IBM® Support Assistant helps you find solutions to your software issues, and provides features and tools that can help you achieve this goal.
Discover existing solutions and answers for your software issues
IBM Support Assistant can help you locate technical documents, fixes, and discover the latest and most useful support resources available. When you experience unexpected behavior from IBM software -- or you need to learn more about how to configure your application -- or you wish to enhance your skills, you can use IBM Support Assistant to discover the resources that IBM support teams have provided for you. The following features in the IBM Support Assistant are geared towards this goal:
- Search Information
With the flexible search interface in IBM Support Assistant, you can search a number of different web sites and information centers with just one click. You can choose to filter the search results so you only see results for the IBM products you care about, or even filter the results so you view the results based on the type of result (for example: fixes, whitepapers, books and articles). Product specific information centers and filters are automatically added based on the product add-ons you install.
- Product Information
The product information pages provide you with a page full of useful resources specific to the IBM software you are looking to support. Not only can you quickly jump to the product home page, support page and user forums, but you can also use this page to discover troubleshooting and education links. The product information page also provides the latest support news feed, which gives you updated information about the newest fixes, APARs, Technotes and other support data for your IBM product.
Find product education and training materials
IBM Support Assistant can help you build your product skills and acquire training from sources such as the IBM Education Assistant. When you have a question about a certain product feature, you can look to the Support Assistant to find educational materials on how to use your IBM product, saving you valuable research time. The Media Viewer feature in the IBM Support Assistant provides this benefit:
- Media Viewer
Using the Media Viewer, you can discover free education and training materials available in the IBM Education Assistant. Watch Flash-based videos, read documentation, view slide presentations, or download all of these for viewing later even without an Internet connection. IBM Support Assistant can act as a central education and skills enhancement resource to help you learn more about your IBM products.
Automate data collection and analysis
IBM Support Assistant has a number of features to help you automate the manual tasks involved with software troubleshooting. When you run into an issue with IBM software, IBM Support Assistant can help you gather the relevant diagnostic information automatically so you do not have to manually locate the resources that can explain the cause of the issue. The "Collect Data" feature in the IBM Support Assistant provides this benefit:
- Collect Data
With its automated data collection capabilities, you can let the Support Assistant do the legwork as it collects important data that can help you determine the cause of your software issues. The data collection feature allows you to specify the troublesome symptom and have the relevant information automatically gathered in an archive. You can then look through this data, analyze it with the IBM Support Assistant tooling, or if you choose, forward it to IBM support engineers who can work with this information to provide you with a faster and better response.
- Export IBM Support Assistant Lite
The Workbench provides a unique ability to generate small IBM Support Assistant Lite packages for any product add-on which has data collection scripts. With this capability, you can export a lightweight application that can easily be transferred to remote systems which simplifies the process of collecting data in a distributed environment. Read more about the benefits of IBM Support Assistant Lite here.
Analysis and troubleshooting tools for IBM products
IBM Support Assistant provides you with tools that enable you to troubleshoot your own problems. From analyzing JVM core dumps and garbage collector data, to analyzing system ports and getting remote assistance from IBM support, there are several tools that can help you identify and fix your issues. Best of all, these tools are free and come with instructions to get you started with the help you're looking for. For more information, visit the tools page for a list of available tools and how to install them in IBM Support Assistant.
Guided problem analysis
IBM Support Assistant can help you when you need step-by-step guidance with resolving your software issues. The Guided Troubleshooter provides this functionality:
- Guided Troubleshooter
The Guided Troubleshooter can help you narrow down and diagnose software issues when you are not sure about the next steps to take. This feature provides a step-by-step troubleshooting wizard that can be used in a simple mode for more guidance and detailed help, or in advanced mode for users who already have a good idea for the problem they are facing. The Guided Troubleshooter can help you look for logs, suggest tools, or recommend steps on fixing the problems you are experiencing.
Remote Agent technology
There is an option for IBM Support Assistant to leverage remote agent technology capabilities. This offering is a separate package and it is not required. Remote agent capabilities through the feature pack provide the ability to perform data collection and file transfer through the workbench from remote systems.
As part of the feature pack, the remote agents must be installed and configured on remote systems to run with 'root' level access. Each agent must be registered with an Agent Manager within the environment and each workbench must also be configured to register with the Agent Manager and connect to each Agent.
The Remote Agent feature pack can be downloaded from here.
In response to customers requesting lightweight solutions for data collection IBM has developed "IBM Support Assistant Lite" and the "IBM Support Assistant Data Collector" as alternatives to remote agent technology. We recommend using these lighter weight solutions because they are easier to use and no installation, configuration, or administrative privileges are required.
For more information about data collection visit the following links: “ IBM Support Assistant Lite " and “ IBM Support Assistant Data Collector "
- To get started with IBM Support Assistant, users can download at: http://www.ibm.com/software/support/isa
- An "Index Collection of technical documents for IBM Support Assistant" can also be found at: http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=3455&uid=swg27025159