Have a Mobile Informer question? Check out some of our Frequently Answered Questions!

Is the Mobile Informer validated by IBM?

Yes. The Mobile Informer Platform has been validated as using IBM Best Practices and as such has earned the badge of Ready for Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure. It is one of the only mobile platforms for Maximo that has earned this distinction.

Do I need a Maximo License to use Mobile Informer?

As with any mobile application that accesses Maximo, a Maximo license is required. However, the type of Maximo license required will be dependent on the type of access needed to the Maximo system. To find out more about Maximo Licensing, please read this white paper.

Please see the official IBM License Guidelines here.

How is Mobile Informer licensed?

Mobile Informer is licensed on a named user basis. Mobile Informer Platform Authorized Users and Mobile Informer Industry App Authorized Users will be able to download all turn-key, out-of-the-box Mobile Informer Business Process Apps – for free. Mobile Informer Service Request App (Informer311) User Licenses will also be free.

If I upgrade Maximo, will Mobile Informer still work?

We like to call Mobile Informer “future-proof,” which means choosing Mobile Informer is a wise investment choice. There are two parts to Mobile Informer:

The Server/Platform
Mobile Informer is integrated directly into Maximo and uses Maximo Web Services and Maximo MBOs.

The Client App
Because all the apps are native and use all of the latest native APIs, they are essentially future-proof. The client apps deal with Maximo synchronization, authentication, and communication. Because of that, there is literally no restrictions on the apps that can be developed.

What additional hardware do I need to support Mobile Informer?

None!

The server portion of the Mobile Informer platform is installed as a native application within Maximo and requires no additional mobile-specific hardware. The Mobile Informer server runs within Maximo, and leverages and is managed as part of the overall Maximo infrastructure. The Mobile Informer server fully supports clustered environments, and can spread processing across the Maximo cluster or can be confined to certain cluster nodes as desired.

Can I use Mobile Informer in a hosted or cloud-based Maximo Environment?

Because the Mobile Informer platform sits inside of Maximo as a Maximo application and does not require any additional hardware or software services, it is very cleanly adapted to a SaaS environment. Please see the simple architecture diagram below:

Informer Diagram


Technical FAQs

Can I modify the app myself? Does Mobile Informer come with a SDK or IDE?

The source code for all Mobile Informer applications is provided to customers at no charge with a valid user license. Customers have the option to install, modify and support the applications internally or utilize Interloc Services.

Rather than rely on proprietary SDK and development toolkits we reuse the official platform tool kits: Android Studio, Xcode and Visual Studio. This makes it easy for any app developer to use the tools they already use to create and modify apps. The apps are built using the native toolkits and thus will have no restrictions and can utilize the features that make each platform unique.

Using the unique platform functionality means the full functionality of the platform and hardware is available. Each platform toolkit comes with a WYSIWYG screen editor. Non-native applications rely on a middleware layer that requires proprietary SKDs, IDEs and specialized knowledge and additional training.

I created a cloned Work order application or created a custom application and MBOs. Will Mobile Informer support that?

Mobile Informer is integrated at the MBO layer using the MIF (Maximo Integration Framework). Any applications that are cloned such as WOTRACK will utilize the same MBOs and will work without any additional configuration. Informer supports all custom persistent and non-persistent MBOs, fields and applications via configuration in the Informer Developer application.

Can Mobile Informer be used with other Enterprise Applications?

Mobile Informer is integrated as a native Maximo application and uses the MIF (Maximo Integration Framework). Mobile Informer will integrate with all existing Maximo integrations to SAP, Peoplesoft, JDE, Tririga and others. All Mobile Informer applications use the Maximo business rules, including any external integrations such as Publish Channels.

Why does Mobile Informer use the MIF instead of RMI?

MIF (Maximo Integration Framework) is a flexible framework for moving data in and out of Maximo. MIF is used for everything from data loads, integrations to financial systems and mobile platforms. Mobile Informer and IBM Maximo Anywhere use the MIF for integration.

RMI poses several issues for Mobility solutions:

    • Scalability and Availability:  RMI does not use HTTP/S and does allow for stateless load balancing or clustering and are difficult to scale
    • Security:  RMI communications cannot be encrypted via HTTPS. Any passwords sent over the network can be intercepted

Does Mobile Informer support real-time field validations? That is, if a user accidently types in CMN instead of CM for Work Type, will Mobile Informer notify me?

Yes. Mobile Informer will perform all field validation offline. To support offline domain validation, Mobile Informer downloads all domain values to device for fields that need to be modified. Mobile Informer will listen for any changes to domain values and push the data to the devices. No application or configuration changes will be required.

Does Mobile Informer support real-time field lookups? Can a MIF/SOA based mobility solution prevent a user from incorrectly changing a Work Order from CLOSE to WAPPR?

Any mobile solution that requires real-time field lookups will not allow the user to create or modify data offline. If the mobility solution needs to be online to perform field lookups it will introduce a performance penalty whenever a lookup needs to be queried.

Mobile Informer downloads the domain values offline and validates business logic offline before being sent to the server. The mobile application will either filter out (CLOSE) work orders or perform offline validation to prevent the status change.

