AASHTOWare Bridge Management Product Update

January 02, 2018

The following Task Force product update is provided to keep all AASHTOWare Bridge Management (BrM) Software users apprised of recent activity related to the development of the software. The Task Force is committed to providing quarterly updates to help improve communication between the Task Force and those interested in the product.

AASHTOWare Bridge Management 5.3 – Released September 1, 2017

The AASHTOWare Task Force is pleased to announce the release of AASHTOWare Bridge Management 5.3. This version incorporates many new improvements and features to our premier bridge management software. All active licensees can download the software electronically from the Bentley secure FTP site or request a DVD be mailed to them. Please contact Bentley at BrM@bentley.com to request the electronic download or DVD.

What’s New

Cassini Re‐write (PONWEB‐0834/PONWEB‐1697/PONWEB‐109/PONWEB‐1722/PONWEB‐2314):
With the recent migration to ISS Express, the legacy Cassini framework that supports the workstation has been abandoned.

Element Condition Grid (PONWEB‐0915/PONWEB‐1379/PONWEB‐1622/PONWEB‐1724/PONWEB‐1887/PONWEB‐2053/PONWEB‐2079):
The general grid functionality will remain the same; however, this functionality has been entirely re‐written from the ground up. Notable changes include:

  • Significant performance improvements (even more significant improvements for larger bridges)
  • Repositioning of buttons and functionality, as well as new functionality (such as multi-sorting and new search capabilities).
  • Update of SHOULD/SHALL for defect quantities now set as a COPTION (ELEMINSPALLOWCHDQTYGTRPARENT, default to SHALL)
  • Improved validation and warning/error messages.

Parameters Page Update (PONWEB‐2123/PONWEB‐2222):
Updated/refreshed parameters page with two significant improvements:

  • Nulls are now allowed
  • The ability to add a sort order to the entries

Sufficiency Rating Clean‐Up (PONWEB‐2123/PONWEB‐2222):
Updated sufficiency rating page. In 5.2.2 the calculation code was migrated from C++ to the database. In 5.3 the sufficiency rating page UI has been updated and improved.

Enhanced rule builder for network policies (PONWEB‐2228/PONWEB‐2272):
Ability to use elements in the rule builder for network policies.

Cross‐Section Module:
Inclusion of the Alabama self‐funded Cross‐Section Module. The module is a port from the existing Alabama DOT custom module, and meets the needs of the user community, helping to
address an item that was high on the user group priority list in 2016.

Load Rating Module:
Inclusion of a new Load Rating Module that allows users to store more detailed load rating data in BrM. This module can support vehicles which are unique to user agencies, perform multiple load rating events to give a full load rating history of a structure, and store future load ratings which may not take effect until after construction is completed.

Default Data Script:
Enhancements to two components of the default data script:

  • Inclusion of IsActive in additional screens/tables. Additional tables/screens will have the Isactive functionality similar to the functionality in the PARAMTRS table. Users will now have the ability to ‘soft delete’ (hide) certain data from the rest of the software, and the scripts will not add the data back. (e.g the user has the ability to remove a filter from the rest of the system, without the scripts trying to bring it back).
  • Restoration of Default. Originally planned for inclusion via a separate script, this feature has been added via a simpler approach involving a script toggle option. The name of this option is ‘DISABLE_FORCE_DEF_BY_TABLE’. By default, is the option forces all data to be restored. (If desired, the default setting can be reset to not force all data to be restored).

Error Check Prescript:
Inclusion of the Error Check Prescript to for invalid data/invalid relationships/etc. prior to running the ‘mega‐script’ for upgrading the user’s database.

AASHTOWare Bridge Management 5.3.01 (Patchable Baseline Version)

5.3.01 will be the Patchable Version
In response to user requests for a ‘patchable’ version of BrM, the Task Force is focusing on developing a patchable version of BrM (5.3.01) that will allow the software to be patched rather than requiring a complete reinstall for many of the software changes, including bug fixes. Future software releases that introduce significant changes to BrM’s functionality may require a complete software reinstall . The following items will be included in BrM 5.3.01:

  • All reported bugs will be fixed
  • The following enhancements will be included in 5.3.01:
    – PONWEB‐2310 (Screen Needs List Export, export all lists, e.g. needs list and graphs)
    – PONWEB‐2744 (Reports: Can hide the “run for all bridges” option).
    – PONWEB‐1837, PONWEB‐2267, PONWEB‐3066, & PONWEB‐3067 (Tickets related to the mapping feature in BrM)
  • Improved Canned Reports

5.3.01 will be the Baseline Version
BrM 5.3.01 will also serve as the initial ‘baseline’ release of AASHTOWare Bridge Management for the purpose of determination of backward compatibility for future bug fixes. That is, in the event patchable software bugs are discovered or minor Federal/AASHTO updates are required in future releases of BrM, the fixes will be applied to the baseline release , or the most current version, but will not be applied to prior versions of the software. The Task Force’s goal is to keep the baseline release updated for two years, based on user priorities and needs. In order to attain new functionality, users may need to update to the new versions of BrM.

