RAM SS V16.00 Release Notes

RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Version 16.00 CL Release Notes

Release Date: December 24, 2018

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.

CONNECT Licensing.

This version of RAM Structural System incorporates the new CONNECT Licensing. 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. When the warning is given, the user may cancel out of the module, with no usage being charged, or if desired can proceed to use the module, under the terms of the quarterly usage fee. This prevents inadvertent overuse of the program when all of the licenses are currently in use by other users, while providing the ability to intentionally use additional licenses beyond the number of licenses owned, when workload demands a temporary increase in the number of users using the program.

Read the warnings carefully. When the threshold limits message appears, select “Cancel and Quit” to avoid overuse charges; select “Acknowledge” to continue to use (resulting in overuse charges).

Note that the program can still be used off-line. However, unless those licenses are checked out when online, the Bentley server will not be aware of that usage and may fail to give the overuse warning. This could result in a quarterly usage fee. It is the responsibility of the user to monitor against overuse if the program is being used offline. The license can be configured to not permit off-line use. Offline usage includes occasions when the internet connection is lost. When internet connection is lost the program may display a message advising exiting the program. This may not be necessary, but it is the user’s responsibility to monitor against overuse.

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.

More information can be found at:  https://bentleysystems.service-now.com/community?id=kb_article_view&sysparm_article=KB0018907, and a short guide has been posted to help here: https://communities.bentley.com/products/ram-staad/m/structural_analysis_and_design_gallery/273502 

NOTE: 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.

Bentley CONNECT:

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.

Installation Instructions:

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.

Important Notices:

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 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 probably 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:

SidePlate Connection Table Update

The table used for the SidePlate connection has been updated by SidePlate Systems, and is included in this release. Some HSS sections have been removed from “R=8” connections, and some connection names have been simplified.

Error Corrections: 

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

MODEL CORRUPTION: After converting a model from a prior version, in some cases wall geometry may have become corrupted.

Effect: Corrupt model.

CIMSTEEL TRANSLATOR: The CIMSteel Translator failed to launch when the Post-Processing – CIMSteel File command was invoked.

Effect: CIMSteel files could not be created.

RAM Steel Beam

DEFLECTION INTERACTION – SHORED COMPOSITE BEAMS: The reported controlling deflection interaction in the View Update dialog box and in the display of interaction colors for shored composite beams may have been incorrect.

Effect: While design of shored composite beams was correct, the reported controlling deflection interaction in the View Update dialog and during the display of interaction colors may have been incorrect.

VIEW/UPDATE DEMAND/CAPACITY RATIO: In View/Update, if a beam with a web opening was optimized using the Optimize command there, the value listed for Demand/Capacity Ratio for Strength was incorrect.

Effect: Although the results initially displayed in the View Update dialog box for beams with web penetrations were correct, the Demand/Capacity Ratio for Strength displayed when the beam was optimized using the Optimize button was incorrect.

FLOOR MAP REPORT: If a model had both one-way and two-way decks the Floor Map report may have incorrectly indicated which decks were one-way and which were two-way.

Effect: Report error only, the decks were considered correctly in the analysis and design.

FREQUENCY REPORT: The program crashed when the Report - Frequency command (only available with some codes) was invoked in models with multiple floor types and concrete beams.

Effect: Frequency report may have been unavailable.

RAM Steel Column

CRITERIA – BRACING CRASH: Changing any options in the Criteria – Bracing command caused the program to crash.

Effect: Program crash. Note that the changes were correctly applied.

AISC 360-16 EQUATION H1-3: In AISC 360-16 Section H1.3, doubly symmetric rolled compact members subject to single-axis flexure and compression are permitted to be designed using the interaction equation given by Eq. (H1-3). This had been implemented for designs performed in the View/Update command, but not for designs performed during Design All (in which case the program used the more conservative equations given in H1.1).

Effect: The displayed interaction values for column designed according to AISC 360-16 and governed by Section H1.3 may have been different than the interaction values displayed in View/Update. The designs were correct in either case, but more conservative in Design All where the designs were based on Section H1.1 instead of Section H1.3.

RAM Concrete Analysis

CRITERIA – BRACING CRASH: Changing any options in the Criteria – Bracing command caused the program to crash.

Effect: Program crash. Note that the changes were correctly applied.

RAM Concrete Column

ACI COLUMN DESIGN: The warning "Segment bar spacing larger than code limit per ACI 318-14 Sec, ACI 318-14 Sec" was sometimes erroneously given when the shear reinforcement spacing was adequate.

Effect: A column that was adequately designed may have been reported as failing.

RAM Concrete Shear Wall

COMBINATIONS WITH DYNAMIC LOAD CASES*: If a model contained more than nine Dynamic load cases, the additional Dynamic load cases (10th and greater) were not included in the generated combinations.

Effect: This defect potentially created unconservative results if a combination that included a Dynamic case that was dropped would have controlled the design. Only RAM Concrete Shear Wall was impacted by this defect, and only if there were more than nine Dynamic cases; the load combinations were correctly generated in other modules.

NUMBER OF RESULTS TO SAVE: The criteria for how many load combinations results to save was defaulting to 100 regardless of what the user set in the Defaults Utility.

Effect: User preference was ignored. Shear Wall design ran slowly due to time saving the results of 100 combinations.

RAM Frame – Analysis

MULTI-STORY WALLS WITH PILASTER COLUMNS*: When Frame columns were modeled as pilasters at the ends of walls, and the columns and walls were three or more stories tall, some Dead and Live load on the columns may not have been applied, or may have been applied incorrectly, to the columns.

