MBOs in Automation Scripts: Object Relationships

In our previous posts in this series, we talked about how an MboSet is a collection of Mbo objects. This is analogous to a spreadsheet of data representing an MboSet, and a single row within that spreadsheet representing an Mbo. This article will discuss how to work with records related to an Mbo or MboSet.

All examples so far in this series have dealt with individual objects. It is possible to use an object as a starting point for traversing to other objects that are related in some way to retrieve, for example, the planned labor or the asset associated with a work order. There are two possible approaches to achieve this. The more general one is to use the getMboSet() method of a Mbo as shown in the following examples.

# Get the planned labor objects associated with the work order

wpLaborSet = mbo.getMboSet("WPLABOR")

wpLaborCount = wpLaborSet.count()

# Get the associated asset along with some of its data

assetList = mbo.getMboSet("ASSET")

asset = assetList.moveFirst()

serialNumber = asset.getString("SERIALNUM")

The mbo.getMboSet(“WPLABOR”) method call above returns a collection of WPLabor objects, specifically, those labor requirements associated with the first work order on the current work order Mbo. There is a 1:N relationship between work orders and Work Plan Labor objects as a given work order may have multiple labor requirements associated with it. Thus, the wpLaborSet may have from 1 to N members. Note that wpLaborSet is a standard MboSet object, containing all the standard member methods, any of which may be called in the standard way.

In some cases, related objects are in a 1:1 relationship such as work order to asset (mostly… except in multi-asset cases). A given work order only has one asset associated with it at a time in most cases. Thus, when getMboSet(“ASSET”) is called on a work order, the returned MboSet will contains a single object if the ASSETNUM field is populated on the work order.

A list of objects with relationships to other objects (including the relationship name, which is the argument to be passed to the getMboSet() method, the type of objects in the returned MboSet, and the nature of the numerical relationship, i.e. 1:N vs. 1:1) is provided in the Relationships tab of the Database Configuration application in Maximo.

The second approach to working with associated objects amounts to a shortcut which can be used when only the data value of some attribute of a related object is needed. This approach is referred to as “dot notation” and it allows the retrieval of an object’s data without retrieving the object itself. It is most convenient in cases where the relationship is of the 1:1 type. While it does work for 1:N relationships, its usefulness is somewhat restricted.

The following code illustrates how the dot notation is used:

woSet = mbo.getMboSet("WORKORDER")

wo = woSet.getMbo(0)

serialNumber = wo.getString("ASSET.SERIALNUM")

assetLongDescription = wo.getString("ASSET.DESCRIPTION_LONGDESCRIPTION")

problemDescription = wo.getString("PROBLEM.DESCRIPTION")

Dot notation is therefore a call to a WO’s (or, more generally, a Mbo’s) getString() method with a special argument. The argument has two parts, separated by the dot. The first is the relationship name; the second is the name of the associated object’s attribute whose value is being retrieved. Please note that relationships can also be chained together using more than two parts (e.g. “LABOR.PERSON.DISPLAYNAME”), however the majority of cases will be two strings separated by a dot. It’s also important to note that the relationship name is just that; oftentimes Maximo uses the object name itself as the relationship name, but in some cases the relationship name is different than the object name. This is especially true where one object relates to another object via multiple fields (e.g. CHANGEBY and REPORTEDBY both refer to the PERSON object, therefore two different relationship names are needed to distinguish the PERSON.DISPLAYNAME field as the values may be different).

The first part in the above example retrieves a reference to a specific WO object. The next three lines call its getString() method with different examples of the dot notation. The call to wo.getString(“ASSET.SERIALNUM”) retrieves the value of the serialNum attribute for the associated Asset object. This line achieves the same result as in the general example at the start of this article but without accessing the Asset object itself at all.

The call to wo.getString(“ASSET.DESCRIPTION_LONGDESCRIPTION”) illustrates how the dot notation also works for more unusual attributes like long descriptions.

The call to wo.getString(“PROBLEM.DESCRIPTION”) is a somewhat more complicated example. The relationship name is “problem”, but the type of associated object being accessed is not a hypothetical “Problem” object (which in fact does not exist) but rather a Failure object. Thus, the “description” attribute being specified is actually the “description” attribute of a Failure object (specifically, that Failure object specified by the value in the WO object’s “problemcode” attribute). This example illustrates how the dot notation can be used even when the relationship name is different from the name of the associated object.

