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RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Version 17.00 SES Release Notes
Anticipated Release Date: September 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 “v17.00”.
Since the RAM Structural System was first released in 1990 the RAM Structural System has been licensed by the individual modules (e.g., RAM Steel, RAM Concrete, RAM Frame, RAM Foundation). As new modules were added they were made available under a new separate license. This proliferation of license creates confusion for clients, potential clients, and internally at Bentley. To simplify, we are consolidating the individual module licenses into a single package, RAM Structural System. They will no longer be licensed as individual modules.
Note: If you currently license the RAM Structural System through the Structural Enterprise License, these changes have no impact on your licenses, and the following information is not relevant.
What is included in each license:
What the consolidation of licenses means for you:
With this change of licenses the person at your company that has the role of Administrator for the Bentley products must configure the RAM Structural System license so that it gives the overuse warnings; this must be done again, for the RAM Structural System license, even if they had previously done it for the individual module licenses. While it is recommended that you upgrade all of your machines to this latest version, it is permitted to have some machines run this new version while other machines run older versions. In order to properly get overuse warnings you must assign one or more of your RAM Structural System licenses to the older components, and the remainder to RAM Structural System. See the section below, “Bentley CONNECT Licensing – Subscription Entitlement Service”, for more information on configuring the license alert.
Bentley CONNECT Licensing – Subscription Entitlement Service
Bentley CONNECT Licensing has now been renamed Subscription Entitlement Service. 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 / Subscription Entitlement Service can be found at:
User and Administrator instructions can be found here:
and a short guide has been posted here:
CONNECT License / Subscription Entitlement Service 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 any version 16.0 or newer, 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 / Subscription Entitlement Service 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. Subscription Entitlement Service 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 CONNECT 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. CONNECT Center can be accessed by selecting the Bentley Cloud Services – CONNECT 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. Search for “RAM Structural System” and select the latest version.
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.
This version automatically converts databases created in previous versions 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 description of 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.
Tilt-up Building Analysis and Design
Powerful new capabilities have been implemented for the analysis and design of tilt-up buildings. In the Modeler walls are designated as either cast-in-place or tilt-up. Wall faces are designated as either interior or exterior exposure, and the appropriate bar cover is applied in design. If there are gaps between wall panels, that condition can be assigned (without the necessity of physically modeling a small gap between panels). Wall pressure loads perpendicular to the walls are defined and applied perpendicular to the walls. In RAM Frame, moments from beams framing into the wall and from deck supported by the wall are automatically determined and applied. A 2nd-order analysis is performed, accounting for the thin wall effects. In the RAM Concrete Wall module (previously called RAM Concrete Shear Wall) walls with reveals are designated, and the wall design section properties are reduced accordingly. The tilt-up walls are designed for both the in-plane forces (acting as shear walls) as well as for the out-of-plane forces. Steel beams, steel joists, and steel columns can be designed in RAM Steel. This new feature provides the engineer with tools to quickly and productively design tilt-up buildings safely and economically.
Eurocode Design of Steel Beams with Web Openings
The design of steel beams with web openings has been implemented for the Eurocode, based on the recommendations of SCI Publication P355 Design of Composite Beams with Large Web Openings. Round and rectangular openings are allowed. The need for web reinforcement is investigated, and if needed is designed by the program.
Eurocode Combinations in RAM Steel Beam
Previously the load combinations used for design per the Eurocode used the provisions of Equation 6.10 in BS EN 1990:2002+A1:2005. The program has been enhanced to now use load combinations based on Equations 6.10a and 6.10b. Designs based on the load combinations of Equation 6.10 were conservative, designs based on Equations 6.10a and 6.10b will likely result in more economical designs.
Web Opening Modeling
RAM Steel Beam has the ability to design for round and rectangular openings in steel beam webs. Previously the modeling of the openings in the Modeler required the definition and placement of each opening individually, one at a time. The Layout – Beams – Web Openings – Add command has been enhanced to allow generation of openings along a portion of the beam length or along the entire length. Placement of single or generated openings can be done on an individual beam using the Single command, or on a series of adjacent beams using the Intersect Line command. This is done by drawing a line across all of the beams for which the opening or openings are to be placed; all of the beams that intersect this line will have the openings added. Note that if the Intersect Line is drawn nearest to the left end of the beam the distance to the first opening will be measured from the left end; if the Intersect Line is drawn nearest to the right end of the beam the distance to the first opening will be measured from the right end.
Web Opening View/Update
In RAM Steel Beam module, when a beam has web openings the View/Update dialog has been enhanced to graphically show the beam with its openings. Failing openings are shown in red. If an opening is selected from the list of openings, the corresponding opening in the graphic will highlight; if an opening is selected in the graphic, the corresponding opening in the list of openings will highlight.
