Even though SAP and IBM are testing their products thoroughly, the complex nature of modern IT may take its toll so that you must contact support. In many cases, you will probably contact the SAP support first and have the application experts look at your problem. When they discover that the problem is originating from some platform-specific area, they may forward the incident to the component BC-OP-AS4, BC-DB-DB4, BC-INS-AS4 or BW-SYS-DB-DB4. If the error symptoms indicate a platform-specific problem, for example when you receive an SQL error message, you can select one of these components immediately when opening the incident, so that the incident reaches our team directly.
Sometimes, the SAP support needs help from IBM to analyze the problem, or the problem does not originate from SAP code but from the underlying database, operating system or hardware. In that case, the problem needs to be reported to IBM. Depending on your country and contract status, the joint IBM-SAP support team may report the problem directly to IBM from the incident, or they may ask you through the incident to report the problem to IBM. In this case it helps to provide the SAP incident number to IBM, so that the history of the problem analysis is also available to the IBM support.
If the problem symptoms indicate a high likelihood of a problem in the database or operating system, you can also report the problem directly to IBM without going through the SAP support first. Examples for this might be system outages with a system reference code, damaged objects, database errors with error code SQL -901 or situations where the whole system is locked up, so that nobody can sign on. If you report the problem directly to IBM, it may be useful to mention that you are running SAP should IBM Support determine that they need some sort of information from the SAP on IBM i application team.
In the past, IBM was handling problems in Problem Management Records or PMRs, so may be quite familiar with the term PMR. However, as of September 14th, 2019, IBM has migrated to a new support system. A detailed explanation of the change can be found at https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/ibm-i-moving-new-ibm-support-site-replace-ibm-service-request-tool. For you, this has primarily two changes:
- The problems are now tracked in Cases. Please use the term Case instead of PMR going forward, although both terms might be used and understood synonymously for some time.
- There is a new link to open and track cases: http://www.ibm.com/mysupport.
To open cases, you will need an IBM Id as before. If you follow the link above (http://www.ibm.com/mysupport), you will see the following entry screen:
After signing in to the page for the first time, please click on the user symbol in the upper right of the screen and verify your profile settings. Select your preferred language and – if it is not English – whether or not you are willing to communicate in English. We highly recommend to accept communication in English because it makes it easier for the experts to communicate with you directly. By clicking on the text Edit your email address, you reach a menu where you can also maintain address information and a telephone number.
To open a new case, you click at the blue button labeled “Open a case” on the entry screen. To view your previous cases (open or closed), you click on the selection “Cases” in the black bar at the top.
When you open a new case, you need to specify some information as in the past. We recommend that you always mention in your problem description that you are using SAP software. SAP software provides additional tools for problem determination, such as the ABAP dumps in transaction ST22, the developer trace files and the system log, and our team knows how to read them. For the product, you select IBM i, and for the product area, you can select an appropriate area, such as DB: Database, if the problem is a database problem. The new Open a case screen may then look like this:
The remaining fields a pretty self-explaining, and you can select to receive e-mail notification when the case is being processed. Also updating the case and adding problem data is very intuitive, so you should not have problems using the new interface. In case of problems with the tool, you can always click on the text Report a problem submitting a case or registering for support at the bottom of the website.