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As an organization looks to move from the current Maximo EAM to the Red Hat OpenShift based Maximo Application Suite (MAS) there are differences that are worth understanding from the beginning. While some functions largely stay the same, other aspects of the environment are very different.

 

General Changes

The big change is of course the User Interface. The same UI is used across MAS and Manage is no different. While the functionality remains the same, the icons are different and some of the menu drop-downs have been consolidated. Checkboxes are now sliders. Fields are still indicated whether they are read-only or open for changes with subtle grey or solid lines. Yes, all your training materials will need to have their screen shots updated, but the function/process steps will be the same.

From a data structure standpoint, MAS Manage is not appreciably different than Maximo. No matter which database technology you are using now (db2, Oracle, MS SQL) during the upgrade process, your database will be upgraded to Manage 8.x. Your current Maximo will need to be at 7.6.1.2 in preparation for the upgrade to MAS. There is not a path to MAS for Maximo versions prior to 7.6.1.2.

The applications themselves in Manage (Assets, Work Order Tracking, Purchase Orders, etc.) are nearly identical in function to those in Maximo. With the inclusion of functions that used to be add-ons, such as Calibration and Linear, some applications will sport these functions within Manage.

Users are managed at both the MAS and Manage levels. User authentication is configured at the MAS level. Users access to Manage applications and actions remains the same, within Manage, and via Security Groups. Note that there is now a MASADMIN profile (for MAS Administration), and a MAXADMIN profile (for Manage Administration). User settings are synched between MAS and Manage.

Other elements of MAS… Monitor, Health, etc. have their own User management as well. While a User may have a MAS login, within these elements further User configurations can be made as well.

 

Infrastructure Changes

Of course, the biggest change is that the deployment of MAS is based on Red Hat OpenShift. If you are moving to the Cloud… having MAS hosted for you… then you really don’t care so much about the underlying technology. If you are planning on hosting your own MAS on-premises, your IT department may need to skill up quite a bit to support this new approach. Containerized applications are not a new idea at all, so you may already have the fundamental skill set in house.

The installation, configuration, deployment, and the upgrade to MAS is performed by an entity in OpenShift called an Operator. Those staff members who are looking after the OpenShift and MAS deployments will need to become well versed in how to interact with and use Operators.

No longer will you need to interact with Enterprise WebSphere. Rather, a runtime version of WebSphere Liberty to run MAS code in a containerized environment. WebSphere ND and WebLogic are not supported.

If you are using RMI (Remote Method Invocation) for your interfaces to/from Maximo, you will need to reimplement them using a different technology. MAS is focused on providing RESTful APIs for all its elements. Maximo has had a documented API for some time, so it will not be so much of a leap to adopt this approach to interfacing.

In the area of JMS message queues, they are now provided by Kafka (one of the elements of a MAS deployment in OpenShift). No matter your current messaging method, you will need to migrate to Kafka or any other supported JMS provider.

OpenShift has no lack of logging or monitoring options. Way beyond just those focused on Manage (SystemOut, SystemErr, etc.) your Administrators can see logs from each “pod,” that makes up the MAS environment. While there are lots of pods to look at and understand what each does, the logging is verbose and is useful for troubleshooting. The OpenShift UI itself has built-in monitoring views and tools to keep the health of the environment in front of you.

 

Finally… MAS Mobile

The intention is that Users will be accessing “applications,” beyond just those traditionally focused on Maximo/Manage. As such, MAS provides a Mobile platform that then displays the “apps” that the User has been granted access to. For those just processing work orders, then all they see is their list to work on for the week. If they are doing Inspections, then there is an Inspections icon to gain access. For more advanced Users, they might see Assist, Health, etc… all of which have Mobile functionality built in.

The technology for the Mobile apps is cross-platform, so it does not matter if the device is iOS, Android, or Windows based, the apps are the same.

To answer your very first question, “Can the mobile apps be modified,” the answer is yes. Now it is a development effort to do such things as IBM has not yet provided development tools like “Application Designer,” as we loved in Maximo. 3rd party dev tools are available and well known to those in the app dev business.

 

Wrapping up…

MAS brings to you the familiar Maximo functions in Manage, on a completely different platform/infrastructure, with a new User Interface, along with many new elements to support your organization as it moves into predictive and machine learning based maintenance.

 

Article by John Q. Todd, Sr. Business Consultant at TRM. Reach out to us at AskTRM@trmnet.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss deploying MAS 8 or Maximo AAM for condition based maintenance / monitoring.

 

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