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POWER > Systems Management > Performance

Acquire Fixes from IBM Fix Central

Dennis Heideman

Q: What’s the Best Method for Acquiring Fixes From IBM?

IBM is dedicated to providing the most direct and user-friendly method for fix acquisition to our clients. In general, product fixes can be ordered and then delivered via several methods through the IBM Fix Central website ( or can be acquired using the tools that are integrated with certain products. IBM has provided multiple methods to satisfy the different needs clients have expressed.

Also, a single delivery method may not be the most appropriate option for every product within IBM’s portfolio. For example, using a simple HTTPS download method might work fine when a fix consists of a single file, but when the fix is made up of hundreds of separate files, HTTPS alone is not preferred. Ultimately, it’s up to the client to decide the best method for acquiring fixes. Some products have their own tools and management systems that make managing fixes for that product easier and more efficient by providing a more specific method that integrates with the product itself. Therefore, the following recommendation won’t be the method of choice for all clients and all products.

Generally speaking, IBM recommends using the integrated acquisition tool available with the product. For IBM Power Systems* firmware, it’s recommended you let the HMC download and manage your fixes (if you have the ability to manage your system with an HMC). The AIX* OS has a command called SUMA. IBM i has a command called SNDPTFORD. Other IBM software may be able to use the IBM installation manager to manage the acquisition of product fixes. These built-in tools should be the first option for acquiring fixes.

The IBM Fix Central website is used for products without a built-in method. The download options available from Fix Central are HTTPS, Download Director and FTPS. The recommendation is to use the Download Director option ( on Fix Central. The first time you select a fix, you’ll be presented a download options page that presents you options like “Download Director,” “bulk FTPS” and “HTTPS.” Links on that page provide more about each option. Once you’ve selected a download method, Fix Central will attempt to remember this for all future downloads. If you want to change your choice, use the link on the right side of your fix listing page that’s labeled “Change download options.”

Dennis Heideman is an IT architect for IBM Electronic Support in Austin, Texas. He’s the architect of the Electronic Fix Distribution system and Fix Central.

Dennis Heideman is an IT architect for IBM Electronic Support in Austin, Texas. He’s the architect of the Electronic Fix Distribution system and Fix Central.



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