RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Version 16.01 CL Release Notes
Release Date: April 18, 2019
This document contains important information regarding changes to the RAM Structural System. It is important that all users are aware of these changes. Please distribute these Release Notes and make them available to all users of the RAM Structural System.
Occasionally last-minute changes or corrections are not included in these release notes. Updated release notes can be found at:
https://communities.bentley.com and search for “v16.01”.
CONNECT Licensing was first implemented in the RAM Structural in v16.00. This licensing monitors current usage and, if an attempt is made to use a program or module for which there is no available license, the program will give a warning. Important information is given in the v16.00 Release Notes. More information on CONNECT Licensing can be found at:
and a short guide has been posted here:
CONNECT License requires all users to sign-in in order to use any Bentley programs. If you do not already have a Bentley ID, go to http://www.bentley.com/profile and select the Sign Up Now link.
NOTE: If you haven’t done so already, before using this version, the person at your company that has the role of Administrator for the Bentley products must configure the license so that it gives the overuse warnings. Otherwise, by default no warnings will be given. Instructions can be found here:
Review all of the information, but in particular, note the section on Entitlement Management, and in that document note the instructions on License Alerting. Generally, for License Alerting you will want to Enable Alerts, and then input the number of licenses that you own for the particular product.
CONNECT Licensing is revolutionary. It warns you against incidental overuse of the program, but when you have a temporary heavier work load it allows you to intentionally use more licenses than you own, at a fraction of the cost of purchasing an additional copy. CONNECT Licensing gives you the information you need to control usage and make those decisions.
In addition to providing the overuse warning described above, Bentley CONNECT offers several benefits. Listed here are three key features:
CONNECT Advisor provides links to pertinent articles, short training videos, courses and webinars. It can be accessed by selecting the Bentley Cloud Services – CONNECT Advisor command in the RAM Manager, or by selecting the CONNECT Advisor icon from the tool bar in any of the modules.
When you sign in to your Bentley account you now have easy access to CONNECTION Center. This personalized portal gives you access to Usage reports, site configuration information, downloads, and Learning information on webinars, seminars and events, and includes a transcript listing the Bentley courses that you have completed. Your personal portal also lists your recent projects with a portal into analytics on that project. CONNECTION Center can be accessed by selecting the Bentley Cloud Services – CONNECTION Center command or by selecting the Sign In command in the upper right corner of the RAM Manager screen.
All of Bentley’s CONNECT Edition programs, including RAM Structural System, allow models to be associated with a project. Multiple models, from any of the Bentley products, can be associated with a given project. This simplifies the process of keeping track of work done for a project, and will enable analytics to be performed and reported for the project.
A ProjectWise Projects portal enables you and your project teams to see project details required to evaluate team activity and understand project performance.
When a model is Saved in this version the program will ask for a Project to which the file is to be associated. Projects can be registered (created) from your Personal Portal, or from the Assign Project dialog by selecting the + Register Project command.
If you have enabled the CONNECTION Client you will automatically be notified of the newest version and will be able to update through that service by simply selecting the update command.
Otherwise, this version can be found on the Bentley Software Fulfilment web page by logging into the Personal Portal or the Enterprise Portal and selecting the Software Downloads icon. Perform a search for “RAM Structural System”, select any of the RAM Structural System modules (e.g., RAM Modeler; they all use the same installer), and select the latest version of the RAM Structural System.
Except for minor corrections, the Tutorial Manual has not been updated but is still valid. The appearance of some parts of the program in this version may differ from that shown in the Tutorial.
The database used in this version is compatible with databases used in V16.00 and V16.00.01, so no conversion of those databases is necessary. For databases from earlier versions, this version automatically converts those databases to the new database format. Note that a backup file is created automatically when a database is converted; the name of the database is the same, with “Orig” and the version number appended to the name. The file has an extension of “.zip” and is located in the same directory as the original database.
The previous steel tables and load combination templates supplied with the program will be replaced with new tables and templates of the same name. If you have customized any Master or Design tables or load combination templates supplied with the program without changing the file names, those file names should be renamed from the original RAM table names prior to installation to prevent your changes from being lost.
Product Licensing FAQ:
Appendix A at the end of these Notes contains a document describing features available in the RAM Structural System to help prevent inadvertent use of unlicensed modules. Refer to that document for more information. Note that with CONNECT Licensing, warning messages are given in the event there is no license available, so it generally isn’t necessary now to block modules using that feature.