Previously openings could be modified in the View/Update command; now openings can also be added and deleted there.
Model data can be easily extracted from the model using the Data Extractor. This can be accessed using the Post-Processing – Extract Data command in the RAM Manager. This feature has been available in a limited scope as a Technology Preview (“beta”) feature. It is now fully available for use. Available data is model geometry, Criteria selections, gravity steel beam and column results, and frame analysis results (frame displacements, reactions, forces, etc.). Templates can be created for reuse which specify precisely what information is to be extracted and included in the file. The data can be previewed in Excel format, and saved in any of several formats: Excel, Access, SQLite, or XML file formats. This provides a powerful tool for extracting data for use in in-house spreadsheets and programs. In order for the Frame analysis results to be available, select the option in the Process – Analyze command in RAM Frame to write the results to the Data Extractor database. See the RAM Manager manual for more information.
An Installation Report is available in the Post-Processing menu in RAM Manager. This report lists the currently installed program version, the location of the ramis.ini file, and the locations of the various directories (Prog, Data, Tables, etc.).
Deflection Limits Listed on Steel Beam Design Report.
The Gravity Beam Design report lists the deflections and span/deflection ratios for the various conditions of Dead, Live, and total loads. This listing has been enhanced to now show the corresponding deflection limits specified by the user. The ratio of actual to allowable deflection values is also listed. This makes it easier to see to what limits the beam was designed.
Mass Accidental Eccentricity
In the Loads – Masses command in RAM Frame, the % Eccentricity to be used in the calculation of the accidental torsion can be specified. Normally this value is 5% for IBC and 10% for NBC of Canada, for example. However, in some cases of torsional irregularity that value needs to be amplified. Previously only whole numbers could be specified, and the same value was used in both the X- and Y-Axis. Now decimal values can be entered, and values are entered separately for the X- and Y-Axis.
There are now options to specify that wall self-weight either be applied to the top of the wall (as was done previously) or applied at each of the mesh nodes. This is particularly important for slender tilt-up walls.
Distorted Shell Mesh Warnings
During the process of meshing the floor diaphragms for Semi-rigid and two-way diaphragms, RAM Frame investigates the integrity of the resulting mesh elements. If the mesh element is highly distorted an error message is given, indicating that it won’t be included in the analysis. Previously those warnings were given one element at a time. These warnings have now been consolidated: a warning will be given that the condition occurs and lists the location (the Reports directory) where a file can be found listing all occurrences of a distorted mesh elements with their coordinates.
Note: this condition is usually caused by the side of a deck polygon not aligning exactly with a wall, beam, or other deck polygon edge. If this is the cause, the analysis results will likely be incorrect if the condition is not corrected by moving the polygon edge to correctly align with the members or other polygons.
Concrete Wall Criteria
In the Concrete Wall module, new criteria items for concrete walls have been add:
India IS 456 Concrete Design
Design of concrete members per India IS 456 is now available. Design is performed by launching the STAAD RCDC program (RCDC V6.2 or later must be installed). This is invoked by setting the design code to IS 456 in the Criteria – Code command in RAM Concrete, and then selecting IS 456 Design in the Mode drop-down. All of the necessary geometry and member force information is exported to RCDC, where all of the powerful India concrete design capabilities of RCDC are available.
Pile Lateral Force Warning
In RAM Foundation, when the lateral force on an individual pile exceeds the specified pile shear capacity (for soil bearing), a warning is now given. Previously the warning was given for the combined pile group.
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 MANAGER WON'T LAUNCH: For systems that require all binaries to be strongly named, the RAM Manager would not launch because 2 libraries were not strongly named.
Effect: Program was rendered unusable on these systems. This is a rare problem, only occurring on computer systems with exceptionally tight security.
NODAL REACTIONS: Live load reduction was not applied in Data Extractor report for Nodal Reactions for the Live Load cases.
Effect: Nodal Reactions for the Live Load cases listed the unreduced values.
STEEL COLUMN SCHEDULE LAYER: The values specified for Misc Symbols Color No and for Layer Name were shifted into the Hanging Column row.
Effect: DXF file was created using the incorrect color number and layer name.
DXF IMPORT: Walls in the DXF file currently aren’t imported, and they weren’t recognized as supports for beams.
Effect: Beams supported by walls were imported with their length truncated; subsequently when the walls were added manually the beams didn’t extend to these walls, they were unsupported in the model.
DATACHECK: If a beam was crossed by multiple beams, or if a beam had multiple walls frame into its interior, the Datacheck may have failed to give Error messages about all of the occurrences of those error conditions.
Effect: Errors given by Datacheck may have been incomplete, some framing conditions with Errors may not have been listed.
