The Service Groups application appeared in Maximo 6 (MXES) when Service Management and a help desk were introduced to Maximo in 2005. It was created to allow a service provider to define the high-level services being offered as well as view any service level agreements, assets, locations and configuration items and the tickets and work orders associated to this service.

The associations allow a service level administrator to understand the effect on a service when an asset goes down or an asset goes beyond its service parameters. For example, the IT network is slow in a particular area, or it is too hot in the top floors of a building, these examples might result in increased calls to a service desk, a service request in Maximo. If the service group and service code are added to the service request then it is copied through to all the follow-on tickets (incidents and problems) or work orders, activities, changes, and releases. This allows a greater degree of analysis to be performed into the cause and effect which is key to service management and also analysis into the performance of the various teams providing the service.

Service Groups is built on top of the Commodities table used in inventory and procurement. When you are creating commodity groups and codes you can mark them so that they can be used on a Service Item. 

The Service Groups application which is found in the Service Level module is an application over the COMMODITIES table showing the records where the “Service?” flag (ISSERVICE) is checked. The Services table window are the commodity codes of type “Is Service” that belong to the commodity group. You can enter new service commodities from the Service Groups application, and they will also be seen by users who use the Add/Modify Commodity Codes action. 

There is a Service Type field with options for PROVIDE, PROCURE or BOTH. As a Maximo user I may provide services to other departments, for example IT, FACILITY or WASTE services. I may also procure services from external providers. I may also provide and procure services; in which case the service type would be marked as BOTH. For both service groups and services, a contact or contact group can be entered, these are mutually exclusive. The contact is a person defined in the People application; the contact group is defined in the Person Group application. You might consider these as the owner and owner group, but they are not defaults for the owner or owner group fields on a ticket or work order.

On the Service Groups application if you use the action “View Related Records for Service Group” you start to see the extent to which service groups and their service codes are used in Maximo. 

If you look at the screenshot the arrow to the right of the Ticket field is a navigation to the ticket-based application. This will also be found on the other tabs, allowing easy navigation to the other records associated with the service.

At the top of the dialog is a radio button with two options:

  • View Related Records for the Service Group will only show the records where the service group is referenced on the object without a service code
  • View Related Records for the Service Group and Services will show all records related to the service group whether they have an associated service code or not.

I will explain the help text at the top of Ticket and Work Orders tab later in this article.

It becomes apparent how the radio button works when you add the filter to a tab. The filter on the Service field is ~NULL~ which is interpreted by Maximo as “is null”.

When you use the lower radio button and then use the Refresh button, then the ~NULL~ is removed from the filter field for Service.

You might have wondered how you get to see the related records associated with a service code rather than a service group, well there are the same options in the detail menu of the service as there are in the main menu for the service group.

As you can see the dialog for “View Related Records for Service” is very similar to the dialog for “View Related Records for Service Groups”, they have the same tabs and columns.

The other action on both the main menu for a service group and the detail menu for a service is “Associate Assets/Locations”. This dialog allows you to select one or more assets, locations or asset types (notice the tab for Asset Types) to associate with the service group or service code. Think of the association in terms of these assets (or locations) provide or require these services. The service groups or services can be provided or required on assets and locations from different sites or organizations that share the same item set.

You can also delete the association from this dialog.

A Service Request is a type of Ticket in Maximo. Incidents and Problems are two other ticket types, but they are only available on other Maximo products, for example Health Safety and Environment (HSE) or the IBM Control Desk (ICD) and not in the base Maximo that many clients have.

You can see the Service Group (COMMODITYGROUP) and Service fields (COMMODITY) on the right-hand column in the Service Request Details section. These are manually entered unless they were copied there from a Ticket Template. The details menu of the Service Groups field has an action – View Related Records for Service Group. The details menu for the Service field has an action – View Related Records for Service. There is another field, a check box called “Is Global Issue?” in the section called Global Issues which also has an impact on what I will describe next.

The action View Related Records for Service Group has one or two buttons at the bottom of the Tickets tab. The Relate Records To Global Issue only appears if the current ticket record has been marked as a Global Issue. If there is another ticket which appears to be related to the current ticket, then you can use either button to create a relationship which appears in the Related Records tab. To illustrate this, I will relate Incident 1030 and 1031 using both buttons.

The two tabs Offerings and Service Fulfilment should only appear if you have a license for IBM Control Desk (ICD), they are not relevant to Maximo users.

The Service Request 1020 has been related to Incident 1030 with a relationship of RELATED, this occurred when the “Relate Records” button was used. Service Request 1020 has also been related to Incident 1031 with a relationship of RELATEDTOGLOBAL, this occurred when the “Related Records To Global Issue” button was used. 

These buttons are each controlled by a security option in Security Groups application, for the Service Request application this is, “Show Related Record” or “show isglobal” respectively.

The Service field’s details menu has an action “View Related Records for Service” which has the same tabs and buttons. On the Work Order tab, you can only relate records. The button for Relate Records to Global Issue is only found on the Tickets tab.

You can relate different types of ticket and work order records based on the way they were associated with a service group or service.