Security Risk Advisory:
Not applicable to this release. Every effort is made to ensure that there are no security risks in the software. There are no known security issues, no issues were addressed in this version.
New Features and Enhancements:
For details on these new features and enhancements, refer to the manual .pdf files available from the Help menu in each module or from the Manuals folder on your hard drive.
For floor vibration analysis, the updated version of FloorVibe V3.0 is now installed with the program. It can be launched in RAM Steel Beam using the Vibration – AISC Design Guide #11 command. FloorVibe has been developed by Thomas Murray, a world-renown expert on floor vibration, through his company Structural Engineers, Inc. This version of FloorVibe includes the updated 2nd Edition of the AISC Design Guide #11, Vibrations of Steel-Framed Structural Systems Due to Human Activity.
The Story Data command in the Modeler has been enhanced to allow generation of story labels and story data for a single level or for multiple levels. To generate a story label, a Style (e.g., “First”, “1st”, “1”, or “One”) and the Enumerator of that style to be used in the label (or the first of a range of enumerators to be used when generating a range of Story data) are selected. A Prefix and/or a Suffix can also be specified (e.g., “Story”, “Level”, “Residential”, etc.). When the data is being generated for multiple stories the range of levels is specified, and then when the Add command is invoked the data for each story in the range is added to the table, with the label generated by incrementing the Enumerator for each level (e.g., “2nd”, “3rd”, “4th”, “5th”). The story data generated for a range will all be assigned the same Flr to Flr Height and Floor Type, but those can subsequently be edited. The file containing the Styles and Enumerators can be edited; for example, a Style could be added where the Enumerators are in a language other than English.
Splice Level is used to identify the levels at which column splices occur in gravity Steel columns. Yes means that a splice is allowed at the level (and hence the column size can change between this level and the level above), No means that a splice is not allowed at the level (and hence the column size is not allowed to change between this level and the level above). It is common to alternate the splice location at every other level (i.e., the column section spans two stories between splices). An “Alternate” option has also been added to the designation of the Splice Level. When this option is selected the Splice Level selection of Yes and No will automatically alternate as each story is added to the Story data table.
Reduced Beam Sections
In RAM Frame, the Reduced Beam Section Properties dialog has been enhanced to automatically provide a, b, and c dimensions for the RBS cuts, based on user-specified defaults. When a size is assigned to a beam that has been designated to have the RBS moment frame connection, the program automatically adds that size to the Properties list and assigns the cut values. The fractions for a, b, and c, as well as the increments to which the cut dimensions are to be rounded, can be set by the user in the Defaults Utility, and edited if desired in the Reduced Beam Section Properties dialog. The resulting tabular values can be edited to refine the design. If the resulting values are outside the acceptable range given in AISC 358, a warning will be given.
Pile Cap and Footing Design Reports
The Pile Cap Footing Design report has been enhanced to more clearly indicate the design warnings. The text of the warning messages has been improved to clarify the nature of the problem. The same changes were made to the warning messages in View/Update.
The Pile Footing Design Summary report has been enhanced to identify any pile caps that have any design failures. Previously that report only listed the design information but did not indicate any failures (the failures are listed on the individual Design reports).
The Spread Footing Design Summary report has been reformatted to identify any spread footings that have any design failures, in the same format as is used in the Pile Footing Design Summary and in summaries in other modules.
Steel Table Selection
The Beam Steel Table Selection dialog, invoked using the Layout - Beam - Steel Table command provides a means of assigning whether a steel beam is going to be designed using the Default Steel Table or the Alternate Steel Table. Previously the designation of steel tables as Default and Alternate was only done in the RAM Manager. Now this can also be done directly from the Beam Steel Table Selection dialog in the Modeler when assigning beams to be designed using either the Default table or the Alternate table. A similar enhancement was made for the selection of the Steel Joist Default and Alternate tables.
Wall Thickness Display
When the Options - Show Sizes command is invoked in the Modeler, the wall thickness of Concrete and Other walls is now displayed. Previously only beam sizes were displayed when that command was invoked.
The Echo of Input Data report has been enhanced to list the beam connection eccentricity used to calculate the gravity moments in the column due to the beam reaction applied at the eccentricity from the centerline of the column to the connection. The value is reported either as the absolute distance from column centerline or as the distance from the face of the column, depending on how it was assigned by the user.
