AASHTOWare Bridge Management Product Update

August 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 Version 6.2 Released

The AASHTOWare Bridge Task Force is pleased to announce the release of BrM version 6.2.  This release was made available to the user community in early July 2019 and includes the following:

  • New program comparison tool. Users can now easily find the similarities and differences between programs to help track down the cause behind different results.
  • The login page is redesigned for a better user experience. Checks, warnings, and errors are streamlined for better consistency to help users identify and resolve login issues. The login page also allows full page sized custom logos.
  • Added “23 Metric Report—As of Date” report which allows users to determine the level of FHWA compliance based on a selected date.
  • New functionality for future communication and data sharing with AASHTOWare Bridge Rating (BrR) made available via purpose-built web services.
  • New Automated Testing run against BrM 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.
  • Various bug fixes and improvements.

The patch files have been posted to the sharefile: https://mayvue.sharefile.com/f/fob0ed6d-d771-4f33-9f06-fd717bd2ae5a.  This link is password protected so please email brm@mayvue.com to gain access, or to submit any questions   regarding the patch process.  Remember to please read the release notes prior to installing BrM 6.2.

BrM 6.2 Custom Fix Explanation

The BrM 6.2 installation package includes a ‘custom fix’ document that explains a change made to the BrM software that impacted agency custom code and provides users with step-by-step instructions on how to resolve and avoid adverse impacts.  

Mayvue upgraded the BrM project from a website to a web application in Visual Studios.  This change allows Mayvue to use more modern development tools and pipelines, and increase development productivity. 

BrM 6.2 also changes the way the software stores connections (the previous connection string collection in web.config was not thread-safe).  This change corrects a problem with getting or adding new connections for the login page.  Version 6.2 now stores user connections in a different static collection that is thread-safe.  These changes were made with the long-term health and quality of BrM in mind.

To address the impact of these changes on an agency’s custom code, Mayvue created a document to outline the specific steps required (with screenshots) to restore custom code to its intended functionality.  If your agency has customizations please be sure to follow this document when upgrading to version 6.2.  As always, please reach out to Mayvue with any questions prior to or during the upgrade process.

Proposed Enhancements to the Existing Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) Functionality

A webinar for the user community was held on June 28, 2019, to outline the proposed enhancements to the LCCA functionality for BrM (the highest rated priority identified by the user group in 2018).  A recording of the webinar can be viewed here.  Following the webinar, the end user designees were offered a two-week period to comment on the draft Functional Design Specification (FDS) which outlines the requirements for the planned enhancements.  Mayvue is working with the Task Force to formally respond to each received comment and update the FDS accordingly. 

The Task Force has requested AASHTOWare Research, Innovation and Product Improvement (RIPI) funding to help fund the development effort.  This source of funding is anticipated to provide 46%  of the estimated funding needed for the LCCA enhancement.

The champion for the proposed enhancements to the LCCA functionality is the Illinois DOT.  Despite their contribution and the planned RIPI funds, we are still seeking additional support to fully fund the planned enhancements.  Currently, only the first phase of enhancements are funded.  If your agency is interested in contributing, please contact Ms. Judy Tarwater (AASHTOWare Bridge Project Manager – jtarwater@aashto.org) or Mr. Phillip Litchfield (Illinois DOT  –Phillip.Litchfield@illinois.gov).

Please note that the proposed enhancements are the starting point for improving the LCCA functionality within BrM.  Additional enhancements and improvements can continue to be added to the LCCA functionality in future phases to ensure all needs and requirements are met; however, this is contingent upon continued prioritization from the user community and available funding.

JIRA Service Desk Transition

The Task Force and Mayvue have been researching options to make the users’ JIRA experience better.  We believe the JIRA Service Desk application is the answer.  JIRA Service Desk is configured to run as a true customer support center and provides numerous support related features such as a knowledge-based component allowing users to research published articles by the Contractor, the ability to quickly receive updates on a help ticket, and a simplified home screen.  JIRA Help Desk was used with great success during the 6.2 beta testing and the transition was approved by the Task Force in July 2019. 

Mayvue is working on the transition from the current JIRA instance (PONWEB project) to the Service Desk application.  This effort includes configuration, setup, and migration of specific PONWEB tickets.  Upon completion of the transition, users will be notified and will receive account information, login details to access Service Desk, and instructions to begin using.    Users will be able to search by PONWEB ticket numbers in the new system if needed.

For BrM users, JIRA Service Desk will provide an enhanced experience throughout the life of the ticket and will streamline resolutions. We have created a more efficient ticket creation process and workflow that will alleviate any ticket status confusion as well as provide a clearer output that can be used as documentation when a ticket/request has been resolved. Please look for future correspondence regarding JIRA Service Desk transition and send any questions to BrM@mayvue.comin the meantime.

New BrM Task Force Members

Mr. Kent Miller (Nebraska DOT) and Mr. David Hedeen (Minnesota DOT) are the newest members of the BrM Task Force as of July 1, 2019.  They have replaced Mr. Bruce Novakovich (Oregon DOT) and Mr. Mark Faulhaber (Kentucky Transportation Cabinet).  A special thanks to Mr. Novakovich and Mr. Faulhaber for their tremendous contributions to BrM software during their time on the Task Force.  Mr. Hedeen will chair of the BrM Test TAG and Mr. Miller will chair of the BrM Multimedia TRT on a go-forward basis. 

Reminder – BrM Training Videos Available

The Task Force authorized the creation of numerous BrM training videos focused on frequently asked questions and available functionalities/modules recently added to the software. These videos contain useful information for all levels of users.  The videos are readily available on the BrM YouTube channel located here.  Requests for additional topics to be considered for video instruction should be submitted to BrM@mayvue.com. Your input is always appreciated.

Functional Design Specification (FDS) Workflow Diagrams

The BrM Task Force, with Technical & Application Architecture Task Force (T&AA) assistance, created workflow diagrams for BrM enhancement recommendations for three instances: (1) user submittals, (2) Task Force submittals, and (3) TRT submittals.  The diagrams show the steps that each type of enhancement recommendation goes through including reviews, approvals, and the decision to include the enhancement into the core product.  The purpose of these diagrams is to formally document the process, streamline the comment and approval period, and increase user awareness.  Please review the diagrams as they will be used by the Task Force when evaluating BrM enhancement recommendations.

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, hotel details, and the agenda can be found on the conference registration website:http://www.cvent.com/events/2019-brmug-meeting/event-summary-8f92b2ecfaac40a4adcb6f0703f01016.aspx.

The hotel cut off date is August 16, 2019, so please plan accordingly and we will see you there!

Finally, BrM End User Designees should keep an eye out for the 2019 BrMUG survey and complete it by the requested due date.  The user surveys are a great tool for the Task Force to learn about BrM users and their needs.   We appreciate your responses.

Sincerely,
The AASHTOWare Bridge Task Force

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