The curious case of the MIA work orders?

Working in IT, we deal with strange issues all the time. However, every once in a while, something would come up that leaves us scratching our heads for days. One such issue happened to us a few years back. It came back to me recently and this time, I thought to myself I should note it down.

The issue was first reported to us when users raised a ticket about missing work orders in TechnologyOne, the Finance Management System used by our client. Without work orders created in TechOne, the users won't be able to report actual labor time or other costs. Thus, this is considered a high priority issue.

Deployment without downtime?

Downtime is costly to the business. As developers, avoiding it can give us a ton of benefits both in term of efficiency and for personal well-being as well. For example, when making changes that require downtime to a shared environment, I have my freedom back since I don’t have to ask or wait to do it at night. 

With the introduction of Automation Script, most of the business logic and front-end changes we need push to production nowadays can be done without downtime. Some of them are:

  • Automation Script
  • Escalation
  • Application Design

How to run SQL query in Maximo without DB access using API Automation Script

From Maximo version, we can now build custom API using automation script. This is a powerful new feature yet it looks to be underutilized by the community.

The first obviously use case is it gives us the freedom to build any API we wanted without being restricted to the limitation of the Maximo Integration Framework. For example, we can build an API that returns data in CSV or binary format. Or we can use it to upload data and bypassing the business layer.

Since it allows us to use the browser to interact with Automation script, and the script framework itself has access to all Java functions of the MBO layer, We can exploit it to execute all sort of weird operations.

Hot reset sequence without restarting Maximo

One error we often have to deal with is incorrect sequence when adding new data to Maximo. There are many situations when it might come up, such as:

  • When loading data using MXLoader, or inserting data directly via SQL
  • Sequence corruption due to unknown cause in Production, probably due to errors caused by cancelled/terminated job
  • Restoring database from a copy, or after an upgrade.

When this happens, the user sees an error with duplicated key value such as “BMXAA4211E - Database error number 2601 has occurred…

Use Maximo webservice with JSON content

While the JSON API in newer version of Maximo is quite useful, for many integration scenarios, I still prefer to use the old API infrastructure with Publish Channel and Web Service. However, the native format for this feature is XML.

To send or receive JSON with Publish Channel or Enterprise Service, we can translate the default to JSON format before it goes out / into the system. Below is a simple example to set it up.

Setup standard Publish Channel to send XML message

  • Create a new Publish Channel: 

Message Engine doesn't start after setting up cluster

This issue hit me a few times and always took me some time to figure out what happened. So I thought it's a good idea to note it down.


When setting up cluster environment for Maximo, I will need to setup an integration bus with a message engine for each cluster (IF, UI, Cron etc.)

Each message engine will require its own individual schema (and thus individual user if the Oracle DB is used)

After integration bus are setup and Maximo cluster started, we see a lot of errors in the log file, usually in the Cron or MIF cluster due to message engine is not available.

Consider Time Zone with automation script

It took me some time to get to this piece of code, but requirement changed and I needed to ditch it. But I'm sure I'll need to use it at some point in the future, so why not put a note here just in case.


- A client has many hotels in Sydney and Brisbane which are in two different time zones. Sydney has daylight saving while Brisbane doesn't have. In other words, there is one hour difference for half of the year, and no time difference for the other half.

- Client wants to display a warning message to the user that when he/she raised a service request out of normal working hours (7AM to 7PM), if it's a high priority item, they should make a phone call instead.