DirectX Diagnostic Tool
In the RAM Manager a command to launch the DirectX Diagnostic Tool has been added to the Help - Technical Support menu. This may be helpful when working with Technical Support to troubleshoot graphics problems.
Some program errors have been corrected for this version. Corrections made to graphics, reports, Modeler functions, program crashes, etc., that were considered minor are not listed here. The noteworthy error corrections are listed here in order to notify you that they have been corrected or to assist you in determining the impact of those errors on previous designs. These errors were generally obscure and uncommon, affecting only a very small percentage of models, or had no impact on the results. The errors, when they occurred, were generally quite obvious. However, if there is any question, it may be advisable to reanalyze previous models to determine the impact, if any. In each case the error only occurred for the precise conditions indicated. Those errors that may have resulted in un-conservative designs are shown with an asterisk. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
RAM Steel Beam
STUDS ON BEAMS WITH WEB OPENINGS*: If the design of a composite beam with a web opening is controlled by M-V interaction of the tee, it is possible in some cases to eliminate required stiffeners by adding additional studs. When that condition occurred the program attempted to add additional studs to determine if the stiffeners could be eliminated, but in some cases would determine that the stiffeners could be eliminated but did not specify the required number of additional studs.
Effect: For the case where the M-V interaction of the tee of the composite beam controlled the beam design the program may have indicated that no stiffener was required but may not have specified the proper number of studs to satisfy the web opening design without stiffeners. Error did not occur if anything else controlled the design of the beam.
RAM Concrete Shear Wall
SECTION CUTS: In some cases (random), the program didn’t allow a section cut to be made at the location specified by the user.
Effect: Section cut couldn’t be made at the desired location.
COUPLING BEAM DISPLAY: In some cases coupling beam assignments were not displayed.
Effect: Coupling beam assignments could not be displayed or edited. Generally in that case, the program would crash if View/Update was performed on that wall.
GEOMETRIC VALIDATION DURING THE INITIALIZATION PROCESS IN CONCRETE WALL: Due to changes made in V16.00 and V16.00.01 to the initialization of wall data, a list of modified walls was not being built.
Effect: When a wall was modified in the Modeler, RAM Concrete Shear Wall couldn't access to that list, causing the program to crash.
NONEXISTENT WALLS INFORMATION RETAINED IN DATA ACCESS: During modeling the list of walls added or deleted from their respective Wall Design Groups was not updated appropriately.
Effect: Program crash when trying to access deleted wall or coupling beam information during the initialization process.
DUPLICATED COUPLING BEAMS UID: During modeling, due to interrupted saving or assignment processes, invalid coupling beams with their corresponding UID might have been saved. In those models, the program may have used a duplicate UID when assigning a value to a new coupling beam.
Effect: Inconsistences in the program like crashing or drawing the assigned coupling beam in a different wall.
NOTE: Several corrections were made to the wall and coupling beam data and related commands that were causing the program to crash or behave incorrectly. Unfortunately, in some cases it is necessary to delete some affected wall and coupling beam information in order to allow the data to be corrected. The erroneous data is automatically detected and deleted, and a warning given to advise the user of the corrective action that was taken.
RAM Frame – Analysis
WALL POINT LOADS TAKEDOWN*: If a lateral column supported multiple levels of lateral walls above, gravity point loads on wall may have been lost, not transferred into the supporting columns.
Effect: Gravity loads in such columns were not correct. This defect was partially fixed in V16.0 but the error persisted in some configurations.
WALL GROUP FORCES: If a series of adjacent wall panels were modeled with one of the panels having an opening that extended across the entire panel width, the Wall Group Force values were incorrect.
Effect: Conservative values listed for the Wall Group Forces for the configuration given.
RAM Frame – Steel Standard Provisions
JOINT CODE CHECK: If a steel joist framed into a moment frame joint the program erroneously flagged the joint as invalid (that is, a joint with a configuration for which the program cannot perform a joint code check).
Effect: The joint code check was not performed on that joint.
TORSIONAL BUCKLING*: For AISC 360-05 and AISC 360-10 the program was not checking Torsional and Flexural Torsional Buckling requirements for I- shapes as required when the torsional unbraced length exceeded the lateral unbraced length.
Effect: Unconservative member design if Torsional or Flexural Torsional Buckling requirements should have controlled the design. In the program this very rare and could only occur if the user over-rode the program-calculated value by assigning a shorter value of Lu using the Assign – Unbraced Length command.
