Given that your Users have installed the MAS Mobile application to a smart device, and you have granted them access to the available applications, they are now able to enjoy the use of the applications while connected or disconnected to a network.
When first launched by the User, the mobile application creates an offline JSON schema on the device and then synchronizes with the MAS server for application updates, and any records to which the User is assigned or granted access. The User will see a “clear” cloud icon at the bottom right of the app. If there are sync issues they will appear as red numbers near the cloud icon as well.
What happens when the network drops?
For the most part, whether connected or not, if the network drops, the User will be able to continue to use the application. There are a couple of things discussed below that are not available. When the network drops, the app displays the following banner:
Also, notice that the cloud icon in the bottom right has a line through it. While the red banner will go away, the line through the cloud icon remains while offline.
As the User makes changes to records in the apps, the changed records appear in a list queued to Update near the cloud icon. They are marked as red but that does not mean error. This list grows with each change the User makes while offline and the indicators continue to spin until the device is reconnected to the network.
What about Maps?
If the MAS server is providing Maps to the environment, Mobile Users are also able to interact with Maps in the various applications. While in disconnected mode, Users can continue to move around in the Maps, search and view records that are on the device as pins on the Map and other functions. Obviously, if a Map function requires a reach back to the server for information, the User will have to wait until they are connected.
What about attachments?
As you know, files can be attached to records such as work orders, not only by those Users in the traditional Manage applications but also by Mobile Users. These files can be pictures, manuals, etc. that support the work processes by providing field Users more detailed information.
While retrieving records via the Mobile apps, Attachments are available to the Mobile Users. However, there are some nuances when it comes to disconnected mode.
Attachments you have opened before being in disconnected mode will continue to be available. Or if the Attachment was created on the Mobile device (like a picture) it will be available in disconnected mode. If you have not opened the attachment before disconnected mode, the attachment will not be available, and you will see an error.
Errors can occur between the Mobile apps and the MAS server. These can be caused for many reasons, not unlike the BMXAAxxxxx messages we are familiar with within legacy Maximo.
As errors occur, they are recorded in the Mobile app logs (under the Help and Support tile), and via the Errors icon in the lower right corner of the app. Both views of errors/logs can be sent to Administrators for further analysis.
Errors can be cleared by the user if the problem is obvious like a wrong time entered on an actual. Otherwise, they are mostly the familiar BMXAA… errors that an admin will need to investigate.
As you can see, Mobile Users can perform a large part of their work no matter if they are connected or disconnected. Given an initial sync to the MAS instance, they can go about their day without much consideration for the network connectivity. There are a few things they will need to know are not available while disconnected, but they are reasonable. Users can also send mobile device logs to the MAS Administrators, which can be used in conjunction with server logs for troubleshooting purposes.
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.