CONTINUOUS FOOTING: When a continuous footing supports a wall that is not on the footing centerline, the Change Properties command caused the footing to move to coincide with the wall coordinates.
Effect: Footing would move to the wall coordinates.
AISC 360-16 DESIGN CRASH: Beams designed according to AISC 360-16 with negative bending moments sometimes resulted in a crash during design.
Effect: Program crashed during design of beams with negative bending moments (e.g., from cantilevers).
AISC 360-16 STUB CANTILEVER CRASH*: Stub cantilevers designed according to AISC 360-16 sometimes resulted in a crashed during design.
Effect: Program crashed during design of beams with stub cantilevers.
AREA OF TEES: For C-Beams and for the tee above web penetrations of rolled sections, the area of the Tee was slightly larger than half the area of the tabulated full section area less the penetrated web area.
Effect: In determining the properties of the Tee section resulting from a penetration of the web of a rolled I-Section, the calculated area of the fillets was ever so slightly over estimated. While designs were correct, reported capacities differed from verified calculations in precision after the 1st decimal place. Optimized sizes were unaffected.
ASSIGN SIZE - FENCE, JOISTS or BEAMS*: When the Assign - Size Fence command was applied to members it would corrupt current analyzed data.
Effect: Resulting member designs using the corrupt data may have been incorrect. Steel Beam program may also have crashed. Forcing the model to ‘reframe’ (by changing model data or by changing the design code) would correct the data.
VIERENDEEL MOMENT CAPACITY (Mv) FOR WEB OPENINGS: Composite beams with web openings having compact top and bottom tees and no stiffener assignments designed according to BS5950 reported incorrect Vierendeel moment capacities.
Effect: While all other web opening designs were correctly performed, the Vierendeel moment capacity for composite beams with web openings having compact top and bottom tees and no stiffeners was incorrect. The reported capacity was conservative and openings that would have otherwise passed may have failed the Vierendeel check.
MESHING WARNINGS \ ERRORS NOT REPORTED*: Some errors and mesh problems encountered during meshing were not reported.
Effect: When mesh errors or problems were not reported the user was unaware, and took no action to correct the problem. The resulting analysis results may have been flawed. Note that RAM Frame correctly reported those meshing errors, so this error did not occur in RAM Concrete Analysis if the mesh problems were corrected for RAM Frame.
REINFORCEMENT*: Manual changes in curtains and bar sizes in View/Update were not preserved in the model after invoking the Update Database command.
Effect: User-specified reinforcement was not saved in the model.
Frame – Analysis
PARTITION LOAD MOMENTS*: Partition load moments from stub cantilevers framing off of Frame members were ignored.
Effect: Moments due to partition live loads on gravity stub cantilevers were not applied to the frames. The resulting Live Load forces in those frames was incorrect when there were Partition Live Loads on gravity stub cantilevers supported by Frame members.
POINT AND LINE PARTITION LOADS OMITTED IN DIAPHRAGM GRAVITY LOADS*: Point and Line Partition loads were not included in the Live loads listed in the Diaphragm Gravity Loads in the Loads – Gravity Loads command.
Effect: If Partition loads had been defined in a model as point loads or line loads, and if the option was selected to Use Gravity Loads for P-delta, the Partition line and point loads weren’t included as part of the geometric stiffness method used by the program for P-delta analysis (those loads were correctly included in the Live Load case applied to the structure, but were not included in the stiffness reduction calculations used in the P-delta methodology). Those loads were also missing from the Notional Live Load case. Note that the more common case of Partition loads defined as part of the Surface loads was handled correctly; only user-specified Line and Point Partition loads encountered the error.
MISSING POINT LOADS ON WALLS*: If a wall was modeled such that the wall above was segmented into multiple panels while the supporting wall below was only a single panel, and if there were point loads on the upper panels anywhere along the panel except at the ends, the point load may have been lost on the supporting panel below. If the wall was segmented the same below as above, the error did not occur.
Effect: Missing loads on wall.
ASSIGN FRAME BEAM CONNECTION TYPES*: The Assign – Frame Beam Connection Types command functioned incorrectly if the beam had cantilevers. Connection types were assigned to cantilever ends rather than to beam supports.
Effect: Unintended beam behavior. In some cases instability messages were given during analysis.
Frame – Steel Standard Provisions
SIDEPLATE CONNECTION SEGMENT LENGTH: Models with beams with SidePlate connections sharing a column joint with non-steel material beams crashed during a Design All.
Effect: While determining the connection zone length for beams with SidePlate connections during the Design All process, non-steel material beams sharing a column joint with the beam with a SidePlate connection caused the program to crash.
