Fix terminology

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What are a "local fix", a "temporary fix", and a "service fix"?

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These names come from IBM Authorized Program Analysis Reports (APARs). They denote the different ways in which program bug may be fixed.

A local fix is some corrective action or problem circumvention that can be performed on-site directly, using the software as it currently stands. Local fixes can range from "Well don't do that, then!" to reconfiguring the software in order to avoid triggering the problem. A local fix can be applied by the end user, system administrator, or a field service technician without having to obtain anything from software developers.

A temporary fix is a published standalone modification to the software, be it to code, data, or documentation, that fixes the bug. It usually takes the form of one or more updated files, or a source code or machine code patch. Temporary fixes can be variously called "Program Temporary Fixes" (IBM) or "hotfixes" (Microsoft). The fix is "temporary" inasmuch as the next release of the software will either incorporate the fix or render it moot.

A service fix is a fix that is provided in a service release of the software, i.e. as part of a fixpack or a service pack. It obviates any prior temporary fixes.

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