There are some features that I really appreciate a GUI for. And then there are some features where just being able to type quickly on a command line is preferable.
In an effort to keep a server up to date and create a consistent predictable schedule for updates I use these methods:
1. We IPL once a week and always at the same time. We currently IPL our machines on Saturday and schedule an automatic IPL to happen during when there is a window of no activity. Having this automatic IPL allows us to play updates but not attend them. We always know at this set time that the machine will IPL, so if we want to install a new PTF we would just get it ready and let the schedule play out. Ours is done on Saturdays at 6am for example.
2. Check what updates are currently available. You can manually google each PTF group and see what the latest version is (for example: just google SF99709 and the first result will be on IBM’s site to show you what the latest PTF Group Level is). That is very manual! A new better way (if you have TR11 on 7.1 or TR 3 on 7.2) is to use this nifty little SQL command via Aaron Bartell (original article here: https://bitbucket.org/snippets/litmis/jnxRX )
SELECT * FROM SYSTOOLS.GROUP_PTF_CURRENCY
ORDER BY PTF_GROUP_LEVEL_AVAILABLE – PTF_GROUP_LEVEL_INSTALLED DESC
With that you will get a response on what all PTF groups currently have updates. I use Client Access Solutions to easily run the SQL.
3. SNDPTFORD – I find this the easiest way to get the new PTFs. No media required, just an internet connection. Once you type that command and press enter you will get a bunch of menu options. Just type in the PTF Identifier (like SF99709) and press enter. Confirm the address on the next screen and then enter 1 (to send request now) and watch it download!
4. Schedule for install: At this point I have downloaded all the latest PTF groups to keep my system up to date. I then type:
8 (Install program temporary fix)
For device type in: *SERVICE
And because we are IPLing automatically on Saturdays I put N (for no) in Automatic IPL. Then press enter and the system will prepare the PTFs for us.