AISC 360-16 UNBRACED LENGTH*: In the calculation of the flexural capacity of beams the program used the axial unbraced length value, Luy, instead of the weak axis flexural unbraced value, Lby.
Effect: Potentially incorrect flexural capacity. No error occurred if the unbraced lengths were the same for both axial and flexural bracing, which is often the case. When the error did occur it was always conservative unless the user assigned an explicit value of axial unbraced length Luy that was shorter than Lby.
ASSIGN MEMBER UNBRACED LENGTH*: With the Assign – Unbraced Length command for columns, beams and braces, if the user selected the option to Use a specified unbraced length for Unbraced Length - Axial, and the option to use Global Criteria for Unbraced Length - Flexure, the Use value intended only for Unbraced Length - Axial was assigned to both Unbraced Length - Axial and Unbraced Length - Flexure.
Effect: An assigned unbraced length intended only for the Axial unbraced length may have been used in design for the Flexure unbraced length. The error did not occur if the program-calculated unbraced lengths were used.
RAM Frame – Steel Seismic Provisions
EBF COLUMN WIDTH-THICKNESS RATIO*: The Width-Thickness Ratio limit used for EBF Columns designed according to AISC 341-10 and AISC 341-16 was incorrect.
Effect: The width-thickness limit of 0.38 SQRT (E/Fy) rather than the more stringent limits set for Highly Ductile elements in Table D1.1 was used.
OCBF - EXPECTED BRACE FORCE*: The reported expected brace force for braces designed according to the AISC 341-10 and AISC 341-16 specification was incorrect per the requirements of Section F1.6a.
Effect: A post buckling brace force was reported as the expected brace force for the OCBF brace designed according to AISC 341-10/16 specification.
TRANSVERSE REINFORCEMENT: When the reinforcement optimization was turned off the program sometimes gave an erroneous message that the soil capacity check failed.
Effect: Incorrect error message given. Rare.
LATERAL RESISTANCE OF PILE CAP: The check of total lateral force with the total shear resistance of the piles was done using strength combinations instead of service combinations.
Effect: Design warning may have erroneously been given that the lateral resistance of the pile cap (based on pile shear capacity) was insufficient for the applied lateral forces.
INCORRECT MOMENT DIAGRAM: The View/Update in continuous footing showed an incorrect moment diagram for a single concrete load case.
Effect: Drawing error only.
Product Licensing FAQ – RAM Structural System
Licensing Restrictions Options
The RAM Structural System is composed of several modules, each of which has their own license. The program also contains links to two related Bentley products, RAM Concept and RAM Connection, providing design interoperability, as well as a link to Bentley’s ProjectWise for project management. Each of those programs also have their own licenses. It is possible to have several licenses of one or more modules, and few or no licenses of other modules. Because of the ease with which these various modules and programs can be invoked, a method of restricting the use of each has been incorporated in order to prevent unwanted or inadvertent usage by an unsuspecting user from being logged against the licenses that the company actually owns.
These modules are invoked using the tool bar buttons on the left of the RAM Manager screen:
or by using the Model or Design menu items:
If RAM Concept or RAM Connection are not installed, they will not be available to be selected.
There is no license associated with RAM Manager, so no usage data is logged against it, but usage data is logged against each of the other modules as soon as they are invoked.
There is no demo version available for the RAM Structural System modules.
VERSIONS 14.07 AND NEWER
In RAM Manager, the Tools – Manage License Restrictions command opens the following dialog:
This provides a mechanism for the user to prevent a module from being inadvertently executed. When the program is first installed all of these options are selected. It is important therefore to execute this command and deselect any modules or links for which the user wants to restrict access.
To prevent a module or program link from being executed, deselect that item.
If a module is deselected here and that module or link is subsequently invoked, the following dialog appears:
If Allow is selected the module will open, and usage will be logged. If Cancel is selected the module will not open and no usage will be logged. Settings opens the previous command, allowing the user to modify the selections of the allowed modules.
VERSIONS 14.06 AND EARLIER
Versions prior to V14.07 lacked the ability to manage these license restrictions, restrictions could only be achieved by deleting the module from the installation Prog directory. If you are using an earlier version and want to prevent use of a module, delete the file(s) listed here for the module to be prevented:
RAMConcAnalysis.dll, RAMConcreteBeam.dll, RAMConcreteColumn.dll, RAMConcreteShearWall.dll
RAM Frame Analysis: