AASHTOWare Bridge Management Product Update

May 21, 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.

BrM 6.0 … formerly known as BrM 5.3.01

The next release of AASHTOWare Bridge Management will be BrM version 6.0 rather than the previously referenced BrM 5.3.01 in the January 2018 AASHTOWare Bridge Management Update. While the version number has been changed, the functions and features planned for this release remain the same. The change from 5.3.01 to 6.0 was necessary to support alignment with the AASHTOWare Naming Standards which require the first digit of the version number to be incremented when the release includes a significant change in functionality or features. Since the next BrM release will incorporate significant improvements to the software technical architecture to support the delivery of subsequent changes via ‘patches” rather than a complete reinstall of the software, this version represents a significant change over what was delivered with version 5.3.

AASHTOWareBridgeManagement 6.0 (Patchable Version) – Scheduled for Release Summer 2018

BrM 6.0 will be a patchable version and is anticipated to be released Summer of 2018

In response to user requests for a ‘patchable’ version of BrM, the Task Force is focusing on developing a patchable version of BrM (BrM 6.0) 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 6.0:

  • All bugs reported in JIRA as of 04/11/18 will be fixed. All bugs reported in JIRA after 04/11/18 will be fixed in subsequent releases.
  • Changes and improvements to existing functionality:
    • Mapping Feature Enhancements: There have been several requests by the users to improve functionality related to the mapping features. The current functionality of the mapping in BrM utilizes the values for the latitude and longitude that are submitted to FHWA as part of the NBI submittal.  However, these values are not as precise as the actual latitude and longitude input by the inspectors.  BrM 6.0 will be updated so that the mapping features reference the more precise latitude and longitude values.  The following JIRA tickets were submitted regarding this functionality: PONWEB‐1837, PONWEB‐2267, PONWEB‐3066, & PONWEB‐3067.
    • NBE Import: There have been several requests from State DOTs to create an import for the  National Bridge Elements (NBEs) from the file submitted to the FHWA as part of the NBI
      submittal. State are requesting this functionality so that they can use the modeling and management aspects of BrM even if they don’t use the inspection module. This capability will be incorporated into BrM6.0 release.
    • Changes and improvements to the following functionality:
      • Screen Needs List Export, export all lists, e.g. needs list and graphs (PONWEB‐2310)
      • Reports: Can hide the “run for all bridges” option (PONWEB‐2744)
    • Improved Reports

BrM 6.0 will be the Baseline Version

BrM 6.0 will also serve as the initial ‘baseline’ release of AASHTOWare Bridge Management for 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 (BrM 6.0), 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.  To attain new functionality, users may need to update to the new versions of BrM.

BrM Technical Manual

The Task Force has received significant feedback from the user community regarding their desire for the contractor to develop a technical manual, specifically to provide support for the BrM modeling functions. The BrM technical manual will provide an excellent resource for users to gain insight into the algorithms and logic behind the modeling and analysis functionality of BrM, making it easier for users to verify their results and better understand the internals of the application. To support this need, the AASHTOWare Bridge Task Force has initiated the development of a technical manual which will be completed and released in the summer of 2018. This first release will serve as the initial version of the technical manual and will continue to be updated and enhanced based on user input and the incorporation of new functionality within the software.

BrM Training

Informational videos, that closely follow the 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 User Manual. These step by step examples utilize the 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

The BrM Beta Testing TAG performs beta testing on new versions of BrM prior to release. The Testing TAG reports all bugs found; however, for a variety of reasons, all issues identified may not be addressed in that release. During the beta testing activities the Testing TAG members typically identify items where the software is not working as expected as well as opportunities for potential enhancements outside the scope of the current development effort. The Task Force forwards all TAG‐identified issues not addressed in the release to the user group for possible consideration for inclusion in the work plan(s) for future releases.

BrM Development Quality Assurance Process

In response to requests for information regarding the BrM development process, the following summary presents a high‐level overview of the AASHTOWare Quality Assurance process.