DESIGN ALL CRASH: At the end of the Design All member code check process, the program may have crashed if the user had the RAM Frame program in the background and other application windows were foreground.
Effect: Although the member code check process was successful, the program may not have been able to display the interaction results window if users had RAM Frame in the background and other application windows were in the foreground.
Frame – Steel Seismic Provisions
AISC 341 B2 AMPLIFICATION FACTOR: For AISC 341-10 and AISC 341-16, erroneous B2 amplification factors were applied when considering combinations from the Standard Provisions module.
Effect: For members designed according to AISC 341-10 and AISC 341-16, axial loads amplified by B2 may have been erroneous (conservative) for load combinations considered from the Standard Provisions module. While B2 factors for combinations generated under the Seismic Provisions module were correctly determined, factors calculated for Standard Provision combinations may have been erroneous and higher than the B2 factors reported for the same combinations in the Standard Provisions module. Designs governed by the Standard Provision combinations had higher than expected axial forces and members that would have otherwise passed may have been failed.
UNBALANCE BEAM FORCES*: For AISC 341-10 and AISC 341-16, in braced frames with beams supporting V, Inverted-V and X braces that spanned multiple stories above and below the beam, the unbalanced forces on the beams from the framing braces reported in the Seismic Provisions Member Code Check report were incorrect. In addition, for SCBF’s the tensile, compression and post-buckling forces listed in the report were incorrect. The error did not occur if the braces were BRB’s.
Effect: While code checks for all beams supporting single-story V, Inverted-V and X-braces were correctly performed for AISC 341-10/16, beams supporting braces spanning multiple stories reported incorrect brace forces and unbalanced forces from the supported braces. Note: The beams are not checked by the program for the unbalanced forces; forces are simply reported.
BS 8110 TRIANGULAR PILE CAP*: For triangular (3 pile) pile caps designed using BS 8110, an incorrect value of the av distance was used in the calculation of the shear resistance of the pile cap.
Effect: Incorrect shear design of triangular pile caps.
SOIL WIZARD: The Soil Wizard in the Assign – Soil command did not function properly, preventing a formula from being specified.
Effect: Allowable soil bearing pressures could not be defined using the Soil Wizard.
FOUNDATION MESSAGE: A "Testing Error" message was displayed when reinforcement was not suitable by development length requirements. This only occurred for small footings with greater bar size than required.
Effect: Incorrect design warning was displayed.
COLUMN TYPE: When the framing is sloping, some standard columns were changed to hanging columns when the model was imported from an ISM repository.
Effect: Columns were incorrectly tagged as hanging columns.
FIXITY FOR BEAMS WITH CANTILEVERS: For beams with cantilevers the fixity of the beam at the support at the end with the cantilever was not getting set to Fixed when exporting the model to ISM.
Effect: Incorrect beam fixity for exported beams with cantilevers.
CANTILEVER DEFLECTION VALUES: The values for cantilevers in the GetBeamCompDisp and GetBeamNonCompDisp methods in the IGravitySteelDesign1 interface were flip-flopped (left was right, right was left).
Effect: Reported deflection values for cantilevers were correct in RAM Steel Beam were but reversed when accessing the results with RAM DataAccess.
REACTIONS: The GetReactions method in the INode interface returned unreduced live load reactions in DataAccess.
Effect: DataAccess error only. The reported reactions in RAM Frame were correct.
Product Licensing FAQ – RAM Structural System
VERSIONS 17.00 AND NEWER
The RAM Structural System contains links to three related Bentley products, RAM SBeam, RAM Concept and RAM Connection, providing design interoperability. Each of those programs have their own licenses. It is possible for a client to have licenses for some programs but not for the others. Because of the ease with which these 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.
RAM SBeam is invoked using the Process – Export to SBeam command in the Steel Beam module. RAM Concept and RAM Connection 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 SBeam, RAM Concept, or RAM Connection are not installed, they will not be available to be selected.
In RAM Manager, the Tools – Manage License Restrictions command opens the following dialog:
This provides a mechanism for the user to prevent a program from being inadvertently executed. When the RAM Structural System is first installed all of these options are selected. It is important therefore to execute this command and deselect any links for which the user wants to restrict access.
To prevent a program link from being executed, deselect that item.
If a link is deselected here and that link is subsequently invoked, the following dialog appears:
If Allow is selected the program will open, and usage will be logged. If Cancel is selected the program will not open and no usage will be logged. Settings opens the previous command, allowing the user to modify the selections of the allowed programs.
Note that there is also a link to Bentley’s ProjectWise for project management. It is available through the File – ProjectWise command. Its use is not restricted through the Tools – Manage License Restrictions command described above. It should only be invoked if you have a license for it.
VERSIONS 14.07 Through 16.01
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:
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.
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: