a prompt prior to the text-entry screen allowing the user to bypass that data entry point.
Workaround: Enter some text, even if it is only a space character into the text entry field.
Q: I would like to tell the IBM Support Assistant team what I like or dislike about their tool. Or, an IBM Software product that I use has not yet released a product plug-in for IBM Support Assistant. How can I let them know this information?
A: You can use the "Feedback" link in the Support Assistant Workbench under the Help menu, or you may send an e-mail to our team at "email@example.com". We cannot guarantee that any suggested plug-ins or changes will be implemented in a current or future version of the product. We would like to hear what you think would make the support of your IBM product easier though. If we choose to pursue the idea, we may need to contact you for further details at a later time.
Q: Is there any sort of demonstration of IBM Support Assistant that can be viewed on-line?
A: Yes, we have education modules available on the IBM Education Assistant website - http://www.ibm.com/software/info/education/assistant/ - that demonstrate how to use IBM Support Assistant.
Q: I believe that IBM Support Assistant would be valuable for my company. Is there some way that a live demonstration could be arranged for my team / department / management?
A: Yes. The IBM Support Assistant team would be happy to arrange a demonstration for your organization. To request a demo, please send an e-mail to our team e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you to arrange a suitable date & time for the call. You may also attend our scheduled web demos