What is

Assistance - What is?

What is the support site navigator?

The support task navigator is a task-based navigation element that will be found on all of our IBM Software Support Web pages. This new navigation will give you direct access to the primary tasks and tools for support.

As you navigate through the IBM Support Web pages (from the main IBM Software pages, to the individual IBM brand and product family pages) the links in the support task navigator will be tailored to take you to documents and resources specific to that level of support.

  • Overview: Top level (summary) page
  • Download: Search for downloads
  • Troubleshoot: Resources to help you solve problems
  • Search: Contextual search of support
  • Documentation: Documentation links and resources
  • Forums & Communities: Collaboration resources
  • Plan: How-to-plan documents and resources
  • Install: How-to-install documents and resources
  • Use: How-to-use documents and resources
  • Open service request: Reporting problems to IBM Support
  • Assistance: Website assistance (help)

What is the Overview page?

The Overview page allows you to keep up with product alerts and navigate to other product support sites.

What is the Download page?

The download page is where you will find cumulative fix packs, interim fixes or PTFs (Programming Temporary Fix), for immediate solutions for a single product or multiple products.

  • Choose product name(s) from the A-Z list and include the operating system if applicable.
  • Enter search query using multiple terms, quotation marks, wildcard (*), plus (+) and minus (-) to expand or limit search results.
  • Limit search results by download type.
  • Choose a sorting preference.

What is the Troubleshoot page?

The troubleshooting page contains links to documentation and resources that will help you diagnose and find solutions to many software issues.

What is the Search page?

The Search page will help you find answers to questions, and solutions to problems through Search and provides the ability to choose a single or multiple product search.

What is the Documentation page?

The Documentation page contains general information for IBM Software products. The documents and resources will help you learn about your software, available fixes, and find answers to your software questions.

What is the Forums & Communities page?

The Forums and Communities page gives you access to the various types of support communities that are available for your product, such as forums, user groups, events and any other community related content.

What are the Plan, Install and Use pages?

These pages will provide you with planning, upgrade resources and documents tailored to the most common tasks you will need for your IBM Software products. 

  • The Plan page contains links to documents and resources that help you prepare to use IBM Software products and learn how they can solve your problems.
  • The Install page provides links to documentation and resources that will help lead you through product installation and setup.
  • The Use page gives you access to documentation and resources that will help make your IBM Software product achieve your goals.

What is the Open Service Request page?

The Open service request page provides access to the Service Request (SR) tool to open, update and report on PMRs (Problem Management Records) online.

  • Refer to step-by-step instructions for help using the SR tool.
  • Choose the link associated with your support contract to access the SR tool.

What is the Assistance page?

The Assistance page provides answers to your questions and the ability to view tutorials with step-by-step instructions.

  • View SR tool tutorial to understand all functionality.
  • Review FAQs about the support process.
  • Find definitions for documents and functions offered on support sites.
  • View quick tutorials on support site topics, including the SR tool.
  • Submit questions or comments about support sites and indicate if you want a response.

What is My Notifications?

My Notifications is a support subscription service that provides you with technical information on products that you have selected. You can receive your notifications through a customized Web page, email or RSS feed. Subscribing to support content for your products provides you the latest technical topics written by IBM engineers to make installing, operating, maintaining, updating and upgrading IBM products easier for you.

What are Trials & Betas?

Download trials, betas, demos, tools, samples and other free IBM software at the Trials & Betas area. Search Trials & Betas using their specialized search tool.

What is the IBM software support site hierarchy structure?

IBM software support web sites are based on a hierarchy structure.

The IBM Software Support http://www.ibm.com/software/support site is the highest level of the support hierarchy. You can access specific IBM software support sites via a product A-Z list, open electronic service requests, view site tours, and access brand level pages from this site.

Brand level support pages help you navigate to a list of products within each brand. The brand level support pages include: the most requested support pages, how to buy support, product lifecycle information, flashes, trials and betas, training information, news and events.

  • Information Management
  • Lotus
  • Rational
  • Tivoli
  • WebSphere

Each product is also associated with a "Product Category" as an alternative navigation method. For example, The "Products by Category" view provides a means of navigating to specific product support sites via defined categories. MySupport, an IBM web feature offering a weekly email that includes technical support topics, also utilizes the category navigation scheme. There are 16 product categories that include:

  • Application Servers
  • Application- Desktop and Enterprise
  • Business Integration
  • Commerce
  • Data & Information Management
  • Host Transaction Processing
  • Learning Software
  • Messaging Applications
  • Mobile-Speech and Enterprise Access
  • Networking
  • Operating Systems
  • Organizational Productivity-Portals & Collaboration
  • Security
  • Software Development
  • Storage Management
  • Systems Management


Some IBM software products offer a level of navigation based on product family. This helps you navigate to pages within their family. An example of a family page is WebSphere Business Integration.


The final level of the hierarchy is the product support sites. IBM engineers post technical self-help information on the product support sites based on their vast knowledge and experience with the product. The product support sites offer online technical support information such as technotes, APARs, flashes, downloads, product life cycle dates, and other content to help you install, operate, maintain, update and upgrade your product. Save time by accessing up-to-date technical and troubleshooting information for your product prior to calling IBM support.

What is the product taxonomy?

IBM products are classified within a multilevel hierarchy called a taxonomy. Higher levels in the taxonomy are more general, and lower levels are more specific. Technical support documents use the same taxonomy as products. The product categories you see in a technical support document are the names of the levels where that document's product is classified. For example, the figure below shows a technical support document about WebSphere Application Server for z/OS.

The "Product categories" area on the right lists the taxonomy levels where this product is categorized. In this example, the document and its product are categorized as:

  • Software (brand level)
  • Application Servers (category level)
  • Distributed Application & Web Servers (sub-category level)
  • WebSphere Application Server for z/OS (product level)

Some technical support documents also list a fifth level indicating the type or purpose of the document, or the incident it records (for example, "Crash").

How can the taxonomy help me find technical support documents?

The taxonomy allows you to narrow your search for technical support documents. Using the Advanced search feature of the Technical support search, you can specify the product category you wish to search:

In addition to technical support documents and searches, the product taxonomy is exposed in the My Notifications subscription service application. The brand level of the taxonomy is reflected in the selections that give you the available product and category subscriptions for that brand.

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