Contacting IBM Software Support

IBM Software Support provides assistance with product defects. Contact IBM if you require assistance with a WebSphere Commerce problem.

About this task

Before you submit your problem to IBM Software Support, ensure that your company has an active IBM software maintenance contract, and that you are authorized to submit problems to IBM. The type of software maintenance contract that you need depends on the type of product you have:

  • For IBM distributed software products (including, but not limited to, Tivoli, Lotus, and Rational products, as well as DB2 and WebSphere products that run on Windows or UNIX operating systems), enroll in Passport Advantage in one of the following ways:

To contact IBM Software support, follow these steps:


  1. Determine the business impact of your problem.
  2. Describe your problem and gather background information.
  3. Submit your problem to IBM Software Support.


Determine the business impact of your problem

When you report a problem to IBM, you are asked to supply a severity level. Therefore, you need to understand and assess the business impact of the problem that you are reporting. Use the following criteria:

Description of severity levels

Severity Description
Severity 1 The problem has a critical business impact: You are unable to use the program, resulting in a critical impact on operations. This condition requires an immediate resolution.
Severity 2 This problem has a significant business impact: The program is usable, but it is severely limited.
Severity 3 The problem has some business impact: The program is usable, but less significant features (not critical to operations) are unavailable.
Severity 4 The problem has minimal business impact: The problem causes little impact on operations, or a reasonable circumvention to the problem was implemented.

Describe your problem and gather background information

When describing a problem to IBM, be as specific as possible. Include all relevant background information so that IBM Software Support specialists can help you solve the problem efficiently. To save time, know the answers to these questions:

  • What software versions were you running when the problem occurred?
  • Do you have logs, traces, and messages that are related to the problem symptoms? IBM Software Support is likely to ask for this information.
  • Can you re-create the problem? If so, what steps do you perform to re-create the problem?
  • Did you make any changes to the system? For example, did you make changes to the hardware, operating system, networking software, or other system components?
  • Are you currently using a workaround for the problem? If so, be prepared to describe the workaround when you report the problem.