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IBM Support Portal site assistance

Work with products

Find a product

You will get the greatest benefit from the Support Portal by selecting a product. When you select a product, the Support Portal:

  • Displays a product support page containing links to important support content about that product. Many of these links are hand-selected by product experts to give you the most relevant and critical information for your product.
  • Adds that product to your recently viewed product list. Support Portal will remember up to 20 recently viewed products in the list associated with a cookie (if you have not signed in) and/or your log in (if you have signed in).

There are several ways to find a product in the Support Portal. You can search for the product, browse a list of all products, or select products that are associated with your log in (AVP, Inventories, or Supported software).

Product lookup

Use the Product lookup option at the top of the Support Portal page to search for an IBM product.

  • Enter all or part of the product name, machine type, or model number in the entry field.
  • After you have typed at least two characters, the search will automatically begin and display matching products below the entry field. Continue typing to further refine the results.
  • Select the product link to select the product.

    Note: If the Information icon   is displayed next to the product name, the entry consists of multiple IBM products. Select the icon to view the list of associated products

  • The product details window automatically displays next to the product. Optionally select any applicable details, such as version or operating system, to refine the content that will be available.
  • Select the Go button to view the Support Portal product page.

Browse for products

Use the Browse for a product link at the top of a Support Portal page to step through a product tree and locate a product.

  • Select the Expand/Collapse icon  to expand sections of the product list.
  • Select the product link to select the product.

    Note: If the information icon  is displayed next to the product name, the entry consists of multiple IBM products. Select the icon to view the list of associated products.

  • The product details window automatically displays next to the product. Optionally select any applicable details, such as version or operating system, to refine the content that will be available.
  • Select the Go button to view the Support Portal product page.

Recently viewed products

Use the Recently viewed products feature to quickly return to a Support Portal product page. When you select a product, Support Portal adds that product to your recently viewed product list and remembers up to a total of 20 IBM products.

  • Select the dropdown arrow to the right of the Product lookup entry field.
  • Select one of the products displayed in the list that is displayed to view the Support Portal product page for that product.

My products

If you are signed in, the My products option enables you to select products from products that are associated with your log in:

  • My AVP products is available if you are registered for the Accelerated Value Program with IBM.
  • My inventories is available if you have previously uploaded your system inventory through IBM Fix Central.
  • My supported software is available if you have associated your log in with your company’s software support contracts through IBM Support registration (for example, IBM Service Request).
  • Select My products at the top of a Support Portal page.
  • Select one of the available options in the dropdown and the Go button () to see pre-populated product lists based on information you or your company has provided to IBM.
  • Select the product link to view content for that product.

Share product list

After selecting one or more products in the Support Portal, you may want to share the product list with others:

  1. Select the Share your list of recently viewed products link. Your default email application will open with a prefilled message that includes URLs that link to your recently viewed products.
  2. Specify the recipients of the email and send.

View content

Sign in

You must sign in to the Support Portal to view entitled content or to customize your experience and to access other features such as “My products” and premium support. To sign into the Support Portal, choose the Sign in link at the top of the Common support links module on the Support Portal home page or any product page. You must have a valid IBM ID to sign into the Support Portal.

Once signed in, you can choose to sign out by selecting the Sign out link in the same location.

Choose a product

The Support Portal displays content for only one product at a time. The content you see depends on the currently selected product. Use the following options at the top of the page to select or change the product content you want to explore:

  • Product lookup
  • Browse for products
  • Recently viewed products
  • My products

See Work with products for details on using these features to find a product

Explore content

The Support Portal displays content for one product at a time. Each product page contains several product-specific modules and one general support module. Each product-specific module displays resources related to the currently selected product, including:

  • direct links to content or support tools
  • links to an extended list of content

Direct links within modules

To view the content available for a product:

  • Select a link to view that content or support tool.
  • When displayed next to the module title, select the "view all" link to view additional content available for the product.