You only need to manually enter the Service Group and Service on the Service Request record as these fields will be automatically copied onto other tickets and work orders through a set of crossover domains:

  • TCKT2TCKT is used when creating one type of ticket from another
  • WO2WO is used when creating one type of work order from another
  • TICKET2WO is used when creating a work order from a type of ticket
  • WO2TCKT is used when creating a ticket from a type of work order

The Service Request could have been created automatically from a record on the Quick Insert portlet of a user’s Start Center. The Quick Insert function can create a new Service Request and apply a service request template created in the Ticket Templates application. Here you can see the Service Group and Service in the second column of the details section. This is copied from the ticket template to the ticket using the crossover domain called TKTEMPLATE.

The Ticket Template when applied to a Service Request can create one or more activities which can be seen in the Activities and Tasks application. This is a type of work order with a class of WOACTIVITY. The parent link back to the originating service request will be found by querying the two fields Originating Record and Originating Record Class, SR in this case. Notice the second activity in sequence will have a Job Plan applied and this job plan has four tasks. While there is a Service Group and Service field on the Activities and Tasks application both at the header level as well as its tasks, there are no similar fields on either the Ticket Template Activities object (TKTEMPLTACTIVITY) or the Job Plan Tasks object (JOBTASK).

The Work Order Tracking application has many fields, tabs and table windows, so a little hunting might be needed to find the Service Group and Service fields, they will be found right at the bottom in the Responsibility section of the main tab, last column. You will also find these two fields on:

  • Plans tab – Children of Work Order table window, Child Information section, 1st column
  • Plans tab – Tasks for Work Order table window, Work Reference Information second, 2nd column
  • Actuals tab – same places as for Plans tab

On Quick Reporting application, the two fields are not shown on the header, but they are on the tasks in the Work Reference Information section.

On Activities and Tasks application, the two fields are shown in the header, on the right-hand column.

When the Service Group and Service fields are shown on the header of Work Order Tracking, and Activities and Tasks applications you get the detail menu option to view related records, but not so on the child work orders and tasks where there is just the Select Value lookup.

On the Change and Release applications which are available to HSE users, there is an Areas Affected (AREASAFFECTED) table window with a Service (AFFECTEDCOMMODITY) field. This identifies the service affected by the change or release.  

In the Locations and Assets application the relationship to a Service Group or Service is many to many. In both applications the Associate Services action is used. The Service Group field is mandatory, but not so the Service field. The records are stored in the table ASSETLOCCOMM. There is no check on whether the Service Group, or Service Group and Service combination already exists.

The Service Group and Service fields are on the advanced search of the Assets application, but not so for Locations. 

The ASSETLOCCOMM table is the same one used with the association to an Asset Type, however, the only place where that association is made is from the Service Groups application as we saw earlier.

The Service Group and Service fields will be found on a Configuration Item (CI) but without the ability to see the related records to the service group or service.

The Service Group and Service field will be found on the Service Level Agreements application, on the Conditions tab. There are two versions of the SLA application depending on which Maximo products are being used, this screenshot has the Service Provider add-on installed. In this version of the application there is a table window for entering service groups or services. Without the Service Provider add-on, there is just one each of the Service Group and Service fields.

Service Level Agreements can be associated with any main Maximo object, in the screenshot it is ASSET. The most common use of a SLA is to apply it to a Service Request (SR) and to use the SLA to calculate the target contact, target start and/or target finish dates. There could be many SLAs and multiple may be a match to the data entered on the service request (or other record). There is a matching process where condition criteria on the SLA record is tested against the data entered on the service request to see whether it is a match. So, in this case the Service Group and Service are used in this matching process. For Service Requests it is common to match using these two fields, hence they would need to be entered onto the service request before using the action to apply a SLA.

The final area where Service Groups are associated will be found in the Contracts module. In Purchase Contracts there is an action Associate Commodities. If the commodity group or commodity code is marked as a service, then this is the same Service Group or Service which is being associated. This action will also be found on Lease/Rental Contract, Master Contracts, but not Warranty Contracts or Labor Rate Contracts. 

It is the Service Groups and Services which you see in the Associated Commodities dialog which are displayed on the Contracts tab in the Related Records actions in the Service Groups application, and only for approved contracts. 

On the Purchase Contract Lines the Commodity Group and Commodity Code fields can be automatically populated when you select an item, service item or tool item. For a line type of Service or Standard Service then the Commodity Groups that can be selected are only the Service Groups with a service type of PROCURE or BOTH. Similarly, for the Commodity Code field, the Select Value lookup will not show those services of service type PROVIDE. If the Line Type is Item, Material, Tool or Special Order then only the commodity groups and codes where service is unchecked (ISSERVICE=0) can be selected.

The contract lines of a Lease/Rental contract have a Commodity Group and Commodity Code field but do not show service groups or services because service items cannot be selected. For a Warranty or Service contract there are contract lines and you can pick a service item, but the commodity group and commodity code fields are not displayed, and do not get populated even if the selected service item references values for the service group and service. There are no contract lines on a Master Contract or a Labor Rate Contract

If a commodity group or commodity code of type service is on a contract line but it is not also in the dialog Associate Commodities then it will not be displayed in the Related Records actions in the Service Groups application.

A service group cannot be deleted if it has services. A service group or a service code can be deleted if it is referenced on a ticket or work order but the reference is not removed from the ticket or work order. Under some circumstances you will get the error message “BMXAA0262E – This commodity is currently referenced on an item or vendor record. Cannot delete.” If the service being deleted is on an asset, location or asset type it is deleted without error or warning, there is no cascade delete.