Getting Started with the Maximo Application Framework (MAF)

Apr 24, 2023 | Leadership in Maintenance Articles, TRM Blog | 0 comments

John Q. Todd

Sr. Business Consultant/Product Researcher

Total Resource Management (TRM), Inc. 

Maximo Application Suite (MAS) has a new set of mobile applications that may be of use to your field staff. Whether accessed via a mobile device such as a tablet, or simply launched from within a browser, these applications are simply another way to use Maximo.

However, like any other out of box application, you may wish to make changes to them to suit your specific needs. Unlike the traditional applications where you could use the provided Application Designer application, making modifications to MAS Mobile apps, you need to have some XML and JavaScript experience.


Setting up your development environment

This section is going to leverage this specific link from IBM. It walks you through the steps needed to construct a development environment on your local PC. (Of course, this IBM link may change, so do your searching for the topic of “Maximo application framework configuration,” and you will find the most current information.)


Docker Desktop

The very first step is to install Docker Desktop. This will be the home for the MAF image and the container that provides you access to the MAF Tools. Make sure that your local PC has the memory and storage capacity needed.

Follow the links provided by IBM to download Docker Desktop and then simply follow its installation instructions. When you are done, you have the foundation set.


Get the MAF Tools image from IBM and launch the container

Your next step is to get the MAF Tool image from IBM that provides the basis for the container. The instructions provide the docker command lines you need to execute. Once the image is downloaded, you create the container and start it.

Once the container is running, other than perhaps looking at the logs (under Actions to the right side) there is not much you are going to do with it.


Launch the MAF Tools

Using your local browser and referencing the URL and port you established for the container, you then gain access to the MAF tools. By default the URL is:


Once you launch that page, you are presented with a login screen.

So here is a little bit of a gotcha… to access the MAF Tools, you have to login to an underlying MAS instance. However, you can only do that by using an API Key that has previously been established within the MAS instance.


How to establish an API Key in MAS Manage?

  1. Log into MAS and then enter Manage.
  2. Go to the Integration module, then locate and open the API Keys application
    1. Your User may need to be granted access to this application
  3. Add a new API Key for the Users you wish to have access to the MAF Tools

Now you can continue your login by entering the URL of the underlying MAS instance and enter the API Key.


View the list of Mobile applications

Given the container is running and you successfully logged into the MAS instance with your API Key, you will be presented with the list of Mobile applications that reside on that server.

On the left-side there are icons to gain access to documentation. If you open an application, you can see its anatomy and the controls to Save, Preview, and Publish the application.

It is highly recommended that you make a duplicate of the Mobile application and make your changes to it vs. attempting to modify the out-of-box version. This preserves the original that you can always refer back to.

It is also worth noting that the application component you may spend the most time making changes to is the “Page.” Mobile applications are collections of pages, and knowing which page you are seeking to make changes to is important. Scroll down the list of components within the application to the “pages” section.

It is also worth noting that only the XML files for the application (the presentation layer) are visible within the MAF Tools. There are many JavaScript files that define the behavior of the applications that are on the MAS server. Accessing those files in addition to the XML files will require other development tools like VS Code or Eclipse to make connection to the container and MAS instance.


Wrap up

This is the starting point… getting your basic development environment setup to make changes to the MAS Mobile applications. As more apps are developed by IBM, as well as more documentation and tools made available, we are on a path to being able to provide useful applications to our mobile user communities.

You might also consider going to our YouTube channel and watch the series on the MAF that we are producing.

TRM has been making Maximo application modifications for many years. As an IBM business partner, we stay current with the technologies that surround Maximo applications. Leverage our knowledge as you begin to make your own changes.



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