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2008 Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) HEEP Report Minimize
Location: BlogsHEEP Agency ReportsArea III    
Posted by: rjrobinson@dot.state.nc.us 5/30/2008

CURRENT AND PROPOSED ORGANIZATIONAL ACTIVITIES

The Texas Legislature passed a law in 2005 that required consolidation of certain data center related services for the largest 27 agencies, including TxDOT.  The Texas information technology (IT) oversight agency, the Department of Information Resources (DIR), was charged was overseeing this consolidation.  DIR chose to outsource data center services.  IBM signed the contract with DIR in November 2006 to provide services beginning March 31, 2007.  During the next several years, IBM plans to migrate TxDOT’s servers to one of two state data centers.

Since IBM assumed responsibility for providing services, TxDOT IT users have experienced a noticeable decrease in the reliability of IT services. Many challenges remain to successfully migrate all in-scope responsibilities to the service provider.

INFRASTRUCTURE (DESKTOP, NETWORKING, SERVER/STORAGE/ETC.)

TxDOT’s current server infrastructure includes an IBM z-Series mainframe, eleven primary p-Series AIX servers, 593 Windows servers, and 280 Novell servers.  The department supports more than 15,500 users, nearly 17,000 workstations, and 844 locations.  The mainframe and four AIX servers are located at the Texas State Data Center in San Angelo, Texas.  All other servers are located in the TxDOT data center in Austin, in district and area offices throughout the state, at the Austin Disaster Recovery Operations Center, and at the Texas State Data Center in Austin.

TxDOT currently uses Windows Server 2000 and 2003 and the workstations use Windows XP. TxDOT will begin evaluating Windows Vista this summer, but has no immediate plans to implement the OS.

TxDOT supports several database environments. ADABAS is heavily used to support legacy Management Information Systems (MIS) applications on the IBM Mainframe. Oracle and DB2 are used on AIX servers for GIS and spatial data applications and Sybase is also used on AIX for the PeopleSoft application.  MS SQL is used to support in-house developed applications and several purchased business applications.  Applications using Sybase are being migrated to MS SQL or Oracle.

NEW SYSTEMS (JUST COMPLETED, IN PROGRESS, OR PREPARING TO START)

MicroStation - TxDOT continues to support MicroStation 2004 Edition (V8) products for P. S. & E. submissions.  TxDOT has deployed SELECT Server XM to license and administer pre-XM products.  TxDOT is evaluating SELECT Server Athens, which provides numerous fixes to known issues with the previous version.  TxDOT is working with Bentley on a Virtual Earth/MicroStation solution to provide similar functionality used in the Google/MicroStation tools.  TxDOT will evaluate the full line of XM products and possible Athens for possible future deployment.

GEOPAK - TxDOT continues to support GEOPAK 2004 Edition (V8) for P. S. & E. submissions.  TxDOT has evaluated version 8.8 and is now evaluating 8.9 (XM).  TxDOT will also consider the Athens release for evaluation when available.  TxDOT is engaged in several projects as proof of concept for automated machine guidance.  Bentley is making Roadway Designer (from InRoads) part of the GEOPAK work flow to ease in the creation of models for this purpose.  TxDOT continues to work with Bentley on testing of this new integration.

GPS - TxDOT currently has installed and implemented 90 GPS base stations including 62 NGS recognized CORS sites. The stations are all networked and centrally managed from Austin through the Technology Services Division.  A subset of the network includes virtual reference stations. TxDOT has a goal of expanding the network to provide coverage for surveying and construction applications along the IH 35 and IH 69 Trans-Texas Corridor routes. It is estimated that TxDOT will have 100 plus operational stations by the end of this year.

Survey Data Management Systems (SDMS) - TxDOT is currently using SDMS 3.5 with DOS collectors and version 4.3.1 with Windows CE collectors.  The standard format for field data collection submitted is the SDMS format. TxDOT is also using SDMS processor (version 2.0.1) which includes graphical chain editing and XML import/export features.

CAiCE - TxDOT is currently using CAiCE Visual Transportation V10 SP6 for surveying analysis.  TxDOT’s Standing Committee on Surveying (SCOS) has started a project, to be completed June 2009, to evaluate software as a potential replacement for CAiCE.

GIS - TxDOT has implemented Main Street Texas which is a web-enabled, GIS based information portal.  The current implementation includes applications for bridge inventory and inspection, right of way mapping, survey monumentation, NGS control, and recycled roadway materials.  In addition, TxDOT is testing integration of pavement management mapping applications, Site Manager reports, HCRS links, airport sites, and construction projects applications through Main Street Texas.

Bridge Geometry System (BGS) – TxDOT has implemented BGS to replace the TxDOT Roadway Design System (RDS) as the primary tool for bridge geometric design. The initial release BGS was developed by modifying RDS to remove all program features that were not related to bridge geometry. As a result, BGS is a scaled-down implementation of TxDOT RDS that focuses on bridge geometric design.

LRFD / STD Precast Prestressed Concrete Girder Design and Analysis Program (PSTRS-LRFD) - This project will provide TxDOT bridge engineers and consultants with prestressed concrete bridge girder design and analysis software that is compliant with the AASHTO Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Specifications and with TxDOT design, analysis and construction policies. TxDOT has hired a contractor and is working with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) in a joint development effort to modify PGSuper, an open source program developed by WSDOT, to include the additional functionality required by TxDOT. The upgraded program will be implemented to replace TxDOT's current legacy application, PSTRS14. TxDOT continues to use PSTRS14 as the primary tool. Many of the required PGSuper enhancements have been completed and TxDOT has implemented version 2.0.5 within the organization for production use with I-beams. The completion date is December 2008.

