The Maximo Integration Framework (MIF/OSLC) is defined as a framework that provides Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) technologies to support application services and coordination between enterprise systems such as synchronization and integration of data between applications. Data transferred to Maximo should already be validated in the external system before being synchronized with Maximo and does not work well with user manipulated data.
Real-time field validation
The integration framework provides error message handling but only once the invalid data has been sent to Maximo. When a user creates a new work order with a Corrective Maintenance (CM) work type and accidently enters ‘CMN’, the user does not know its invalid until it is sent to Maximo and an error is thrown. Tools like the Maximo 7.5 Automation Script and TRM Rules Manager will not be applied without real-time validation until the data is processed on the server.
Real-time field lookups
The majority of fields in Maximo are associated with a lookup list. This list is validated based on business rules that are enforced by Maximo. The MIF gives you the capability to query data, but not based on the record you are working on. For example, when changing a work order status in Maximo, a user can only change to a status based on its current status. A user cannot change the status to Waiting for Approval (WAPPR) when the work order is already Closed (CLOSE). This built in Maximo business rule cannot be enforced through the MIF until the data is processed on the server. This means that there is more room for error when a user is manually manipulating data on a mobile device. Fields like the GL account will be a pain to manage.
The real power of Maximo security groups is the ability to restrict users’ access to fields, values and even lookups. Along with real-time validation, the MIF doesn’t throw an exception until the data is processed and sometimes it can even surpass all the security restrictions and save to the Maximo database. Security restrictions will have to be manually duplicated on the mobile device and that will negatively impact development time and overall cost.
If your organization uses extensive workflows, you are out of luck when it comes to managing work orders and the workflow processes on those records. Workflow in Maximo is a very complicated system and requires a user interface to handle all of the user interactions at any given point in the workflow process. The MIF does not provide any type of user interface.
This is essential for any mobile access in a disconnected environment because all offline data is stored on the mobile device and once connected, it will synchronize the data with Maximo. The problem is that the integration framework isn’t built for batch processing of large datasets. Batch processing can be done, but it’s limited by the amount of resources on the server. Large datasets can run into hanging server processes and will require a server reboot to fix.
Each time you log into your Maximo environment, a Maximo session gets opened specifically for you. This session gives each user a unique identity within the system and is the genesis of all Maximo functionalities. The ability to track and manage these Maximo sessions allows your organization to get a better feel for when users are logging in and out, what they’re doing and when they’re doing it. Opening a Maximo session is not something you can achieve through the MIF.
Maximo Configuration Changes
Most organizations that use Maximo have business needs that change from time to time. These changes are often in the form of new fields within a variety of different applications. If your organization is utilizing the MIF as part of their mobile solution, web services will need to be re-configured and re-deployed each time a change in the data structure occurs. This sort of setup doesn’t lend itself to an agile work environment.
If you belong to multiple sites within your organization then switching your default insert site is something you’re probably quite familiar with. Automatic filtering of result sets by site and creating a new record in any application are two main functions that are driven by your default insert site. The MIF is capable of retrieving a user’s default insert site, but changing that site on the fly through the MIF is not possible, because it uses the MXINTADM (Maximo Integration Administrator) account as the default user for all inbound/outbound transactions.