This article is the third and final part into a review of the Maximo Mobile Technician application. The first part you can find here, it is where you should start – https://maximosecrets.com/2022/01/26/maximo-mobile-technician-1/ and the second part can be found here – https://maximosecrets.com/2022/01/27/maximo-mobile-technician-2/.

This is part of a series of articles to discover the capability of the new Maximo Mobile applications. The system I am using has Maximo Mobile 8.3 installed, this is the November 2021 release, in System Information it indicates IBM Maximo Application Framework 8.6.0.0 Build 20211012-1522 DB Build V7600-18. I am initially using a desktop browser; at some later date I will probably look to write some articles from a mobile phone or tablet perspective. 

The Maximo Mobile applications are currently found in the Work Order module and Role Based Applications sub-module. 

The Technician application was included in the first release, in February 2021, and it has been enhanced in the three subsequent ones (8.1, 8.2 and 8.3). It does not cover the full functional footprint of the Work Execution Work Center; I discuss this briefly at the end of this article.

We will start this third part at the two big buttons that you see at the bottom of the Review a work order page, Attachments and Follow-up Work.

Attachments

The + button at the top right is a little discreet for buttons displayed elsewhere in the Technician mobile application. Using the + button opens the native file browser for an Apple Macbook. I picked the first screenshot from this article and then used the Upload button.

A new document link is created with a thumbnail of the image on the right-hand side. When returning to the work order the attachment button will now show as having 1 attachment.

Clicking on the thumbnail will open the image and you have buttons in the corner for zoom in/out and the middle button to close the image although I could not get this to work, the Esc key did the same.

When there is a document (.Docx) attached, the symbol to the right (>) will download the document to your Download folder.

You cannot add a URL link in the Mobile Technician application, but it can display URL links that might be added to the work order or that are associated to the asset, location or other record. The Maximo Secrets link (bottom one in attachment list) will open the web page in another browser tab.

Follow-up Work

When you use the Follow-up button you see a list of all the related work orders and there is a button at the top right to Create follow-up work. There are currently no related records and so I haven’t shown the screen.

I have used the Create follow-up work button; field values are copied from the originating work order. I have then gone into the Long description of the follow-up work order (screenshot).

On the desktop the rich text formatting buttons do not have images but you can make-out what they do from the tool tips. From left to right they are:

  • Blue Save button
  • Bold, Italic, Underline, Strikethrough
  • Lookups for the Font family and Point size
  • Insert/edit a link – I added a link through to http://maximosecrets.com
  • Text color and Background color
  • Numbered list and Bullet List with options for the type of lists to create
  • Align Left/Center/Right
  • Decrease/Increase Indent

The Create follow-up work order dialog allows you to:

  • Enter a Description, it defaults from the description of the originating record, I just added Rework to the end of “Reservations”.
  • Enter a Long description, the resulting display of the long description is displayed as plain text.
  • Enter a Priority, I set it to 3.
  • Enter a Scheduled start and Scheduled finish, there is currently no time element lookup, and it uses am/pm rather than a 24-hour clock. 
  • Enter an Estimated duration, I entered 8 hours. 

Further down the screen you can use the lookup to change the Work type, I set it to CM. The Asset and location are displayed, the asset number and location identifier instead of their descriptions, these are not modifiable. I am not entirely certain why you would not be able to change the asset and location as the new follow-up work order would be at Waiting to be Approved (WAPPR) status and editing is allowed at this state.

After you use the Save button and return to the work order details, you’ll see that the Follow-up work button shows the number of records – 1 in this case.

In the Work Order Tracking application, I related Service Request 1183 and created a follow-up Service Request 1238. When I clicked through on the Follow-up work button there were now three records displayed. There isn’t anything to distinguish the tickets from the work orders, the class of ticket or work order, or its status.

Start Work

I’m going to use the blue button Start work on work order 1363 – Reservations.

You may receive the error message “BMXAA2530E – Not a valid labor transaction GL account ????-???-300. Either the required components are not filled or the component values are not valid.”. This will be because your system has GL validation turned-on but the location or asset data you are using does not have a GL account. Normally on a production system you would have set up GL defaulting rules, so that you would not (or rarely) get this message.

After pressing the Start work button it is replaced with two other buttons Pause work and Stop work.

After 8 minutes I used the Pause Work button, and a message is displayed “Send this labor time for approval?”. If you look closely, the Start Date/Time is after the Finish Date/Time which is likely to create an error if we used the Send button, the duration is actually correct at 8 minutes. It looks as if the Start Date/Time is using the server clock and the End Date/Time is using the time from the client’s browser. The server I am using is in the Netherlands (NL) and I am in England (GB), NL is one hour ahead of GB. Let’s see if I can change that start time by using the Edit labor button.