SiteManager – TxDOT’s current release of SiteManager is version 3.8a. Version 3.8a contains the planned AASHTOWare enhancements as well as TxDOT customizations for change orders and materials management, including a solution for storing test template calculations.

Decision Support System (DSS) – TxDOT will use DSS 6.6b to perform bid collusion detection and to provide analytical reports. The DSS database will be used as a data warehouse for TxDOT construction projects.  DSS 6.6b was placed into production status on March 28, 2008. DSS 6.6b will run in parallel with the current DSS production version (5.4c) until August 29, 2008. TxDOT support for version 5.4c will end on September 1, 2008.

Electronic Bidding System (EBS) - The proposed system will facilitate the electronic submission of construction and maintenance contract bids.  Submitted bids utilizing electronic signature authority are secured in a third party electronic vault and will only be accessible by TxDOT after the bid closing date.  This system will directly connect to InSure and Surety 2000, bonding agents.  The estimated completion date is the fourth quarter of 2008.

Electronic Project Records System (EPRS) – EPRS allows contractors and sub-contractors to securely submit payrolls and other documents over the Internet to a TxDOT database. The TxDOT database is used to collect important data from contractors and to provide information to record-keepers, auditors, and other governmental agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor and the Federal Highway Administration.  TxDOT implemented version 1 in September 2007. Version 2 was delivered May 1, 2008, and version 3 is scheduled for late summer 2008.

PONTIS - TxDOT has created a customized PowerBuilder front-end for the AASHTOWare PONTIS application. The front-end interface to PONTIS was developed to support TxDOT requirements and to minimize the need to customize the proprietary technical environment of the PONTIS application. The TxDOT version of PONTIS is in production. The next major release is scheduled for July 2008.

Storm Water Management System (SWMS) – This project will implement a statewide storm water management system which will be used by TxDOT staff and designated consultants to monitor, track and test storm water runoff and any discharge of pollutants that might encroach on or near department rights-of-way. The system will track data through a GPS data collection application and store the data in a web-based geographical database solution. The scheduled implementation date for SWMS is July 2008.

Texas Permit Routing Optimization System (TxPROS) - This project will acquire and integrate a software component into TxDOT’s existing Central Permit System (CPS) to provide true automated routing for the transport of oversize and overweight loads. The program will provide customers with a web-based, fully self-service system that is compatible with TxDOT’s base GIS and bridge data and will include required parameters such as structure height, lane width, load ratings, one-way attributes, access roads, turn restrictions, and at-grade railroad crossings. In 2007 a RFO was posted, vendor proposals were evaluated, and the contract was awarded to ProMiles® Software Development Corporation. The estimated completion date is December 2009.

Enterprise Document Technologies Implementation and Support Project (EDTIS) – This project will implement electronic document management technologies statewide in all TxDOT district and division offices.  The project is implementing FileNet Content Services, FileNet Image Services, Altien Document Manager (a web-based front-end), Kofax capture software and Adobe LiveCycle E-Forms software. In addition, the project is also defining enterprise policies, processes, and procedures, a standard enterprise access model and a publishing model to facilitate universal document sharing across TxDOT. Currently all district offices and most division offices have an electronic document management system.  The project will complete August 2009.

Budget Information System (BIS) - TxDOT purchased COGNOS commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software to develop a new Budget Information System (BIS) which includes both budget preparation and budget monitoring.  Financial expenditures from a mainframe ADABAS database are sent on a daily basis to update a client/server database that allows end users in the districts and divisions to view five years worth of budget reports. Budget adjustments, additional funding requests and additional budget requests along with the corresponding approval of these requests, are automated components of this system.

Registration and Title System – Special Plates Integration - The Special Plates Integration project integrated the Special Plates System (SPS) into the Registration and Title System. This project supports one-step processing of all new orders and renewals of special plates through RTS Point of Sale workstations or over the Internet and provides special plate manufacturing through RTS. The project was completed November 2007.

Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) - The program involves managing more than 3,800 volunteer groups who pick up litter on TxDOT-maintained rights-of-way across the state.  This project will replace the existing single user desktop databases and manual program management methods with a web interface to a central database to promote data sharing and increase availability of program information to division administrators to facilitate decision making and reduce duplication of effort among the district and maintenance office coordinators.  The system will also include a GIS based map indentifying adopted roadway segments.

CAFM Explorer – This project will implement enterprise facilities management software that assists maintenance personnel with the management of work orders, preventative maintenance plans, and warranties that deal with the upkeep of TxDOT buildings.

Internet Filtering – TxDOT evaluated products for internet filtering and reporting software and is currently implementing Bluecoat.

Data Directory Synchronization – TxDOT has evaluated software solutions to provide a directory data synchronization solution and selected the Novell Identity Manager. The implementation is ongoing and will allow directory objects to be synchronized across different directories, including NDS, GroupWise, Active Directory, and PeopleSoft. This integration solution will reduce the administrative burden of multiple directories, increase the overall accuracy of data and enforce data precedence.

LISTServ System – This system is being developed to allow the public to subscribe and receive e-mails related to transportation topics.

RECORD OF EXCHANGE

TxDOT has obtained the PGSuper source code and documentation from the Washington DOT (WSDOT) and is currently working with WSDOT in an open source environment to modify the system to meet TxDOT requirements.  TxDOT has also worked with several other states to share information and ideas on document management, MicroStation, GEOPAK, GIS, and AASHTOWare.

INFORMATION WANTED

TxDOT is interested in what other transportation agencies are implementing or considering in the area of Virtual Earth, Windows Live Mapping, ESRI ArcExplorer, application development tools, project management procedures, engineering document management, open source, Linux application and database servers, use of tablets and handheld devices for field data collection, wireless communication; use of Citrix and/or Terminal Server for running applications, and integration of legacy systems with new technologies.

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