Meaning – The term program temporary fix, refers to a temporary solution or bypass of a problem diagnosed by IBM in a current unaltered release of the program.
A PTF normally follows an APAR (Authorized Program Analysis Report), and where an “APAR fix” was issued, the PTF “is a tested APAR” or set of APAR fixes. However, if an APAR is resolved as “Fixed If Next” or “Permanent Restriction” then there may be no PTF fixing it, only a subsequent release.
PTFs used to be distributed in a group on a so-called Program Update Tape (PUT) or Recommended Service Upgrade (RSU), approximately on a monthly basis. They can now be downloaded straight to the system through a direct connection to IBM support.
Example of usage – “If the system is adversely affected by the PTF, a system administrator may sometimes reject (un-apply) the PTF and seek further support from IBM. However, if no problems are found after the PTF is applied, it can be permanently installed, accepted, or committed, to the system.”