Skip to Main Content
IBM Power Ideas Portal

This portal is to open public enhancement requests against IBM Power Systems products, including IBM i. To view all of your ideas submitted to IBM, create and manage groups of Ideas, or create an idea explicitly set to be either visible by all (public) or visible only to you and IBM (private), use the IBM Unified Ideas Portal (

Shape the future of IBM!

We invite you to shape the future of IBM, including product roadmaps, by submitting ideas that matter to you the most. Here's how it works:

Search existing ideas

Start by searching and reviewing ideas and requests to enhance a product or service. Take a look at ideas others have posted, and add a comment, vote, or subscribe to updates on them if they matter to you. If you can't find what you are looking for,

Post your ideas
  1. Post an idea.

  2. Get feedback from the IBM team and other customers to refine your idea.

  3. Follow the idea through the IBM Ideas process.

Specific links you will want to bookmark for future use

Welcome to the IBM Ideas Portal ( - Use this site to find out additional information and details about the IBM Ideas process and statuses.

IBM Unified Ideas Portal ( - Use this site to view all of your ideas, create new ideas for any IBM product, or search for ideas across all of IBM. - Use this email to suggest enhancements to the Ideas process or request help from IBM for submitting your Ideas.

Status Delivered
Workspace IBM i
Created by Guest
Created on Jun 12, 2021

Need better and easier Licensing APIs or Method

Using the existing IBM i 3rd-party software licensing APIs (QLZA*) has never been fun. Today we have customers moving to new systems and obtaining new serial numbers "everyday". This presents a major issue. Some customers while they have licensed software for their organization may have slipped on maintenance or they were acquired and the applications are being moved to a new server or to the IBM Cloud.
ISVs need a way to license our software to the IBM customer so that software can be authorized when changing systems or moving to the cloud without impacting the the enterprise.

Use Case:

Today when a customer runs on Power7/7+ (for example) they are stuck at V7R3. They can migrate to a Power9 today, Power10 this fall, or even the IBM i cloud-based solution down the road.
When this happens, their 3rd-party licensed software no longer works. Why does 3rd-party work but IBM does? Because IBM is contacted by the customer to buy the Power9 or whatever, and they assume that somehow a "save/restore" is going to work like it does in the PC world.
Sadly if a customer has a 3rd party software license that uses the IBM i APIs QLZA* that software will not work because it is tied to the System Serial Number (QSRLNBR).
We need a way to license users that isn't specifically tied to a Serial Number but to the IBM Customer Number (of course that also seems to change frequently, but that's another issue).

Idea priority High
  • Guest
    Jan 31, 2022

    There are a large number of IBM i applications that do not license to physical Serial Number and instead license to user, partition, per core and so forth. The applications are not using IBM licensing but have written their own. Therefore, one option is to change to your license management scheme.

    As for IBM i, our primary strategy for mobile licensing is Virtual Serial Number, which was referenced in this thread. We just announced our first Virtual Serial Number phase on January 25, 2022: > section "Virtual Serial Number". ISV applications can change to license to Virtual Serial Number instead of physical Serial Number. Using that method, you can still leverage IBM i License Management. You mentioned that using Virtual Serial Number requires the HMC, and that the HMC is expensive for small clients. One of the less expensive alternatives is the virtual HMC ( The price for vHMC may be worth it to clients in order to get mobile licensing.

  • Guest
    Dec 27, 2021

    I've read the link provided and the issue with that approach is that it requires the use of an HMC to accomplish this VSN implementation. If there were an API or CL command interface I would support such a concept. I have very few customers with HMCs installed. In fact, I have one client who purchased a new HMC with their Power7 upgrades and never used it. Today that same client is installing Power9's and when they asked me if they should power-up the HMC I had to tell them it is not supported by IBM for their new Power9 purchase. They see no reason to pay a huge fee to use it to turn on the system when day-today- they don't need or use it.
    So if there is another option I'd love to hear about it

  • Guest
    Nov 30, 2021

    When upgrading hardware, it is understood that the hardware serial number that the IBM i License Manager depends on (QLZA* APIs) will usually change. When such hardware changes are detected, a 70 day "hardware grace period" is initiated during which license keys for the previous hardware will be honored while new keys are obtained. This should be true of IBM software as well as independent software vendor (ISV) products. The advantage for IBM i products is that the Entitled Systems Support website (ESS) is aware of the migration and can provide new keys rather quickly. Keys for ISV products would have to be requested manually.

