June 13, 2017

MxLoader now supports attachments

I have just implemented the capability to upload attachments straight from MxLoader. This is in response to some requests on my blog and MxLoader support forum.

Starting from Maximo it is possible to import attachments to an object through MIF using Base64 encoding.
MxLoader has the capability to read files from the filesystem, encode them in Base64 and upload them on Maximo. This can be done on any Maximo object that supports attachments but the integration object structure has to be modified to include the DOCLINK object.

In this example the MYASSET object structure has been created with the DOCLINKS child object.

To specify a file to be uploaded you have to prefix the full path of the file with the ‘file:///’ string. Look at the screenshot below for an example of how to add two attachments to an asset.

June 2, 2017

Is your Maximo database in good health?

We all know Maximo is a complex product. It has plenty of features and is very flexible but sometimes complex to manage especially when system performances are poor.
A lot of things may affect the perceived performances of Maximo and it may be hard to have an overview of the entire system configuration.

What are the largest tables in the database that may need archiving?
Are database statistics updated to optimize database queries?
How much data is stored for each site?
Has the workload of system increased over the last years?
What are the most heavy reports users execute?
What are the most resources-consuming crontasks and escalations?
How is the reports/crontasks/escalations workload spread across the day?

These and many other questions have an answer in the Maximo Health Check report.
Maximo Health Check report is a utility for IBM Maximo and IBM Control Desk that can help identify and analyze issues, errors, or incorrect configurations that can lead to unsatisfying system performances.

Adding more JVMs to your application server cluster seldom solves Maximo performance issues. In our experience, the most effective performance improvement techniques are on the database side.
For large Maximo systems data archiving may be needed. This is because, after several years of usage, large volume of data accumulated into some tables slowing down database inserts and updates. Moving unnecessary data out of those  tables can greatly improve overall system performances.
When specific application queries, reports or escalations have unsatisfying execution times database indexes optimization could be the answer. Adding the right indexes and removing the wrong ones is a complex activity that requires deep skills but can produce outstanding results in many cases.
Sometimes index optimization is not enough to fix a badly written SQL query. In this case SQL queries optimization is the right technique. SQL queries are everywhere in Maximo: start center portlets, application queries, escalations and reports. By simply refactoring those SQL statements I have obtained impressive results in many cases.
Database tuning is the last chance. Assuming IBM suggested settings have been applied, this is 'brute force' approach can bring some incremental improvement to overall performances.

Download and run the Maximo Health Check report and you may find interesting information about your Maximo system.