Technical Blog Post
Workflow v. Flow Control v. Field Control
Maximo allows you to not only automate but control the processes that define the day to day operations of your enterprise. Just as an organization's business can be broken down into various processes, which in turn can be divided into several steps and these steps or a single step can involve a subset of records, a single record, a single field or a single field across records, the difference comes down to the level of control one desires i.e. whether an action or actions need to be performed on a group of records, a single record or even perhaps a particular field or fields on a single record or group of records.
What this approach provides for is flexible configuration of the application to meet specific needs a given industry may encounter without requiring a major commitment to custom programming and its accompanying costs.
A workflow process outlines the various paths that a record moves through as it navigates a business process via actions and notifications that can take place at different points in the process.These actions and notifications take the form of instructions to individuals to act on records, indentifying delegates when workers are unavailable, ensuring individuals act in a timely manner, and ensuring that an audit trail exists for each record and process.
You create each workflow process record for a business object, which is a self-contained entity that consists of both data and functions for manipulating data. Every application in Maximo is associated with an object.
Work process flows use relationships between work orders and tasks to automate the flow of status changes. You set relationships between work orders and tasks so that when a task is completed, the next task in the flow can be initiated.
The best practice for consistently using the flow feature is to set up the process flow as a work template at the job plan level.
A flow action is used in a work process flow to define certain actions that should occur while work is being done. Actions or action groups can be applied to any work order, task, or job plan task.
Maximo 6.x was the first version to offer IBM Maximo Field Control which was designed to complement Maximo’s configuration capabilities with additional field security and data flow control thereby eliminating the need for extensive custom programming for additional business rules
In Maximo 7, "Field Control" has been replaced by what is called conditional expression manager.
Conditional expression manager utilizes the concept of a Maximo condition library. Within this library a user can define conditions, either as expressions or as custom class files that can be used to drive application behavior.
Conditions within the library can be used for conditional option access, data restrictions and conditional UI.
The expressions for these conditions use a syntax that is similar to SQL, but leverage bind variables for reusability.