When disasters like the massive earthquake earlier this year
in Japan, or the deadly earthquake
that hit Haiti
in 2010, people and organizations from all over the world work together to help
and rebuild these devastated areas.
I am very lucky to have the opportunity to help locally by
rebuilding houses for people in need thru Habitat thru Humanity. Recently, I worked with an amazing team of
individuals, including Power Company Employees, a school teacher, housewife,
retired architect, and high school teenagers, in rebuilding a property that
will soon house 10 families. Although our knowledge of sister joists and
smart squares was minimal, with some explanations we were all quickly on the
path of using our universal knowledge of crowbars, hammers and nails.
So how does rebuiliding tie into today’s BiLog entry on
localization? Some icons like hammers
and nails speak a universal language.
Similar universal icons exist in Version 7 to communicate functionality,
like the save, edit, delete and print icons.
The functionality enabled thru these icons does not have to be explained
in words – their images symbolize their functionality.
However, other items must be explained in a language the
user understands. Whether it is breaking
down the concept of a sister joist to a to a group on non-tradesmen, or detailing
the description of an asset or ticket in the language of the user –
we often need to enable text in localized languages in V7 and in V7
V7 reporting has unique requirements, as there are four
very different components which must be enabled for localized text values. These include
1. Report Description
displayed in Maximo Session
2. Report Request
Page displayed in Maximo Session
Titles/Labels displayed in the Report
4. Report Data
displayed in the Report
Each one of these four components is enabled for
localization in a unique way. Whether it
is it thru the corresponding L_Database tables, or thru the use of unique
scripting code within the report design file, the applicable report
description, parameters, titles, labels and data can all display within the
user’s specified language. You can find
information on how each of these components is enabled here.
To enable localization, there are
a few key setup steps which you must enable if you have a multiple language
environment which are detailed here
And finally, if you have created
custom reports, information on how you can enable them for localization is
This report localization information can also be found in the Report Localization Reference Guide, which contains more details and screenshots, along with detailed sample use cases explaining how you can enable custom report localization. This is listed, along with other report reference guides on this V7 wiki site.
Please comment back if you have
any feedback on this, or other topics you’d like to hear about. Thank you!
Do you remember the feeling when
you put on a pair of pants that you haven’t worn in awhile, and find money in
your pocket? Whether its $1, $5 or even
sometimes $20 – its an unexpected wow surprise – finding this great treasure
that you didn’t know you had.
This same feeling holds true to
the Business Intelligence (BI) features in Maximo. We often spend so much time talking about
the new features in each release, that we neglect the hidden treasures.
What are these hidden treasures
that you already have in Version 7? The
hidden functionality that makes you think ”Sweet” “Cool”
“Nice’” “No upgrades
required”. It’s functionality in your
Here’s are just a few of the
administrative report hidden features available in Version 7 that I want to
make sure you find…..
Reports in a Page – Set the number
of reports that display for your users in the ‘Run Report’ Listing by
configuring this property file
Report Display Order – Define
which most frequently accessed reports display first
in the Report menu by configuring the Display Order for the report. by accessing the information here
Reporting Database – Configure
your reports to execute from a non-production V7 database thru the Configure
Data Source action in the Report Administration application, which are detailed here.
Schedule Only Reports – Enable
your complex reports to only be scheduled, and not executed immediately as a
performance enabler. You can find the details here
Specify Report Run Time – Also as
a performance enabler, for your very complex, batch reports, enable your users
to only schedule them at non-peak business hours thru this feature
To learn more about these hidden
features check out the referenced V7 Report url’s. In the meanwhile, I’ll continue to intermix
the ‘functionality in your pocket’ features…along with new features….in the
BiLog (Business Intelligence) Blog entries.
Choices. Every aspect
of our lives is packed with them.
Firefox, Chrome, Safari or IE? Small,
Medium, Large or Jumbo? Mouse or
touchpad? Apple pie – with or
without ice cream? Shoes, Sneakers or
flip flops? To tweet or not to
Keeping with that trend, we are now enabling you additional
choices for your development of V7 reports with the delivery of Portrait Report
Report Templates are one of a few different ways your report
developers can create custom reports in the Version 7 Report Design Tool. Other ways include modifying the delivered
reports, or exporting an ad hoc report from the Maximo applications.