    The proposed solutions are problematic for a variety of reasons. There are strong security concerns with any solution that "phones home" as many systems are not allowed internet access. In addition, there exists no current facility to "invalidate" a non-OS license key, and the method used for OS keys cannot be adapted to further products. It would also be impossible to automate retrieving new keys for ISV products as each vendor would have its own management system for obtaining and recording product keys.

    One solution that exists today for POWER9+, and to avoid future ties to hardware serial numbers, is to license software for individual partitions to a virtual serial number:

    As this article points out, Virtual Serial Numbers may be migrated from one system to another as needed, and this happens automatically with Live Partition Mobility. IBM believes this solution would sufficiently solve the use case in most circumstances. Please let us know if you have further questions or suggestions regarding this request, or if this solution works for you.

  • Guest
    Jul 13, 2021

    The CAAC has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM close this as a Duplicate. There is an existing RFE for this function, and that RFE is already in Planned for Future Release status. See

    Background: The COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) members have a broad range of experience in working with small and medium-sized IBM i customers. CAAC has a key role in working with IBM i development to help assess the value and impact of individual RFEs on the broader IBM i community, and has therefore reviewed your RFE.

    For more information about CAAC, see

    Nancy Uthke-Schmucki - CAAC Program Manager

  • Guest
    Jul 12, 2021

    The CEAC has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM view this as a MEDIUM priority requirement that should be addressed.

    Background: The COMMON Europe Advisory Council (CEAC) members have a broad range of experience in working with small and medium-sized IBM i customers. CEAC has a crucial role in working with IBM i development to help assess the value and impact of individual RFEs on the broader IBM i community and has therefore reviewed your RFE.

    To find out how CEAC help to shape the future of IBM i, see CEAC @ and the article "The Five Hottest IBM i RFEs Of The Quarter" at

    Therese Eaton – CEAC Program Manager, IBM

  • Guest
    Jun 14, 2021

    Hi pnicolay,
    I'm not concerned about DR/HA situations. All our software, using the IBM QLZA* APIs has an automatically 17-day license built in upon install. So no need to go get a new one.
    Note sure what you mean by "specific partition" The QLZA* APIs allow you to use the license by User or by Active Core and optionally have that spread/counted across partitions. I think you can also limit it to N partitions, but not a specific partition. Mostly the APIs lean heavily towards the CPU or USER count-base. But since one one likes User-based licensing, and since only about "10 customers world-wide" (I'm pontificating) use more than 1 CORE due to pricing, core-based pricing doesn't really apply to my situation. So we've moved to All or nothing model. You either have a license or you don't, and we don't care how many CPU's you've activated or partitions on the same physical system you've configured. But a Cloud user of IBM i (not many today but that'll change) needs serial-number-less licensing and that's today requires you to roll your own and depend on honesty.

  • Guest
    Jun 14, 2021

    Due to processing by IBM, this request was reassigned to have the following updated attributes:
    Brand - Servers and Systems Software
    Product family - Power Systems
    Product - IBM i
    Component - Install, Upgrade, Licensing
    Operating system - IBM i
    Source - None

    For recording keeping, the previous attributes were:
    Brand - Servers and Systems Software
    Product family - Power Systems
    Product - IBM i
    Component - Other
    Operating system - IBM i
    Source - None

  • Guest
    Jun 13, 2021

    How would you limit the license to a specific partition when you link it to a customer number ?

    We have developed a website where our customers can managed their licenses... it's a fully automated environment so that when they have a disaster or other issue they get a (temporary) license in seconds.