When Maximo Application Suite (MAS) is implemented, all the “role-based” applications are installed and available with no further configuration needed. Unlike previous versions of Maximo Mobile applications, there are no separate servers or configurations needed to provide mobile apps to Users. Most of these applications are under the Manage umbrella.
Let’s be clear from the beginning… the role-based applications of MAS Mobile can be accessed from within Manage itself and launched to a browser, or they will be accessed via the actual Android or iOS mobile application.
Within Manage, User access to the role-based applications is configured via Security Groups, with a focus on Tools and Tasks as the application type. This is no different than granting User access to the traditional Maximo applications.
Much like Work Centers, the Security Group is first granted access to the application, then a Security Template is applied. As a side note: You will find few if any Options to subsequently grant to the Mobile applications.
When the User logs into MAS with a browser and then navigates to the Manage component, they can access the role-based applications via the traditional Go To menu. There is no appreciable difference in functionality (except for disconnected mode) between launching the role-based applications in a browser vs. the Mobile “shell,” explained further in this article.
Current examples of these applications are:
- Work Approval
- Service Requests
- Manage Inventory
When the User launches any of these applications from within Manage via a browser, the application opens a new browser tab. The functions available in that tab are specific to the role-based application. While there is the “9-dots,” icon available to go to a more global view, the only application available is the one first launched.
Also, given these applications are browser-based, there is no disconnected mode available. If the WiFi or 4/5G network drops, so does the use of the application.
However, if they are using the actual Mobile application on a device…
If the User has downloaded and installed the IBM Maximo Mobile application from a Play/App Store to an Android or iOS device, that application acts as a wrapper for the role-based apps the User has access to.
This application brings all the role-based functionality into a single application platform for the User to work from. When first launched by the User, the application creates an offline JSON schema on the device and then synchronizes with the MAS server for application updates and any records that the User is assigned or granted access to.
If the network drops on the device, a message appears that the device is offline. The User can continue to interact with records such as Work Orders, submit Service Requests, and view maps. The cloud icon will have a line through it during the outage. When the device is back on the network, the User can sync with the server, sending their work and receiving updated or new records.
Just as mobile applications in the past, the extent of functionality is very focused on the roles and activities of a field user. One cannot expect the same extensive lists of applications and functions that are presented to users via the browser-based apps in a mobile app. Rather, the users in the field need just enough information and functions to know what they need to do for the day and receive updates as they come through.
How do we make changes to the Mobile apps?
IBM has provided a “mobile application framework,” for Windows, iOS, and Android. However, to customize the out-of-box application or create your own is now a development effort. There is very little in the way of, “tools,” either from IBM or third-party solution providers. This will surely change over time, but at what pace is unknown at this point.
Remember: The app in the Play stores is only a wrapper. The actual applications are on the MAS server, and it is their codebase that you would edit/refine to suit your needs.
Are the apps easy to use and manage? Yes. Will you need some help making changes to suit your business? Most likely. Contact TRM to see how we can help you get going.
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.