When you use the report templates as a starting point for
your custom report designs, they already contain for you the required library
files and data source to enable the integration between Maximo and
reporting. The templates are available
in a variety of graph types, and include listing and detail report formats.
Currently, the V7 product delivers landscape templates so the
maximum number of fields can be displayed on a report. However, to enable you additional choices and
increasing flexibility to meet your unique business needs, you can now download
a set of portrait report templates from IBM’s ISM Library. You can download these templates here or by accessing its shortened url at http://bit.ly/iwBvoc
Enabling the new portrait report templates is
straightforward. Simply extract the zip
file located in the ISM library to the Maximo report directory of your report
developer. Then, open the BIRT Report
Designer, and select New Report. You will
then see an updated listing of templates, including both the previous Landscape
and New Portrait Templates. The Portrait
templates are identified with the text Portrait in their title, like 'Tivoli
Maximo Portrait Subreport Template'.
Your selection of a landscape versus portrait report
template impacts the amount of page area available to you horizontally. Landscape reports enable 10” of field space
horizontally versus 7.5” of field space with letter size paper.
You can view additional details and on report page size and
orientation on this wiki page or by accessing its shortened url at http://ibm.co/ms8QtD. Additionally, information is also in this V7 Report Page reference
document here . This document additionally details how you can
change all or a subset of your existing reports to use portrait orientation by
either modifying the System Library File or the Master Page.
New features in V7 reporting continually enable you additional
report choices……but for your apple pie selection...we would suggest yes...with a scoop of cold, vanilla ice cream!
As the building blocks to Version 7’s Ad hoc reporting tool,
QBR (Query Based Reporting), Report Object Structures (ROS) enable you to select fields
from multiple categories (objects) for your ad hoc reports. Additionally, ROS enable you to visualize application
categories and their parent/child relationships. These categories are displayed via a category
tree drilldown in the Select Tab of the QBR window in the top left hand
Depending on the products you are licensed for, you will
receive over 20 ROS out of the box.
These ROS enable you an excellent starting point. However, due to your unique data analysis
requirements, you may need to modify the ROS or create new ones. You may want to add or remove child objects,
create new ROS for specific security groups, or create new ROS reflecting your
unique Industry Solutions.
As you go thru the process of creating or modifying ROS, a
key item you will work with are maxrelationships. Maxrelationships are sql statements which
join the parent to the child (also known as source) object within the ROS. Within the Object Structure application, a
lookup is available to help you select the correct maxrelationship – but often
multiple relationships are displayed.
How do you know which relationship to choose, and what do you do if you
don’t find the correct relationship available?
Below is a listing of a number of key items for you to
consider when selecting the maxrelationship to be used for your ROS:
1. Make sure the
individual creating and modifying the ROS is very familiar with the V7x database
and database concepts. Without this
knowledge, the ROS can be setup incorrectly, leading to bad or misleading data
in the Ad Hoc reports.
2. For more
information on relationships between objects, review the V7 Entity Relationship
Diagrams located here.
3. Child Objects must
be joined to their parents with relationships where the database sql is defined
in its maxrelationship. If a relationship
exists between the parent and the child – but the database sql is null - that
relationship can not be used in a ROS as it will give invalid results.
4. You may find it
useful to create your own unique maxrelationships to be used in the ROS. This can help you better manage and
understand the relationships used in your QBR reports. You can create these unique report
relationships in the Database Configuration application.
5. If you create unique maxrelationships for
ROS, make sure to take into consideration the following items which are not
supported for use in ROS
variables such as :&username&
B. Dates in bind variables,
like …. and workdate between :startdate and :enddate
C. Restrictions in
utilizing maxrelationships with subqueries, which are (1) users can only create
detail QBR reports and (2) these relationships can not be created at the
details on modifying and creating ROS, download the V7 or V75 QBR Ad hoc
reporting guide. To access this document, click here for the QBR Report wiki page, or the overall Report User Reference Document Page here.