The Special Committee on AASHTOWare (SCOA) formed the Technical & Application Architecture (T&AA) Task Force to provide standards and technical guidance for the development of AASHTOWare software products. The Standards and Guidelines Notebook, also referred to as the S&G Notebook, is the published repository that contains all current AASHTOWare standards and guidelines. These standards and guidelines apply to all software analysis, design, development, maintenance, testing, implementation, and related work performed for AASHTOWare projects and for annual product maintenance, support, and enhancement (MSE) work. The purpose of these standards and guidelines was and is to maximize the return on investment, improve the quality, and increase the usefulness of the products.

The S&G Notebook is comprised of the following Standards and Guidelines.

  1. Project Management and Software Engineering
    • 1.005S Software Development and Maintenance Process Standard
    • 1.010S Quality Assurance Standard
  2. Technical Standards and Guidelines
    • 2.020S Security Standard
    • 2.030S Critical Application Infrastructure Currency Standard
    • 2.040S Database Selection and Use Standard
    • 2.050S Spatial Standard
    • 2.060S Product Naming Conventions Standard
    • 2.070S Backup and Disaster Recovery Standard
    • 2.080G Mobile Application Development Guideline
    • 2.085G Web Application Development Guideline & Architectural Goals
    • 2.090G Web & Mobile Data Exchange Guideline
  3. Appendices
    • 3.010R AASHTOWare Life Cycle Framework
    • 3.015S AASHTOWare Standards and Guidelines Definition Standard
    • 3.020R Standards and Guidelines Glossary

The Quality Assurance (QA) Standard, Chapter 1.010S, of the AASHTOWare S&G Notebook defines the responsibilities of the project/product task forces and contractors in ensuring that products are being developed and implemented in compliance with AASHTOWare Standards. The QA activities focus on evaluating if the required deliverables and artifacts are created in compliance with standards; and if required processes in the standards are being followed.

This standard applies to both AASHTOWare projects and annual MSE work efforts and the required deliverables and artifacts that are required by all AASHTOWare standards. An artifact is defined as a tangible by‐product of a software development, maintenance, or project management activity; a deliverable is an artifact that shall be delivered to the task force and approved. Examples of deliverables include the System Requirements Specification (SRS), Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM), and Beta Test Results Report. Examples of required artifacts are Review Gate Approval Requests, Application Infrastructure Component List, and Technical Design Specification (TDS).

The FY2017 BrM QA meeting was held at the Bentley office in Pittsburgh, PA on November 29, 2017.  The purpose of the annual meeting was to begin the review of deliverables, artifacts, and approval documentation for compliance with the Standards and Guidelines (S&G) Notebook; gather information on development methods, procedures and technologies used; gather feedback on issues/concerns with existing standards and guidelines; discuss planned revisions and additions to the S&G Notebook; and provide education and guidance regarding the standards and guidelines.    The meeting also included discussion on future product development and technology plans and other related topics. The meeting was attended by Bentley development and project management staff, members of the AASHTOWare Bridge Task Force and Technical and Application Architecture Task Force, and the AASHTO project manager.

Following the meeting and the in‐depth review of the FY2017 BrM development artifacts and deliverables, the AASHTO QA Analysts concluded that many of the deliverables, artifacts, and procedures reviewed were compliant with standards.  The areas slated for improvement were minor and will be incorporated into subsequent development cycles.

SAVE THE DATE – 2018 BrMUG Meeting

The Task Force would like to remind all licensees that our annual Bridge Management User Group Meeting (BrMUG) will be held in Santa Fe, NM, September 18 – 19, 2018, at the Drury Plaza Hotel Santa Fe. Registration information can be found on the conference registration website
http://www.cvent.com/events/2018‐brmug‐meeting/event‐summary-4e39fb9e7e0f448c99c50bb8dab8999c.aspx?i=78f25b58‐dda2‐4aae‐9b7c‐1a8b711bc69b. Make plans to attend!

Sincerely,

The AASHTOWare Bridge Task Force

Eric Christie, P.E.
Deputy State Maintenance Engineer
1409 Coliseum Boulevard
Montgomery, AL 36110
(334) 242‐6281