The Maximo Integration Framework offers a wide variety of capabilities for publishing or consuming information to or from external systems. Some of the available methods for communication are:

  • Flat File Exchange
  • XML File Exchange with XSLT Mapping
  • Database Table Exchange (both internal and external to Maximo)
  • HTTP or SOAP Service Consumption

However, there may be times when the available end point handlers do not fit exactly what you need. What options do you have to customize the way the data is exchanged (method, format, content, etc.)?

1. Java customizations: This is old and tired. However, it is possible to write your own Router Handler class to deliver an outbound message to its destination. It is also possible to deliver the message using one of the available handlers above, and then write a custom Maximo cron task to move the message to its destination. For me, that is too many moving parts.

2. Third-party solutions: Implementing a third-party middleware solution, such as Node Red or MuleSoft, can be an option for removing specific system differences when exchanging information between two systems. This is especially useful in large enterprises where many systems are exchanging data. This can allow for a single source of business logic to exchange information across a wide range of systems. For smaller integrations however, this can just add another layer of management and skills necessary to support the organization.

3. Automation Scripts: This is an easy, simple way to build your own end point handler in Maximo without introducing unnecessary Java customization. Luckily, IBM provides a hook that allows us to do just that.

To create an Automation Script End Point in Maximo, you will first need to register the Script Router Handler class. Please note that this class was introduced in the Maximo 7.6.0.8 release. In the 7.6.1.1 release, the SCRIPT handler was added by IBM, which means that these steps can be skipped if you are on 7.6.1.1 or later. If you are running a version between 7.6.0.8 and 7.6.1.1 you can follow these steps to create the Script Router Handler:

  1. Log into Maximo as an administrator
  2. Navigate to the Integration > End Points application
  3. Under the More Actions menu, choose the Add/Modify Handlers option
  4. Click the New Row button
    a. Handler: SCRIPT
    b. Consumed by: INTEGRATION
    c. Handler Class Name: com.ibm.tivoli.maximo.script.ScriptRouterHandler
  5. Click the OK button

screenshot of Maximo

Once you have the SCRIPT handler, you can use it to register a new End Point in Maximo:

  1. Log into Maximo as an administrator
  2. Navigate to the Integration > End Points application
  3. Click the New End Point button
    a. End Point: TEST-SCRIPT
    b. Description: TEST SCRIPT HANDLER END POINT
    c. Handler: SCRIPT
  4. After populating the Handler with SCRIPT, a SCRIPT property will appear
    a. Value: <The name of your Automation Script>, e.g. TEST-SCRIPT
  5. Click Save

Running a script in Maximo

At this point, you have an End Point that calls an Automation Script that has not yet been created. The next step is to define that Automation Script and implement your own logic.

  1. Log into Maximo as an administrator
  2. Navigate to the System Configuration > Platform Configuration > Automation Scripts Application
  3. From the More Actions menu, choose the Create > Script option
  4. In the ensuing dialog, enter the basic script information:
    a. Script: TEST-SCRIPT
    b. Description: TEST AUTOMATION SCRIPT FOR END POINT
    c. Language: python
  5. Enter the source code from below and press the Create button

Define the automation script screenshot

Source Code:
# ------------------
# This script will write a message to the file system 
# and FTP the file to another server for processing.
# 
# Implicit Variables:
#   INTERFACE - the name of the triggered Publish Channel
#   requestData - the message payload
# 
# Alex Walter
# alex@a3jgroup.com
# 21 JAN 2021
# ------------------
from java.io import File
from java.io import FileWriter
from org.apache.commons.io import FileUtils
from org.apache.commons.net.ftp import FTPClient
from org.apache.commons.net.ftp import FTPReply
from psdi.util.logging import MXLoggerFactory

logger = MXLoggerFactory.getLogger('maximo.script.a3jtutorial')
if logger.isDebugEnabled():
    logger.debug('Starting TEST-SCRIPT script')
    logger.debug('INTERFACE: ' + str(INTERFACE))

# If the file exists, then delete it and create it new
ftpFileName = "C:\Temp\ftpfile.xml"
ftpFile = File(ftpFileName)
if ftpFile.exists():
	ftpFile.delete()
ftpFile.createNewFile()

# Write the file to disk
fileWriter = None
try:
	fileWriter = FileWriter(ftpFile)
	fileWriter.write(requestData)
finally:
	if fileWriter:
		fileWriter.close()

# Setup FTP variables - usually good idea to create System Properties
ftpHostName = "ftp.company.com"
ftpUserName = "username"
ftpPassword = "password"

ftpClient = None
fileInput = None
try:
	# Make an FTP connection
	ftpClient = FTPClient()
	ftpClient.connect(ftpHostName)
	reply = ftpClient.getReplyCode()
	if logger.isDebugEnabled():
		logger.debug('ftp reply: ' + str(reply))
	
	if not FTPReply.isPositiveCompletion(reply):
		if logger.isDebugEnabled():
			logger.debug('not a positive ftp reply')
		ftpClient.disconnect()
	else:
		if logger.isDebugEnabled():
			logger.debug('positive ftp reply!')
		# Log into the FTP server
		if ftpClient.login(ftpUserName, ftpPassword):
			if logger.isDebugEnabled():
				logger.debug('Logged into FTP site')
			# ftpClient.setFileType(2);
			fileInput = FileUtils.openInputStream(ftpFile)
			# Put the file in the default directory
			ftpClient.storeFile(ftpFileName, fileInput)
			if logger.isDebugEnabled():
				logger.debug('File sent to Server')
		# Log out
		ftpClient.logout()
		if logger.isDebugEnabled():
			logger.debug('Logged out of FTP site')
finally:
	if ftpClient:
		ftpClient.disconnect()
	if fileInput:
		fileInput.close()

Alex Walter is the Chief Innovation Officer at the A3J Group, a company he formed to address the need for innovative software solutions and integrated consulting services within the EAM industry. Alex brings 17 plus years of experience in business consulting in various industries including Life Sciences, Oil and Gas, Water and Waste Management, Education, Government Facilities, among others. Alex lives in Tampa, FL with his wife, two sons, and dogs. In his free time, he enjoys running half marathons, making space in his garage for new camping and outdoor equipment, traveling to far off places with the Walter Circus, and remaining hopeful that his NY Jets' best days are ahead of them and not behind.

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