Technical Blog Post
Maximo Anywhere 7.6 is out! Now with Windows 10 support.
Today I'm moving back over from turning lights on with Maximo to another product that talks with Maximo. That product is Maximo Anywhere and our latest version of Maximo Anywhere 7.6 has just been released. Along with Maximo Anywhere 7.6 comes some new functionality and new support, if you wish to learn more about what's new you can head over to our Infocenter and read up on the features and system architecture. However today I won't be talking about the functionality but the new support for Windows 10 devices and what we need to know. I will go over the configuration and setup on a device.
Before we get started here are a few things to note.
1. The applications built on Windows 10, also support Windows 8.1 devices.
2 The applications built on Windows 8.1 also support Windows 10 devices.
3. The deployed environment doesn't change, so once completed successfully the applications will still show in the MobileFirst console and Application Center as Windows 8.
4. Developer license is no longer required to side load applications on Windows 10. (Still required for Windows 8.1 devices)
5. Visual Studio is required to build appx files, I used Community Edition 2015.
Ok so lets get started on what needs to be configured. The rest of this blog will assume you selected the Windows option during the 7.6 install panels.
For the purpose of this blog I'm not going to take you through every screen of the installer, I want to focus on the Windows side of this as Android and iOS are covered in detail through other blogs and documents already published. For the most part the installer is the same aside from one panel where you need to define the Windows environment properties.
In the above screenshot you need to define the version of Visual Studio you are using, the architecture of the devices you are building for as well as the path of Visual Studio down to the tools directory. This is the only panel to define Windows specific information, once the install is finished you will need to further configure the device to side load the applications.
The properties file
Before we move forward we will talk about the build.properties, anyone who has used Maximo Anywhere in the past knows about this file. This file contains all the information needed regarding your Maximo Server and Mobile First servers, studio paths and types of apps to build. The installer should be pre-populated based on your inputs from the install.
The properties related to windows are the following.
worklight.envsToDeploy=windows8 : This is the environment you will be building for, this will not change even if building on a Windows 10 environment the envsToDeploy will remain as windows8
visualstudio.install.path=C:/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0/Common7/Tools : This is the path to the Visual Studio tools, part of Visual Studio community edition 2015.
visualstudio.version.release=14.0 : The version of Visual Studio, 14.0 is for Visual Studio 2015, 12.0 is for Visual Studio 2013
windows8.platform.target=x64 : The platform you are building against.
Building the applications
Building applications are the same as you would do for Android and iOS using build all-gen, build all-dist, build all-deploy or to combine build all. Once a successful build is completed you will see the .appx files in your ibm\Anywhere\MaximoAnywhere\bin folder as seen below.
You will also see your applications in the MobileFirst console and Application Center console. However regardless where they were built you will see the version as Windows 8. The reason for this is the envToDeploy remains as Windows 8 even for applications built on Windows 10.
Installing Applications to Devices
Now that we have gone over the installation panels for Windows 10 and the build properties we will go in to a bit more detail regarding the actual installation on the Windows 10 devices. Unlike Windows 8.1 we do not need a Developer License to side load the applications on Windows 10, you just need to set Windows to allow Developer Mode. You can do this under the Update and Security settings, set Developer mode.
If you are installing to Windows 8.1 you will need to enable a developer license through Windows Power Shell, you can find the steps to do that here
Once the developer mode is enabled we will need to install the the certificate to sign the applications. We provide temporary certificates that can be used and are located in the C:\IBM\Anywhere\MaximoAnywhere\bin\windows_tablet_zips\latest folder. We only need to install one certificate on the device, so copy one over (e.g WorkExecution_184.108.40.206_x64) and double click on the file and choose Install Certificate.
A new screen will show up, choose 'Local Machine' and click next. Select the 'Place all Certificates in the following store' option and choose 'Trusted People' as your store.
Click OK, then 'Next' to complete your certificate install.
*NOTE* you should generate your own certificates, steps provided via the read me are as followed.
- In Visual Studio Tools, open the app by double-clicking the *.jsproj file that is located in the windows8\native directory.
- From Solution Explorer, double-click the package.appxmanifest file, and click the Packaging tab.
- In the Choose Certificate dialog, select one of the options for including a *.pfx certificate. The certificate is copied to the windows8\native directory forthe app.
- Click Save.
Once the certificate is installed we are ready to download the applications. As we are unable to use the Application Center URL to do this, a stand alone Application Center application is required on the device to side load the applications. We can get this stand alone application from your MobileFirst installation folder located at C:\ibm\MobileFirst_Platform_Server\ApplicationCenter\installer. Copy the IBMApplicationCenterWindowsStore.zip over to your device and extract the folder.
Click on the IBMApplicationCenter short cut and the following log in screen will display.
Enter the server name of your MobileFirst console, the port number, the Context Root (this is applicationcenter) and your username and password. Once logged in you will be presented with your applications to install and download.
Now all you need to do is click on the application you want to install and click on the install button. The application will now be accessible from your device as seen below.
I hope this blog clears a few things up regarding Windows 10 support on Maximo Anywhere 7.6 as well as assists with your deployments. If you have any questions comments or concerns or want to know more please feel free to reply below. You can also come find us in person at the IBM Interconnect Conference later this month where we will be available to answer your questions as well.
Update : April 4th, 2016
I just wanted to add a note for anyone having issues when attempting to log in to the Maximo Anywhere application after installing. Receiving a message "Enter the password you last used to log in to the app. If you do not have this password, you must reset the app before you can log in"
This is due to missing redistributable required on the device, regardless of which Visual Studio used to build the application, you will need to install the Visual Studio C++ 2012 Redistributable on the devices.