Extended lists of content

If you select a link to an extended list of content, a comprehensive list of content is displayed. Use search at the top of the results list or filters in the left column to narrow the list of results.

Search within results

Use the Search within results field at the top of the results list to search within this subset of documents.

Filter content

When viewing an extended list of content available for a product, use the filtering options in the left column of the page to filter the results. The filtering options available depend on the type of content being viewed.

Select filter values to narrow the list of results displayed. Select any combination of filters to explore the content available. Note: When no items in a particular filter category are selected, the content is unaffected by that filter. When one or more items are selected, only the content matching the selected values is displayed.

Translate content

The IBM Support Portal is available in multiple languages. Page titles, module titles, and other common text are translated based on the Location setting in the IBM masthead. However, most module content (link titles, descriptions, and the content itself) is not translated based on this setting. See Use the translation tool for information about how to translate content.

Set language and location

To view the IBM Support Portal in your preferred language, set your location preference for ibm.com:

  1. Select the current Location that appears at the top of the IBM masthead.
  2. Select the appropriate country or region from the menu.
  3. Select the Go button.

Note that this setting will be used whenever you visit any ibm.com website.

Use the translation tool

IBM provides a machine translation capability for content that has not been manually translated. To use machine translation:

  1. Select the desired target language in the Translate this page drop down at the top of the page, and then select the Go button ().
  2. A legal disclaimer will appear the first time you enable machine translation in a browser session. Review the disclaimer to understand the terms of use.
  3. To accept the terms of use, choose I accept: proceed with translation. If you do not accept the terms of use, choose Cancel.
  4. If you have accepted the disclaimer, the content of your page will be translated. This setting will be preserved as you navigate within Support Portal and view content.
  5. To exit machine translation mode, choose the "Return to English" option in the Translate this page drop down.

Search content

Search IBM support

To search IBM support content, use the Search support and downloads module located on Support Portal pages. Results are restricted to technical support content, including all those publicly available and, if you are signed in, those for which you have special entitlement.

Search all support and downloads

On the Support Portal home page (with no product currently selected) and on any Support Portal product page, the search feature defaults to searching all support and downloads.

  • Enter your search terms in the text box.
  • Press Enter or select the submit button .

Search within your currently selected product

On Support Portal product pages you can limit your search to information related to your currently selected product:

  • Select the Search only [product name] check box below the search text box.
  • Enter your search terms in the text box.
  • Press Enter or select the Search button .

Refine your results

You can modify your search terms to narrow the results. You can also use the filters in the left column to refine your results on the Search results page.

  • To refine your search, enter new or additional terms in the Search for text box and press Enter or select the Search button .
  • To filter the results list, select values in the left column categories, like Task and Content type, to show only information that matches your selections.
    • Set or clear the check box next to a filter to enable or disable it. The results are limited to the filters you have selected.
    • Select multiple values in a category to show information that matches any of your choices.
    • Select a value in more than one category to show only information that matches your choices in each category.
  • For more details, see Refining your search with filters under the Tips tab.

Search all IBM

To search all publicly available content across IBM, use the search box in the IBM masthead at the very top of each page. Results can include technical support content, marketing and sales information, IBM news, and other information.

To search all content within the IBM site:

  • Enter your search terms in the input field in the masthead at the top of the page.
  • Press Enter or select the Search button .

Tips

To get the most relevant search results, use these tips for creating meaningful search terms and getting the most out of the results:

Running simple searches

To perform a simple search, type one or more terms in the search box and select the Search button . The search returns a list of links that contain all of your terms.

  • The search terms you enter are matched against the title, URL, keywords and content of support pages in the language you set in the IBM masthead as well as in English.
  • The search engine does not match your search terms against other values associated with the support pages, like user-supplied tags or document type, that are displayed in the left column filters on the search results page.
  • The search finds singular, plural, and related forms of many words, suggests common alternatives, and corrects minor misspellings.
  • The search is not case-sensitive, so ibm and IBM return the same results.

The most relevant pages display at the top of your results list. To see the most recent documents found, select Newest first in the “Sort by” option area.

A key icon () that precedes a link indicates that registration is required to view that page. After you select the link, you will be prompted for your IBM ID and password, or you will be given the opportunity to register.

Creating effective search terms

To improve the effectiveness of your search results, try these best practices:

  • Be specific. Use terms that are unique, OR add descriptive terms. For example, a search for “DB2” might return too many results. If you are looking for information on DB2 UDB, enter:

    db2 udb or db2 udb linux.
  • Use synonyms. If you get too few results OR do not find what you are looking for, try synonyms for your original terms. For example, if you are looking for education opportunities, instead of searching for java classes, which could imply either education or a file type, try java training.
  • Check your spelling. A single misspelled or incorrectly typed term can affect your results.
  • Learn from your results. Your search might not return exactly what you are looking for, but scanning the results can help you see the words that were found and give you ideas for other searches. Adding specific terms can narrow your results.
  • Exclude terms in a search. To exclude terms from a search and narrow results, use the minus sign (-) before the term. Do not leave any space between the minus sign and the term, but leave a space between search terms. For example, enter:

    bladecenter accessories -monitor.

    The results contain documents with "bladecenter" and "accessories", but not the word "monitor".
  • Search for exact phrases.. To search for a phrase, surround it with double quotes (") to reduce the number of results. For example, enter:

    "ibm notes support"

    The results contain documents that have the exact phrase "lotus notes support" in them. The results may also contain variations of the words, such as singular, plural, and related forms of some words.
  • Expand search results with multiple search terms. Normally, each search result contains all of your search terms. To broaden your search so that each result may include any of your search terms, use the OR operator between terms. For example, to search for results that include bladecenter h or bladecenter t, enter:

    bladecenter (h OR t)

    Note: the parentheses are needed because the space (AND) operator normally takes precedence over the OR operator. Without the parentheses, the search query would be interpreted as (bladecenter h) OR t.
  • Search for special characters. Generally, punctuation in search terms is ignored. However, the following special characters in a search can impact how a search is perfomed:

    + - & | ! ( ) { } [ ] " \ * ?

    To use any of these characters in search terms, insert a backslash ( \ ) before each special character. For example, to search for the precise string (1+2)[3], enter:

    \(1\+2\)\[3\].

Refining your search with filters

Use the filter options in the left column of the Search results page to narrow the results.

  • Products filter.

    Use the product filter to limit your search results to the IBM product that you have selected in the IBM Support Portal.
    • Select the product check box to narrow the results to your currently selected product.
    • Deselect the product check box to expand your search to all IBM products.
    • If you have defined your product with one or more versions or operating systems, those values will be used to limit your results.
    • Return to the IBM Support Portal to select a different product..
  • Category filters.

    To filter the results list, select values in the left column categories, such as Task, Content type, Subject, or user-defined tags, to show only information that matches your selection(s).
    • Set or clear the check box next to a filter to enable or disable it. The results are limited to the filters you have selected. The first item you select in a filter reduces the results to the pages with that value. For example, if you select a Task of Install, the results are limited to the pages that are classified as Install.
    • Select multiple values in a category to show information that matches any of your choices. Each additional selection within a filter expands the results. That is, within a filter there is an OR relationship between selections. For example, if you select another task, such as Maintain, the results are expanded to also include the pages classified as Maintain.
    • Select a value in more than one category to show only information that matches your choices in each category. Making selections in multiple filters reduces the results. That is, between filters there is an AND relationship. For example, if you keep the selections in the previous example for the Task filter, and select Readme file and Technotes in the Content type filter, your results are reduced to pages that are classified as install or maintain AND classified as Readme file or Technote.
    • Remove all your selected values by selecting Clear all.

No results

If you obtain no results for your search terms, you will see a list of tips specific to ensuring that you obtain results. Follow those tips to find the information you need.

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