iCan Blog Archive

I’ve previously written about IBM i PTF enhancements in Group PTF CurrencyAudit PTF Install History and Manage PTFs With Navigator. This week, I have another PTF enhancement to share with you – conditional immediate PTFs in 7.2.

One ongoing customer requirement is to reduce downtime to apply PTFs. That’s a great requirement, but one that’s impossible to completely meet because there will always be critical parts of the operating system and licensed internal code that will require an IPL to apply a fix.

IBM is always trying to enable more PTFs to be applied immediately, and every release there are changes in the operating system to make PTFs that used to be delayed (i.e., require an IPL to be applied) to become immediate.

In 7.2, conditional immediate PTFs are an improvement that allows PTFs to be applied immediately that used to be deferred. The IBM i 7.2 announcement letter described this as follows:

More immediate Apply options for PTFsConditional Immediate PTFs allow an immediate apply PTF which supersedes a delayed PTF to be Immediate applied if the superseded PTF has already been applied to the system. 

What does this mean for you? More PTFs will be able to be applied immediately. There’s nothing more you need to do. The changes are within the operating system and you automatically get this support just by upgrading to 7.2. 

For those of you who are PTF-nerds and want to know more, here’s what changed in 7.2:

A PTF supersede chain occurs over time as PTFs are created that modify the same code as a prior PTF. A superseded fix is a PTF that has been included in a newer PTF along with additional fixes or updates. If a PTF was temporarily applied on your system and you install a superseding PTF, the original PTF is automatically permanently applied to the server, and the new PTF is used.

But prior to 7.2, if that superseded PTF was a delayed PTF, the superseding PTF would also be delayed, regardless of whether the superseded PTF was applied or not.

With 7.2, IBM can now create the superseding PTF as immediate when the fix can be applied immediately. When the PTF is applied or removed, the operating system will determine if the PTF can be applied/removed immediately; if the prior delayed superseded PTFs are permanently applied, the subsequent immediate PTF can be applied immediately. 

If you want to know much more about IBM i PTFs, you can read the following:
• Guide to Fixes
• Using software fixes in the Knowledge Center

This blog post was edited to fix broken links on April 12, 2020.

This blog post was originally published on IBMSystemsMag.com and is reproduced here by permission of IBM Systems Media.