If the dot notation is used when the relationship is 1:N then the data value of the first object’s attribute is returned. This can be a serious limitation since there is no guarantee as to which associated object is the first one. The only way to find out is to check explicitly.

If the dot notation is used in a case where there is no associated object, e.g. if the “ASSET.SERIALNUM” is requested for a work order which has no Asset associated with it, an MxApplicationException is thrown.

Related posts

Shane

Maximo Analyst

As a recent graduate in computer science and cybersecurity with a CompTIA Sec+ certification, I thrive on learning and embracing emergent challenges head-on. Though new to Maximo, I approach the day to day with determination and enthusiasm. I have been known to be competitive while also being a strong team player. Beyond the realm of technology, I cherish spending time with loved ones, playing video games, doing exercise, and cooking. I am grateful to be where I am and around so many amazing people.

MAS 8

Time to Benefit
Lower Costs
Scalability and Integration
Continuous Upgrades
Easy of Use

Visual Inspection

Accelerate Defect Detection
Flexibility to Train and Deploy
Increase Uptime 24/7 Real Time Monitoring
Better Worker Safety

Monitor

Enterprise Level Data Aggregation
Scaled Operations
AI Deductions
Advanced Root Cause Analysis

Predict

Condition Based Maintenance
Lower Costs
Better Asset Availability
Reduced Risk

Manage

Comprehensive View of Assets
Understand Resource Attributes, Configuration and Relationships
Drill Down View

Health

Improve Reliability
Performance Insight
Better Planning
Clean Data
Optimization – Data, Costs, Risks

Mobility

Boost Productivity
Safer Workplace
Reduce Knowledge Gaps
Avoid Downtime

Digital Twin

Integrate with IoT for Intelligent Asset Management
Measure Health and Performance
Meet Sustainability Goals
Write Your Digital Story – Learn from Data

Dexter

Maximo Analyst

Dexter began his career in the warehouse field. Developing his skills in inventory control, accounts payable, shipping, and receiving, and procurement. While working at Apex he was learning the Maximo system in and out. Eventually learning it so well he taught everyone how to use it. Eventually becoming a system administrator for the Apex site.

A fun fact about Dexter is that he was an Elvis impersonator for 24 years. He enjoys singing, fishing, golf, and playing pool. He's an avid movie buff, most likely you'll find him watching the latest movie.

Chip

Client Relations Specialist

Chip is new to Maximo but has worked for various software companies through his career in both a sales and client relations role. In his spare time, Chip likes to golf, travel and work on projects around the house, especially those with an artistic touch. He is also up for any type of competition whether that be playing cards, board games or recreational sports.

Sarah

Maximo Analyst

Sarah is a recent graduate starting her asset management career. She counts fast learning and determination as key skills that she’s applying to become an Maximo pro! Sarah’s background in IT Services and studies in computer science have strengthened her natural problem-solving skills and desire to help others through technology. In her free time, Sarah enjoys baking, sewing, reading comic books, and building her own video game.

Derrick

Maximo Analyst

Derrick is someone who lives for mental exercise. New challenges spin his problem solving wheels. Defeat is not an option and challenges make him smile. His catch phrase is “I’m an Engineer”. Derrick takes pride in his work. He is a highly self-driven talent when it comes to his interests and programming couldn’t be any higher on this list.

Outside of the office Derricks interests includes cars, motorcycles, and anything generally fast and loud. He stays in the loop on latest in tech, loves gaming and most of all is a die-hard anime fan. Outside of bike night, you are most likely to catch him relaxing in the glow of lights from his PC.

Xavier Galarza

Maximo Analyst

I am a recent graduate who is motivated to learn and develop new skills. I like to challenge myself every day. I want to learn all about Maximo in order to teach others how effective Maximo can be for them. I have a good understanding of the development side and work well with problem solving. I am grateful for the position I am in, I love surrounding myself with great people that are more knowledgeable than me who will help me grow as a person. In my free time I love to play videos games, watch/ play sports and spend time with family. I am a competitive person and believe I am pretty good at all sports.