Effect: Potentially incorrect Dead and Live load analysis results on columns and walls for the condition indicated.

USER WIND FORCE APPLIED TO SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGM*: User Defined Story Forces load cases can be created and specified as a Wind load. On Rigid diaphragms these are applied as concentrated loads at the specified location; on Semi-rigid diaphragms these are applied as windward and leeward pressures along the faces of the diaphragms. For Semi-rigid diaphragms, if the diaphragm was a concave polygon and the wind force was applied perpendicular to the concavity, the forces were incorrectly applied; the resultant of the applied forces was the wrong magnitude and had the wrong eccentricity.

Effect: Incorrect frame design forces for the condition described. The error did not occur for generated load cases, when the applied force was in the direction of the concavity, nor when the diaphragm was convex.

ASCE 7-16 WIND LOAD CASES*: Wind story forces were incorrect if all of the following conditions existed in a model: the building was identified as Flexible, the model included multiple ASCE 7-16 Wind load cases with different wind speeds, and all wind load cases were analyzed at the same time. If the load cases with different wind speeds were analyzed separately, the calculated wind loads were correct.

Effect: Calculated story wind loads were not correct if aforementioned conditions existed in a model.

FRAME BEAM CONNECTION TYPES*: If a Custom Connection, Reduced Beam Section (RBS), or SidePlate connection was assigned using the Assign – Beams – Frame Beam Connection Types command, some segments of the beam within the connection zone may have been assigned incorrect section properties if the diaphragm was specified as Semi-rigid.

Effect: The bare beam stiffnesses instead of the stiffnesses defined by the Connection type were used in the analysis for some segments of the beam within the connection zone. The finer the diaphragm mesh size, the greater the error. For SidePlate the stiffness was underestimated; for RBS the stiffness was overestimated; for Custom the stiffness may have been over- or under-estimated.

LAMBDA CRITICAL REPORT*: The Lambda Critical report gave obviously erroneous results if center-of-rigidity load case was included in the analyzed cases.

Effect: Report error only.

ASSIGN COREBRACE: The Assign – Braces – Buckling Restrained – CoreBrace command did not function properly. If a Stiffness Modifier value had previously been assigned to a brace and then subsequently the Overstrength Parameters were assigned, the Stiffness Modifier was reset to the Global criteria setting for that value. Also, the Yield Strength values could not be assigned.

Effect: Potentially, the values used by the program were not what the user intended.

NBC OF CANADA REPORTED PERIOD: In the Loads and Applied Forces report for the NBC of Canada Seismic load cases the value of Period was listed as 0.0. The report has been corrected to show both the actual period and the period used in the calculation of the forces (which may be limited by the Code).

Effect: Report error only, the calculated story forces were correct.

RAM Frame – Steel Standard Provisions

BEAMS WITH SIDEPLATE CONNECTION – R = 3: Beams with SidePlate connections analyzed according to R = 3 methodology were designed using moments from the face of the column rather than moments from the edge of the SidePlate.

Effect: Beams which would have otherwise passed the design demand may have been failed due to the relatively higher stresses at the face of the column.

JOINT CHECK DISPLAY: In rare cases, when the Joint Check was performed the graphics may have indicated that stiffener plates were required at joints that only had gravity beams framing in.

Effect: Display error only. No joint check was performed at those joints, but the graphic incorrectly appeared indicating stiffeners were required.

RAM Frame – Steel Seismic Provisions

EBF MEMBER CODE CHECK*: For models with EBF frame type member assignments, if the option to Apply B2 Factors in the Criteria – B1 and B2 Factors command was not selected in the Standard Provisions module, the Seismic Provisions member code check process resulted in sporadic crashes. Note that selecting that option is not necessary, but the defect occurred if it wasn’t selected.

Effect: The load combos for non-EBF frame types checked immediately after an EBF member code check were corrupted, causing the program to sporadically crash.

RAM Foundation

DESIGN ALL: When Design All was performed with a model in which a pile cap had previously been assigned a size and reinforcement, the program may have resized the pile cap but then failed it because the user specified reinforcement may not have met the minimum requirements for the resized cap.

Effect: User-specified size may have been ignored in the design when Design All was performed.

PILE CAP VIEW/UPDATE WARNINGS: If a View/Update is performed on a pile cap that fails, warning messages are given. If another pile cap was then selected the warnings for the previous pile cap were not cleared, they continued to be listed.

Effect: Erroneous warning text only.

ACI 318-14 SECTION REFERENCE vs. 10.3.3: In the Foundation Design report the warning section reference should be not 10.3.3 (previous codes).

Effect: Report error only.

CONTINUOUS FOOTING ENVELOPE REPORT - CSV FORMAT: In the TRANSVERSE DIRECTION section of the Continuous Foundation Design Envelope report, the data in the lines that were in bold in the printed report were misaligned (in the wrong cells) in the Text (.csv) version of the report.

Effect: This was only a report formating error. Values are correct.

Appendix A

Product Licensing FAQ – RAM Structural System

Licensing 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.


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 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:

RAM Steel:

RamBeam.exe, RAMColumn.dll

RAM Concrete:

RAMConcAnalysis.dll, RAMConcreteBeam.dll, RAMConcreteColumn.dll, RAMConcreteShearWall.dll

RAM Frame Analysis:


RAM Foundation: