AASHTOWare Bridge Management May Product Update

May 16, 2019

The following AASHTOWare Bridge 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 6.3 (Next Major Release)

The Task Force and the BrM Contractor (Mayvue Solutions) recently reached an agreement on the Work Plan supporting the release of BrM 6.3.  This Work Plan will include significant enhancements which were directly identified and prioritized by the user community.  The following provides a high-level overview of the planned release:

1.       Inspection Assignment Module

  • Increases the user’s ability to assign and manage upcoming inspections
  • Identifies which bridges have an inspection due within 2, 7, or 12 months, but have not been    assigned
  • Shows the user a snapshot of the selected bridge, including location information, inspection information, element inspection values from the last inspection, and an interactive map Allows the management of bridge inspection groups, including adding, deleting, updating, assigning bridges, and creating new assignments
  • Allows the addition or removal of bridges from a group more easily
  • Allows the management of teams, including adding, deleting, updating, assigning team members, team work loads and creating new assignments
  • Users will be able to select or deselect users to add or remove from a team, as well as designate one of the selected members as a Team Lead
  • Both a bridge group and team management views will have a link to create a new assignment, allowing the user to assign a team to a bridge group and vice versa

2.       Component Level Deterioration Updates

  • An update will allow the addition of multiple deterioration profiles for each component of a bridge (for example: different curves for steel and concrete culverts without using the element data).
  • As with the existing deterioration profiles, the user will have the ability to configure their own model parameters to create a custom profile that can be applied on a per-bridge basis when modeling deterioration.
  • The Network NBI Ratings Distribution group will be updated to support the ability to select deterioration profiles.  This functionality will be configurable for the user such that the user can enter any year forecast (e.g. +3 years or +9 years) to generate the estimate results.
  • A new page will be created to allow deterioration profiles to be assigned to each component for each individual bridge; similar to how lifecycle policies are assigned on the Assign Policies task.
  • The create / edit Programs task will experience several updates

3.       Scheduled Processes Functionality

  • Allows a user to schedule certain BrM services to run at regularly scheduled intervals (monthly or daily), with the primary intent of being able to run scheduled process-intensive tasks during off peak hours to ease server load
  • Reports can be generated and emailed out to a select group of email addresses.  Additionally, a message can also be sent in case the process fails.
  • A grid will display all currently scheduled processes, along with pertinent information.  The user will have the ability to add or remove scheduled processes as needed.

4.       Tunnel Work Candidates

  • The Tunnel Work Candidates page will be added and will look and function similar to the Bridge Work Candidates page.  However, the critical difference is that the Tunnel Work Candidates page will use the multi-asset actions page.
  • The long-term plan is to ensure these work candidates are flexible enough to support any other asset type.

5.       Other Enhancements

  • BrM Timeouts – This enhancement will remove the timeout functionality on the bridge grid, inspection condition page, and tunnel condition page regardless of the amount of time.  Currently, when a BrM session times out, the user is not notified of the impeding timeout which can be frustrating and potentially result in a loss of data.
  • Active Directory – This is new functionality which will check the agency’s current authenticated user credentials on the machine against the specific Active Directory server, if the credentials exist and match, the system will immediately log the user into BrM.  This functionality will also be Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) compliant.
  • BrM Forms Designer (1): Additional User Tables – allows users to create additional custom user tables to better compartmentalize and group data in a tabular format and extend the data sage capacity of the existing tables
  • BrM Forms Designer (2): Grid Controls – allows users to customize their own grids/tables within the Forms Designer Page.  This enhancement will result in the user’s ability to select any number of tables/columns that are recognized by BrM and will be compiled and displayed in a single grid that shows all relevant data in the format configured by the user.
  • BrM Forms Designer (3): Extending Control Customizations –exposes control attributes that have been traditionally ‘hidden’ to the Forms Designer interface, effectively allowing users to modify the extended attributes directly in the interface of the Forms Designer.
  • BrM Forms Designer (4): Visual Form Editor – removes the validation requiring the user to enter text in the label field.
  • BrM Forms Designer (5): Short Description –changes the validation so that either no entry is allowed, or something that resembles a blank (e.g. single space) is allowed.

BrM 6.2 (Patch #2) Coming in June 2019

As identified in the March 2019 Product Update, BrM recently migrated to a ‘patch-update’ process.  When updating to future versions of BrM, the typical scenario will be to simply patch certain files, rather than to perform a full un-install and re-install of the software.  The second patch following this process is BrM 6.2.  BrM 6.2 is currently being Beta tested and will be released in June 2019.  BrM 6.2 release includes the following improvements:

  • Program Comparison Tool – originated from users’ need to be able to compare the large data set which was produced by an optimization. The Scenario Explorer helps users identify the change in results, the change in performance measures, but it does not help a user understand how the different programs received different results.  The high-level functionality is a tool allowing users to compare two selected programs in list and graphical format.  The module will determine what is the same, what is different, how different are they, etc.  Ultimately, this will provide the user will more control towards shaping the target metrics and performance measures.
  • Automated Testing – BrM releases will now have a suite of automated tests run against them during every iteration of development.  These automated tests will cover a wide range of scenarios and use cases with the end result of reducing testing time and time to release of future versions of BrM.
  • Comprehensive BrDR Integration – Historically, BrM has only had a simple integration with BrDR.  With the 6.2 release, a comprehensive amount of information will be made available via purpose-built web services to BrDR.  This will result in a much more robust data set being fluidly transferred between the programs.  BrDR will have the ability to consume this information in a future release of BrDR.
  • Miscellaneous Enhancements – While creating automated tests within the software, minor enhancements were made to the software to increase the overall feel and flow of the site (e.g. new login page, faster load-times, etc.).
  • Miscellaneous Bug Fixes – As bugs are reported by the users they are slated for a future release, this version of BrM will continue to proceed down the path of ‘resetting’ the bug counter.

 

BrM End User Designee Reminder

As a reminder, in conjunction with the annual software licensing process, each AASHTOWare licensing agency is responsible for designating an individual to serve as the primary point of contact for an AASHTOWare product. The End User Designee (EUD) is the single point of contact for communications and product related support from the contractor(s) and is the recipient of all software and related product materials.

Please ensure all BrM-related questions and issues reported to Mayvue Solutions are submitted through the BrM End User Designee for your organization.  If you have a question on who has been designated by your agency to serve as the BrM End User Designee, please contact Judy Skeen Tarwater (jtarwater@aashto.org).

JIRA Service Desk (Coming Soon)

The Task Force and Mayvue have been researching options / products to improve the JIRA experience for our users.  JIRA’s Help Desk software is the likely answer.  JIRA Help Desk is configured to run as a true customer support center and provides numerous support related features such as: 1) a knowledge-based component which allows users to research published articles by the contractor, 2) the ability to quickly receive updates on a help ticket, and 3) a simplified home screen.  JIRA Help Desk is currently being tested by Mayvue staff and users alike, including the BrM Testing TAG members who are using this platform to support the 6.2 beta testing effort.

Following the successful testing of the JIRA Service Desk platform, Mayvue will work with the AASHTOWare BrDR contractor (Michael Baker, International) to implement JIRA Service Desk in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.  The JIRA Service Desk platform is anticipated to provide users with an improved user experience for reporting issues, checking the status of issues,  and quickly accessing pertinent information via the application’s knowledge-base.  The Task Force will continue to communicate the status of this potential change with the user community during this process.

 

Reminder – BrM 5.2.1 Will No Longer Be Supported as of June 30, 2019

As a reminder, as communicated in both the FY2018 and the FY2019 AASHTOWare Catalogs, support for BrM 5.2.1 will cease effective June 30, 2019.  As always, if your agency needs help upgrading to a newer version of BrM, please reach out to Mayvue for assistance.

Functional Design Specification (FDS) Work Flow Diagram

At the April 2019 Task Force meeting, the Functional Design Specification (FDS) process was discussed in detail.  Specifically, the Task Force created a work flow diagram from the point at which an idea or recommendation is submitted through integration into the software.  This was completed for three instances: User submittals, Task Force submittals, and TRT submittals.  The diagrams show the various steps that each type of recommendation will go through including the decision to include the enhancement(s) in the core product.  The Task Force plans to share these diagrams with the users as a means to increase awareness, more formally document the workflow, and ensure proper stakeholders are involved throughout the decision-making process.  Please keep a lookout for future correspondence with this these work flow diagrams attached, OR these work flow diagrams are being refined and will be presented at the User Group Meeting in September 2019.

SAVE THE DATE – 2019 BrMUG Meeting

The Task Force would like to remind all licensees that our annual Bridge Management User Group Meeting (BrMUG) will be held in Louisville, KY, September 17 – 18, 2019, at the Seelbach Hilton. Registration information can be found on the conference registration website. Make plans to attend!

 

Sincerely,

 

The AASHTOWare Bridge Task Force

 

Eric Christie

Deputy State Maintenance Engineer

1409 Coliseum Boulevard

Montgomery, AL 36110

(334) 242-6281