My other passion is to stream video games I play and connect with others online, I love showing others how to play a certain game or even show them a skill didn’t know existed. I love entertaining others and creating content for others to watch and enjoy.

Courtney LeBlanc

Business Analyst

Courtney is a polished Maximo consultant with over 10 years working in the industry. She has worn many hats including QA Specialist, Trainer, Functional Lead, Project Lead and Business Analyst. A point of great professional pride for Courtney is helping clients meet their needs and realize the power of their investment. Being a part of the process that helps clients learn how to use their system and get the most out of it is a great feeling at the end of the day.

Bob Richardson

Director of Managed Services and Senior Analyst

Bob has led more than 50 (but less than ∞) Maximo projects with top notch client satisfaction – so he must be doing something right. He is a seasoned veteran who heads our operational & managed services team. He is instrumental in developing many of our solutions and holds Maximo certifications in both functional and technical disciplines up to version 7.

Bob might or might not like squirrels. He enjoys traveling with his wife and outdoor activities. He has also been known to spend long hours in his garage contemplating life.

Kelly Nimmo

Director of Products and Senior Analyst

Kelly heads up our product development team and is a senior analyst with more than 11 years EAM/Maximo experience. She is the architect behind our flagship product offering MxMobile. She holds Maximo certifications in both functional and technical disciplines up to Maximo version 7.

In her free time if you don't find her on her boat, fishing and enjoying the beautiful Florida outdoors, then she's probably on the soccer field teaching her nieces and nephews how to do the around the world.

Kim Walter

COO

Kim began her career in Investment Banking in the Biotech and Tech sectors. After leaving banking, she focused on executive strategic development evolving her business building skills. Co-founding A3J Group was a natural fit with the idea of creating a fierce ninja style unit that outperforms all others. In her free time, she is training for her next eventing competition or studying to become a Master of Wine or practicing her tornado kick. She could be with her family hiking or surfing or cooking. But she’s definitely not sitting around doing nothing.

Alex Walter

CIO

Alex brings 18 years of Maximo/EAM consulting experience in Life Sciences, Oil & Gas, Water/Waste Management, Government facilities, and much more. He has been awarded the honor of IBM Champion from 2018-2021, and is the brainchild behind our revolutionary mobile solution MxMobile.

In his free time he buys camping gear, enjoys a good circular saw and spends time with his family hiking, surfing and being outdoors.

Enhancement

• Configuration
• Integration & data loading
• Report improvement
• Screen view & workflow changes

Sustainability

• Report
• Troubleshoot
• Learn
• Teach
• Lead

Change Management

• Advanced systematic improvements
• Tailored procedure implementation
• Script-, report-, and application-level source and document control through Git repository software
• Training on how to document and deploy changes

Monitoring

• Active monitoring of your IBM Maximo system’s heartbeat
• Triggered notifications and support tickets when Maximo is not responding
• Automated Escalations based on the health of various critical background processes.
• Periodic and quarterly scheduled system health checks

System Support & Trouble Shooting

•On Demand Support
•Advanced Troubleshooting
•Access to A3J Group’s Maximo Support Environment to submit trouble tickets
•Directly report bugs, request fixes and enhancements

System Patching & Environment Refreshes

• Tentative, bi-annual feature pack releases from IBM
• Minor patches (defined by the last number in the version model)
,• Quarterly lower environment refreshes

Admin

MxAsk

Create new self-service requests in a wizard-style format, and view the details of their open service requests.

MxApprove

Accept, reject, and reassign assignments, review assigned records, and view your workflow inbox.

MxMobile

A suite of mobile applications designed to integrate with IBM Maximo Asset Management. These apps modernize workflow, expedite inventory processes, reduce time spent on data entry, and more.

Workflow

MxMeter

View and enter meter readings, view trends in graphical format, and create readings while in offline mode.

MxAsset

Scan barcodes and view maintenance facts. Create meter readings, work orders or service requests. Toggle asset downtime.

MxWork

Create new work orders on the go, view existing work orders and attachments, and capture fingertip electronic signatures.
0