BrM Training

Informational videos, that closely follow the BrM 5.2.3 walk‐through presented during the 2016 BrMUG meeting, are posted in the training section of the BrM website aashtowarebridge.com. Additionally, several videos are available, covering a wide‐range of topics. Requests for additional topics to be considered for video instruction should be submitted to BrM@Bentley.com. Your input is always appreciated.

In addition to the videos, step by step examples are included in the appendices to the BrM 5.3 User Manual. These step by step examples utilize the BrM 5.2.3 sample database.

BrM Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs)

The AASHTOWare Bridge Task Force is working to develop a list of BrM enhancement requests to be reviewed and ranked by the BrM End User Designees prior to the BrMUG meeting. The information captured will be used as the starting point for user discussion during the BrMUG.

Testing TAG 
Special thanks to the members of the BrM Testing TAG for their support in testing the beta versions of BrM 5.3. The AASHTOWare Bridge Task Force is exploring funding options to support the development of a Results Comparison Tool to support the testing effort for future releases.

Reports TAG
The Reports TAG has identified several key reports for an update in future versions of BrM.

Database TAG
The Task Force has a bridge database vision which supports complete data sharing from design to rating to management. To support this vision, a project is being undertaken to link two AASHTOWare products, AASHTOWare Bridge Management (BrM) and AASHTOWare Bridge Rating (BrR), through a web service to support users in accessing the structure data in BrM to perform a rating analysis of the structure in BrR and return completed rating results to the BrM for reporting to FHWA. This project will support the development of the BrM component, Phase 1 of the web services data exchange solution. Phase 2, the BrR component of the data exchange will be pursued following the delivery of BrDR release 7.0 in June 2019.

BrM Testing Process

In response to requests for information regarding the BrM testing process, the following summary presents a high‐level overview of the BrM pre‐release testing process.

Throughout the development process, the contractor follows a detailed quality control process to thoroughly test and review all work products. All development work undergoes internal testing to ensure the highest quality product is delivered to the users. Testing cycles include, but are not limited to, component, integration, systems/database, alpha, beta, and regression testing. The quality control process is as follows:

  • A ticket, containing requirement and specification information, is created and assigned to a developer.
  • Following development, the developer tests the code and module to ensure it meets the needs outlined in the ticket.
  • The ticket is then assigned to a different developer to perform another code review/unit test. If the code review passes, the software is deployed for alpha testing
  • If the ticket doesn’t pass code review the ticket goes back to development for modifications.
  • Alpha testing is conducted on all modules which are integrated with or related to the change(s).
  • The Alpha tester communicates any important details on the ticket, then documents changes to the internal alpha test documentation when applicable.
  • Once the required items are tested internally, the software is prepared for beta testing.
  • During and after beta testing, User Interface level regression testing is performed to ensure product quality.

BrM Implementation Tips and Hints

The following BrM Implementation Tips and Hints have been compiled to support users in the successful implementation of the software.

Pre‐Installation Review of BrM System Requirements
BrM has a specific set of system requirements that must be met for a successful installation. Bentley updates this list and posts it to the download site with each release. Prior to all BrM software installations, users should download and review the BrM system requirements document prior to initiating BrM software installation.

Permissions Required for Software Installation – Administrator Level
The BrM software install run routines require administration level permissions. All BrM software installations must be executed by someone who is an admin for the system or has admin level permissions.

ZIP File Software Delivery – Do Not Install the Software Directly from the ZIP File
All BrM software installs are delivered in a compressed, .zip, format.

Running the installs directly from the zip can lead to errors.
Please fully extract the install prior to running the installation script.

Web Server IIS Express – BrM Workstation
BrM Workstation runs inside web server (IIS Express) on port 9000. Users need to ensure they have permission to run a web server such as IIS Express and are allowed to make connections through port 9000.

Potential Anti‐Virus Pitfalls
Anti‐virus software (McAfee, Windows Defender, etc.) can block software and ports from running. BrM users should verify that anti‐virus software running on their machine is not blocking BrM from running.

ISS Installed – BrM Enterprise
BrM Enterprise installs a web application into IIS. Prior to installing BrM enterprise, users must ensure IIS is installed on their machine and they have permissions to access it.

Browser Compatibility
Browsers such as Internet Explorer (IE) have the ability to run in multiple versions and in compatibility mode. BrM users must ensure the browser they are using is set to a version that is compliant with the version of BrM they are running. Information on supported browsers can be found in the BrM documentation.

Sincerely,
The AASHTOWare Bridge Task Force
Eric Christie, P.E.
Assistant State Maintenance Engineer ‐ Bridges
1409 Coliseum Boulevard
Montgomery, AL 36110
(334) 242‐6281