Adding Contextual Information to Maximo

One of the common traps I have with newer users is getting frustrated because they don’t know Maximo as well as I do. I get calls about how can they see a certain field, where to look up ceratin information, or how to know what state a transaction is in. Maximo generally gives that information somewhere in the application, but not always where a user can easily see it or intuitively know where to find it.

I finally sat back and realized my frustration wasn’t the fault of my user community and I needed to take a different perspective on helping them. Generally the problem the user was having wasn’t a real error, but lack of clarity on information they wanted to quickly see or understand. Sitting back I realized I needed to not change screens but add context to the information already availabile.

Contextual Information:

The idea of contextual information is to give users a sense of information or detail, without adding the complexity of having to review the actual underlying data. The first example I worked through with one site was giving Buyers a better picture of what PO lines had been fully received. My original pushback to them was the details were already in Maximo, just open the PO line detail and look under the ‘Receipts’ group. But after I understood the workflow the Buyers were trying to implement, opening the detail was counter productive. They wanted to be able to quickly scan a PO, especially with multiple PO lines, to see what lines were partially received, fully received, or had no receipts.

So working with the sites, I gave them the following solution:

The Setup:

Getting this setup in Maximo requires a power user or administrator with access to the following applications:

  • Conditional Expression Manager
  • Application Designer

Step 1: Conditional Expression The glue that holds all of the contextual information together is the conditional expression that tests what state a PO line is in.


The logic behind this conditional expression is we want the condition to be true is two parts:

  1. When the Order Qty (how many we want to receive) is still greater then the Received Qty (how many we have received) will be true when a PO line is partially received.
  2. When RECEIVEDQTY is not null will exclude false positives of PO lines that are yet to be received.

Step 2: Receipt Status Box The next step is to add the ‘Receipts Complete’ check box that’s used in the PO Line Details ‘Receipts’ section. Open Application Designer and add the check box to the end of the PO Line Table. Make sure the attribute is RECEIPTSCOMPLETE.

Step 3: Set Sig Option For conditional formatting to work, it has to be tied to a signature option that is enabled in Security Groups as part of the access to an application. [1] In this example I used the existing ‘READ’ signature option that would have to be enabled in Security Groups for someone to be able to read/see purchase orders in the Purchasing app.

Step 4: Conditional Properties The last step is to configure the conditional properties for the ‘Receipts Complete’ check box object.

  • Add a security group the conditional property will be used by. In this case I used the ‘Buyer’ group since that’s the only group in our process that will be in Purchasing at this depth.
  • Add the Conditional Expression created in Step 1. Make sure to check ‘Reevaluate’.
  • Add the property to be altered by the Conditional Expression check. Since I was only interested in finding out when the condition was true, only that side was added. Leaving the false condition property means that nothing will be changed if the condition is false.


So now when users look at a multiline purchase order, they can easily understand which PO lines are partially received, fully received, or have not been received at all. The plan moving forward will be to look at other ways to give users a quicker context of the information they are looking for:

  • Overdue PM’s work orders.
  • Training for users on information that will change from optional to mandatory.

Got any more ideas? Hit me up on Twitter at @MyGeekDaddy and I’ll add a tutorial on the best one submitted. Use the hashtag #TUGTutorial.

  1. If you want to read more, go check out Bruno Portaluri’s Maximo Dev Blog.  ↩

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