This flash describes the role and purpose of DB2 fix packs, special builds, and additional fee-based support offerings.
IBM® does not warrant that our products are defect free. However, we do endeavour to fix them to work as designed.
DB2® fix packs
DB2 Database for Linux®, UNIX®, and Windows® software maintenance is provided to customers who have purchased products under the Passport Advantage® (PA) program, through fix packs that are released on a periodic basis (typically up to four times a year). Fix packs (also known as "FixPaks" in DB2 Universal Database™ Version 8) contain fixes for known defects. Fix packs are the primary maintenance delivery vehicles for DB2 database products under the Passport Advantage program.
Fix packs are thoroughly tested by IBM and are available for download. Fix packs are also cumulative: the latest fix pack for a given release includes all previously delivered fixes for that release. IBM will only retrofit new fixes into earlier fix packs on an exception basis.
Although IBM recommends that customers maintain their DB2 database system environments at the latest fix pack level, you do not have to apply the latest fix pack in order to contact IBM DB2 technical support. All that is required is that your Passport Advantage Software Maintenance agreement is current. However, if it is determined that you have encountered a known problem that is addressed in a released fix pack, the solution will be to apply the appropriate fix pack.
You may encounter a new problem that is not yet fixed in a fix pack. In this case, IBM DB2 technical support will first try to provide you with a bypass or workaround for the problem until the fix is delivered in the next available fix pack. If no bypass or workaround is available and you cannot wait until the next fix pack is released because the problem is having a critical impact on your business, IBM DB2 technical support might be able to provide a "special build" which is a temporary, emergency fix designed to bridge the environment until the next fix pack is released.
Unlike fix packs, special builds receive very limited testing by IBM and are intended to be used for a limited time until the fix can be incorporated into a fix pack and applied to your environment. DB2 special builds are typically supported for a maximum of 90 days after the fix pack containing the special build fix is officially released.
Special builds are not provided for defects that are already fixed in a released fix pack. If you require delivery of a fix on a wider range of DB2 code levels, you should consider a Total Content Ownership (TCO) agreement or a IBM Software Accelerated Value Program, both of which are described below.
Additional Offerings: TCOs and IBM Accelerated Value Program
Some customers require more control over the amount of change introduced to their software environment than that offered by the fix deliverables available under Passport Advantage Software Maintenance. For example, you may want to remain at an earlier fix pack level but you may also want specific APAR fixes contained in later fix packs. If you require more selective defect support customized for your DB2 database system, IBM offers Total Content Ownership (TCO) agreements for an additional fee. This type of support is not included with Software Maintenance.
For further information on TCO support offerings, please contact your IBM representative.
The IBM Software Accelerated Value Program is designed for the needs of IBM customers who require a more personalized, custom approach to support than that available through the standard support offered through Accelerated Value Program or MLC subscription. In this service, IBM assigns one or more individuals from the support organization to serve as your focal point for support services. The Accelerated Value team works with you to become familiar with your specific environment, the skill levels of your support staff, your status/reporting needs, and other factors that influence your support experience, then works with you to establish a communication and reporting structures that fits with how you do business. Through proactive support, the Accelerated Value team helps you plan for ways to avoid encountering known product issues, and through skill sharing they help your organization enhance their skills in using IBM software.
For more information on IBM Software Accelerated Value Program, contact IBM via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at +1 (978) 399-5310 .