Mobile Informer will listen for any changes to domain or table values and push the data to the devices. No application or configuration changes will be required.

Can Mobile Informer reuse Maximo security restrictions?

Mobile Informer is integrated natively into Maximo and will utilize the user’s Maximo security profile. When data is saved back to Maximo it will create a new session using the mobile user’s security profile. All CHANGEBY fields will correctly reflect the user and Maximo restrictions utilized. The user’s security profile will be downloaded to the device so the appropriate restrictions can be performed offline. Informer will listen to changes to the security profile and push to the devices.

Can Mobile Informer integrate Maximo workflows?

Mobile Informer will integrate Maximo workflows. Most changes to the Maximo workflow will not require changes to the mobile application.

How does Mobile Informer handle batch processing or large amounts of updates?

A single JVM MIF server can process thousands of transactions daily. The MIF servers can easily be clustered and load balanced to increase throughput and provide redundancy.

Does Mobile Informer track Maximo sessions?

Tracking mobile sessions are very different in a seamless online/offline mobility environment than an always-connected web application and mean different things. Mobile Informer mobile users are assumed to be offline. Mobile Informer will keep track of the users synchronization state, data sent to Maximo and online logins.

If any new fields or changes are made to the Maximo MBOs will it require any changes to Mobile Informer or the applications?

No.

Can I add new fields to the Mobile Informer applications?

New fields can be added by the system administrators via an XML configuration file. The configuration file is managed through the Mobile Informer Developer Maximo application. The application will not need to be recompiled or redeployed.

Will Mobile Informer support multiple sites?

Yes, Mobile Informer will support multi-site and multi-org configurations. The data available on device is configurable via SQL queries and can be administered through the Informer Maximo application.

Will Mobile Informer support users that need access to large amounts of data?

Mobile Informer can easily support several hundred thousand offline records. Mobility users only need access to data to support their use cases not the entire Maximo database. The data that needs to be synchronized to the devices is based on saved Maximo queries.

What makes Mobile Informer a true offline mobility solution?

Because Mobile Informer assumes that the application is always offline, it opportunistically synchronizes date in the background with no user intervention. Mobile Informer downloads the data set each app uses to the onboard device database, and is able to store and query hundreds of thousands of records locally – without high latency network connections or remote servers.

What do you mean by equal experience?

Not all Maximo mobile offline solutions are created equal. The Mobile Informer Platform does not have an online or offline mode. Mobile Informer assumes the application is offline and opportunistically synchronizes data in the background with no user intervention.

The data set that each application utilizes is downloaded to the onboard device database. Whenever the user interacts with the application all queries are run against the SQLite database stored on the device. The result is the device is able store and query hundreds of thousands of records locally quickly without high latency network connections or remote servers.

What is an offline seamless transition?

The Mobile Informer platform continuously monitors the network and state of the Maximo server. It will continuously synchronize data in the background as long as Maximo and the network are both online. If either the network or Maximo is offline, Mobile Informer will temporarily stop synchronizing data. Mobile Informer will continue to monitor both network and Maximo and start synchronizing as soon as the online state is detected.

What is real-time / opportunistic synchronization?

Mobile applications regularly need access to several hundred thousand records such as assets, locations, Work Orders, inventory and supporting data. In Maximo, both mobile and desktop users are continuously modifying the data.

The Mobile Informer platform is native to Maximo and is able to listen for changes directly on the MBO layer. When relevant data is modified in Maximo such as a Work Order status is changed, Mobile Informer will record the transaction type. The transaction will be queued and evaluated and only the relevant changed will be sent to the device.

Mobile Informer applications optionally use the native Google, Apple or Microsoft push notification architecture rather than polling the server on a timed basis. The result is changes are delivered to the devices faster with less drain on the battery.

Another advantage Mobile Informer has is that it is a native Maximo application. A Maximo system administrator can login to the system and validate which data has been sent to which device.

For example a technician may report to help desk a Work Order was assigned to them 5 minutes ago and they cannot see on their device. The help desk technician can log in to the Mobile Informer application and determine which data and when was sent to which device.

What do you mean by a reliable and transparent transaction?

Mobile Informer handles transactions in reliable manner though several means.

When a user saves a transaction it is put into an outbound queue. The Mobile Informer platform will continuously monitor the network connection and Maximo server and synchronize the transactions in the background.

One of the key advantages of the Mobile Informer platform is its simplicity. Transactions originate on the mobile device and are sent directly to Maximo via the MIF (Maximo Integration Framework). The process between the mobile and Maximo is synchronous where the mobile will not mark the message as processed until Maximo acknowledges the transaction is complete it fails MBO validation. There is no middleware or message brokers were the transactions could get lost or stuck.

If a message fails validation such as a Work Order that has been cancelled it will be stored in the Maximo Informer application in the error queue. A Maximo system administrator can view the error as XML and either reprocess it as-is, modify it or delete it.

Does Mobile Informer require any new Maximo Integrations?

The mobile devices communicate directly with Maximo via MIF. No additional server software or integrations need to be set up or configured.