This BiLog entry discusses
the key items to consider when defining maxrelationships in your ROS.
One of its major components is
cardinality, which is used to
define the type of the database relationship. In the case of reporting, there are two
types: One-to-one (1:1) or single
relationships, or One-to-many (1:N) or Multiple Relationships.
To highlight the differences in cardinality, let’s use an
example from the Purchase Requisition application.
The relationship between a Purchase
Requisition and a Company is a single relationship, as only a single Company
can be associated to a single PR.
However, the relationship between a
Purchase Requisition and Purchase Requisition Lines is a multiple relationship,
because for each PR (single) there can be multiple PR Line records (multiple).
When creating or modifying Report Object Structures (ROS)
for your QBR reports, you will need to evaluate and define the cardinality of
the relationship as either single, multiple or undefined. If you use the values of undefined or
multiple, the relationship will be treated as a 1:N relationship.
So why is cardinality so important to the ROS
definition? As your users begin adding
fields to their own QBR reports, the relationships of those fields are evaluated
to determine if they are single or multiple relationships. Depending on whether your user has selected
a Summary or Detail Style report, will determine if they can add their selected
For summary reports
- You can select
any number of 1:1 relationships
- You can select only one 1:N
For detail reports
- You can select any number of 1:1
- You can select any number of 1:N
To enable maximum ‘cardinality’ flexibility in QBR Report
creation, you may want to recommend your users select the Detail Report Styles.
You can find more details on cardinality in the Version 7 QBR Ad Hoc Reporting Guides in the section titled 'Understanding Database Joins and Cardinality'. To access this document, click here for the QBR Report Wiki Page or here for the Report User Reference Material Page.
In a new entry in the Asset Management blog, the new
features of Migration Manager in the 7.5 release are detailed. Each new feature is listed, along with ideas
of how you can best take advantage of it in your unique environment. For more information, see the original blog entry.
How many custom reports do you have? Do you have 25, 50 – or is your number in the
range of 100 to 250 custom reports? Or
are you in the category where you don’t know how many custom reports you have
because your users are creating their own uncontrolled reports in tools like
Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel?
The topic of custom reports leads to a myriad of questions
- Is each custom
- What determines if
a custom report is approved, and then developed?
- Should super users be given database and report
- What mechanisms are
in place to insure that correct data is being returned in the custom reports?
- How much do custom reports cost -- in terms of design,
development, test, administration, maintenance dollars and resources?
As John Heywood told us back in the 16th century
that ‘Rome was
not built in one day’. … my thoughts in
the 21st century are that we can’t answer all those questions in
today’s BiLog. However, we can start a
plan to give you ideas on how you can reduce your number of custom reports.
One of the first and directly actionable means to reduce
your custom reports is to begin using V7’s Ad Hoc Reporting feature, QBR. By using QBR within any V7 application, you and/or
your users can quickly create reports that can include complex where clauses,
filters, sorting, grouping, and parameters.
QBR functionality enables key features including -
Enabling users to quickly create their own reports
for their unique business needs
- Does not require technical, development skills,
like Java, or database knowledge to create the report
- Does not consume development hours in creating and
maintaining large numbers of unique reports, which may only be used by a very
small number of users
The cornerstone of QBR functionality are Report Object
Structures, ROS. ROS enable users to
select fields from multiple categories (objects) for their ad hoc reports. ROS are designed to enable
users to quickly visualize their hierarchies and parent/child relationships. They are created in the Object Structure
application of V7, and in the next BiLog, we’ll discuss their key attributes
and how to extend them.
During last week’s reporting web conference, one question that was asked was how you could
configure your favorite reports to display directly on the Start Center. These might be reports you frequently access, or that you
want your users to focus on as they contain critical information.
One way you can do this is by using the Report List
Portlet. Within this portlet, you can select
any number and types of reports to display on the Start Center,
including detail, ad hoc and reports enabled thru report integrations.
