How Esri and Maximo Communicate

Effective April 30, 2018 IBM has closed the door on support of 7.5x and all its components, including Maximo Spatial 7.5. Quite a few things have changed for the better with Spatial 7.6, but we all know that information is key to managing any kind of change. Your Starboard Spatial experts are bringing together everything you need to know in a series of blog posts and webinars. For the changes in Spatial, we’re going to cover 5 points that we think represent what you need to know when moving to Maximo Spatial 7.6.

  1. How Esri and Maximo Communicate
  2. 7.6 user experience improvements
  3. Getting your GIS ready for Spatial
  4. How Spatial extends to IBM Mobile
  5. Tips and Tricks

The 5 points are going to be broken into a few blog posts and then recapped with a live webinar, so you can ask us any questions you have in real time! Without further ado…

1.  hOW eSRI AND mAXIMO cOMMUNICATE!!!

Like most things in life, there are a bunch of ways to go about producing the same result. This is true with everything from integrating systems to grilling burgers. As time goes on and we integrate more systems (or cook more burgers), we learn a little more.

When I first started integrating Maximo with GIS in the early 2000s, all the data was integrated at the database. Any maps required were served up from the web using ArcIMS or on the desktop with ArcGIS. This worked well but, often, we would have to replicate any business logic - leading to a bloated integration footprint and a lot of extra work with an upgrade to either system.

Things got better with the use of ArcGIS Server on the GIS side and the MIF (or Maximo Integration Framework) on the Maximo side but, up to Maximo Spatial 7.5, we still relied on linking the data between both system at the database.

Diagram 1: Maximo Spatial up through 7.5Diagram 1: Maximo Spatial up through 7.5

Coming back to our grilling analogy… when I first started grilling my burgers I would just take some raw beef, make a few patties, and put them on the grill. Over time, I noticed the patties fell apart when cooked, so I started adding eggs to firm up the patty and - voila - something really good just got better! The eggs improve on an already good thing and that is what IBM has done in Spatial 7.6 by moving the data communication in the Spatial integration to ArcGIS Servers RESTful interface.


Wikipedia defines REST as:
“Representational state transfer (REST)” or
“RESTful web services are a way of providing interoperability between computer systems on the Internet.”

The idea is simple: Let’s integrate using the same tools we use every day when we access data on the Internet. Maximo Spatial 7.6 is now RESTful so the architecture diagram from above now looks like this.

Diagram 2: Maximo Spatial 7.6Diagram 2: Maximo Spatial 7.6

By using the HTTP magic to connect to maps and link data, we’re able to cut a big part of the first diagram out of the picture.
Removing the SQL eliminates the connection at the database and, with it, a tremendous amount of replication of both data and business logic. So, while it might not look like a big difference, let’s just reflect on how much simpler the second diagram really is…

In conclusion, things have changed for the better with Spatial 7.6 and your Starboard Spatial experts are bringing together everything you need to know in a multi-part series and webinar. Look for our future blog posts and Webinar as we cover the remainder of these 5 points:

  1. How Esri and Maximo Communicate
  2. 7.6 user experience improvements
  3. Getting your GIS ready for Spatial
  4. How Spatial extends to IBM Mobile
  5. Tips and TricksS

As always, we are also available anytime to answer any questions you may have on Maximo and Maximo Spatial! See you next time when we discuss 7.6 User Experience Improvements!

Sign up for our June 6th webinar:  Maximo Spatial, GIS, & Mobility!

Written by: Butch Berlemann, Starboard Consulting Maximo Developer