The Edit labor dialog allows you to change all the fields including the Labor. I changed the Start time from 11:47 back to 10:47 and the Hours was recalculated to 8 minutes.

When complete with the changes you submit by using the blue tick button.

A labor transaction now appears in the Labor section of the work order.

It is very tempting to now use the Complete work button, but I’ll Start Work again have another short break and this time use the Stop work button to see if there are any differences.

Back to work again and I can report there were no differences, I received another dialog with Edit labor and Send options. I can also confirm that I did receive an error message when trying to submit the time record with the message indicating that the Start time cannot be before the End time. I had to use the Edit labor button to change the Start time.

I thought at first that the latest actual labor transaction had not been created, then I opened Mike Wilson and both time records could be found.

Now I can use the blue button, Complete work. 

You get a green banner to say the work order is completed. The work order is no longer shown it is no longer in the query – Assigned work. There are no other default queries which allows a technician to see completed work orders as there are in the Work Approvals mobile application, designed for the supervisor.

Multiple Assets and Locations

Having now followed what I think are all the paths through the Mobile Technician application, I am in search of other features which the Work Execution Work Center supports, to see if it is supported in this application. One such area is support for the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table.

The Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table is shown below the Asset and location section and above the two large buttons for Attachments and Follow-up work, it is only shown if there are records. I created two records in the Work Order Tracking application for asset 12300 and for Configuration Item DCMJ21. I do not believe configuration items will be supported yet, or possibly for a while, hence why the second record does not show any values. Note, the green circle with a tick mark will be shown when you mark the record as complete.

Going into the top record for asset 12300 and scrolling down you will see the location and location description, a little unusual to see both fields and not concatenated as one string SHIPPING Shipping and Receiving Department. You can Mark Progress using the Mark complete button. This positions a symbol next to the Location or Asset symbol, a green circle with a green tick.

If you mark the record as complete the button changes to Undo.

In the Work Order Tracking application, I’ve added asset TEST01 and location TEST10 to the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table, both have meters.

On both records the Meter Readings button is shown when you opened the record from the right-hand side button, and the meter reading functionality is the same as you have seen previously in this article. Change Asset Status doesn’t seem to be supported in this table window yet.

In a different work order with a single Multiple Asset, Location and CI record with an Inspection Form I got a new button to complete the inspection, the button is below the #1 Liquid Packaging Line, location description. This was a new work order which when approved generated an Inspection Result record for the Inspection Form.

The Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs record when viewed from the Work Order Tracking application had an Inspection Form, Inspection Result and a Comment but none of these fields are displayed. It would be useful to know when the inspection had been completed as you would not mark the record as complete until the inspection itself is complete. 

Clicking on this button will navigate you through to the Inspection application, the 4th of the four Maximo Mobile applications to explore, but this will be a different article.

Maximo Mobile Queries

Earlier in this article we identified the set of items that you could select from when raising a material request. You will find this query and others used by Maximo Mobile in the Object Structures application; make a filter on Object Structures that start with MXAPI.

In the object structure MXAPIITEM you use the Query Definition action and there is one Query Clause Name called SHOWITEMS with the Query Clause of (itemtype in (‘ITEM’) and itemnum in (select itemnum from inventory where siteid=(select defsite from maxuser where userid =:USER) and status in (select value from synonymdomain where domainid =’ITEMSTATUS’ and maxvalue in (‘ACTIVE’, ‘PENDOBS’))))

This was the query that was being used to show items. You could take the query and use it in the Where clause of the Item Master application and it would find the same records.

During the writing of this article I have been looking at other MXAPI Object Structures to see whether their Query Clauses would find the same number of records as being displayed in the application. Generally, I have found a matching Object Structure, once I couldn’t, perhaps I didn’t look hard enough. Configuration of the mobile applications will need to be part of another article.

Comparing with Work Execution Work Center

The Technician Mobile application is in its fourth release. The equivalent Work Execution Work Center has more functionality but the gap has narrowed, and there could be more features if I dived into exploring the application from a tablet or phone perspective.

The biggest gap is that it appears from the desktop version that there is no ability to create a new work order, not that I have discovered. There are also some features added to the Work Execution Work Center in 7.6.1.2 which do not appear to be supported yet. For example:

  • Classify a work order
  • A long description on the failure report
  • Using premium pay codes on time reporting
  • Downtime on the multiple assets, locations table
  • Technicians can complete work orders assigned to a crew that they belong to

I am conscious that how the desktop version operates is in connected mode, and perhaps not all the features of the mobile Technician application will be supported if you were working offline, but these are more investigations for another day and another article.