Additionally, you could create multiple report list portlets
on a start center page, with each containing groupings of related reports by
application, location or site.
To enable the report list portlet, you must first grant
access to the Report List Setup Application in the Security Group Application.
Another option you have is to set up your KPIs on your start
center to link to related reports.
KPI is displayed in yellow or red status, your user can then click on the
related report to find out what is causing the issue so he can take immediate
Enabling your users to directly access reports on the Start Center via t the Report List Portlet or KPIs is a great way to save them multiple mouse clicks and time.
For additional information on setting up the Report List Portlet or on
configuring KPIs for report drilldown,, please reference this page
On Tuesday, September 20th, I had an amazing
opportunity to host a web conference for our Maximo and Version 7 clients. This session shared the latest information on Business Intelligence and Reporting, but most importantly - was opened up for over 60 minutes to give you - our clients - the opportunity to ask questions.
With representatives from over 15 companies, you asked tremendous, detailed questions on reporting strategy and functionality. Your questions led others to ask questions - so you quickly learned information and best practices from each other.
missed the session, the questions clients asked are detailed here
can also locate this page by scrolling down to the FAQ section of the Report
Wiki Page located here
Please comment back if you would like similar web conferences in the future
- or if you have any other reporting questions. Thanks!
QBE (Query by Example), also known as Data Download, is an
excellent way for you to quickly take the results of your application query
and/or filters and export them to Microsoft Excel. You can then view each of the list tab
fields, and perform additional analysis, combine the data with other queries,
print, or save.
However, often your users want to see additional fields in
the exported data. And the fields that
one user may want to see are not the same as fields another user may want to
see. You can modify the list of fields
that displays with the Application Designer.
However, this involves resources, planning, and space limitations.
You can provide your users the ability to
application filter and/or query
their unique fields or database attributes
Define sorting, grouping, filters and parameters
Download to Microsoft Excel
Application Designer Modifications
thru QBR (Query Based Reporting). QBR is available from essentially any
application, and provides powerful, flexible ad hoc reporting capability as
shown in the sample below.
With QBR report creation process, you can quickly export your
report results directly to Microsoft Excel with a few simple clicks. Additionally, you can choose whether to execute
your report a single time – and discard it – or to save your QBR report and
execute it regularly in the future. You
can also schedule the QBR so the results appear in your email inbox – along
with others - on a preconfigured time period.
You can find more details on the QBR functionality, including more details on its use and how to extend for your unique environment, at this url.
Additional detailed information, including screenshots, can be found in the reference materials referenced in this url
the Version 7 product lines, there are numerous ways you can analyze
your data using the Business Intelligence tools. Each analysis mechanism has its own set of unique attributes, and can be used in a variety of situations.
As an IBMer immersed daily in a
sea of acronyms, I've listed these data options for you here with their identifying acronym - - in order of increasing data analysis capability.
– Query By Example. Often referred to as Data Download, this functionality uses your application’s filter and/or query, you can
immediately download your results for additional analysis in Microsoft Excel.
– Result Sets. Using an application’s query, enable a set of fields
or graphic for display on the Start
– Application Exporting. Extends the QBE functionality, by enabling
fields from multiple database objects to be exported to a various file formats
thru the use of Object Structures.
- Key Performance Indicators. Visual indicators displaying status against
– Query Based Reporting. This is V7's terminology for Ad hoc reporting where
users create their own reports on the fly from within the various applications.
– Report Object Structures. Collection of joined database tables, forming
the backbone of QBR and metadata packages.
– Operational Report. Often referred to as transactional reporting,
these are the day to day detail reports users require to complete their
– Strategic Report. Enable viewing of data in varying perspectives
thru the use of complex graphs, in depth calculations or scenarios.
option or options are best for your unique business needs? And once
you’ve selected that option, how do you maximize its use and enable its
interaction with the other tools?
of these options is discussed in detail in the Report Upgrade planning guides
available at this site
stay tuned to these BiLOG (Business
intelligence Blogs) entries as we focus on these questions and more.