Can FDOT CONNECT work with other configs?

In beginning to look into how to build our ORD and MS CONNECT workspace (now Configuration), I was excited to see how Bentley has revised their level structure to try and be more direct on what each level is intended for.  Being a consultant external to FDOT, we struggled to make the SS4 workspace work with ours and our other clients.  I am a bit disappointed to see that the new FDOT CONNECT workspace/configuration does not appear to be provided to external parties in a manner where we can just add this in as a workspace (as it appeared Bentley had intended), instead FDOT is using the organization and workspace levels, and by how I am digesting the installation instructions, it appears that things are configured for FDOT to be the only resources configured.  How have others made the FDOT CONNECT configuration play nice with external parties organization and other client workspaces?

Being that we are just starting to work with the CONNECT generation products, I am trying to build my configuration best to suite the FDOT CONNECT config with the least amount of modification to get things to work, but at the same time, have the flexibility to have additional workspaces available for our other clients.  The FDOT config is by far the most involved and complex over all of our other client provided configs/workspaces.

For server installs, it would not be desired to install MicoStation/ORD at the time of providing the FDOT client either.  For example if a user had ORD previously installed for other client work, I would not want to uninstall/reinstall ORD to configure it to the FDOT CONNECT server when he/she is transitioned to FDOT work. 

I may be missing something, but the install documentation seems specific for internal installations.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, thank you.

  • Our installation instructions are provided as a fail safe recipe for success.  We are happy to support your concerns and can help your company with the configuration desired.  Please contact our office and we can assist. cadd.support@dot.state.fl.us    

     Vern E. Danforth, P.E.

    State CADD Engineer / Coordinator

    Production Support CADD Office

    The CADD Office's mission is to ensure productivity and efficiency through standardized customization, support and training of 2D and 3D CADD applications!

    Vern

  • Hey Z,  We had to change up the FDOT configuration to not use the entire Org-Civil structure.  This required removing their cfg from the C:/ProgramData location and pointing to our own server location in the setup config.  This enabled us to use multiple DOT clients, etc.   Figuring out what to change and what not to change took careful review of this learn server path.  https://learn.bentley.com/app/Public/ViewLearningPathDetails?lpId=111346    You'll also notice they add the FDOTWorkSpaceSetup.cfg  We've been able to remove this to redirect the configuration to control which standards the Workspaces use.  Another helpful link is the Product Documentation link.  Look under "Setting up the Environment" to learn about new variables and what they do.  https://docs.bentley.com/LiveContent/index.html 

  • In my limited experience thus far, you can successfully have more than one workspace available to end-users via the definition of the _USTN_CUSTOM_CONFIGURATION variable. Installing the FDOTConnect configuration to a centralized server location with additional workspaces and pathing the variable should make it available in the backstage drop-down during file open. Similarly, if using a laptop/local deployment, you'll want to place all of the workspaces in a common location, with FDOTConnect being installed in that same directory. You will need to do a bit of minor tweaking to the FDOTConnect (and possibly other clients') workspaces to make this work. 

    Eddie Giese, PE

    Licensed in FL and PA

    *Feel free to use the logo I made for "MUG"!*

  • As Vern alludes to above, the FDOT Connect workspace is actually relatively neutral in its installation with regard to other workspaces. Other workspaces can be easily installed and configured for use alongside FDOT Connect. It's certainly not immediately intuitive, but it does not require any modification of configuration files beyond the initial custom configuration location set during installation of OpenRoads Designer.

    Here is an explanation of how to install additional workspaces alongside FDOT Connect without modifying our delivered configuration files:

    While on the surface, FDOT Connect might seem to exclude the use of other workspaces and configurations, we actually designed it specifically to play well with other DOT’s software.

     

    The additional configuration step during the installation of OpenRoads Designer (or other Connect Edition products) sets a variable that points to a custom workspace location.  In our standalone workstation configuration, this location is C:\FDOTConnect\ and in our Server installation, it would be your server location \FDOTConnect\.

     

    However, the FDOT configurations and resources actually exist a couple levels deeper in the ORGANIZATION-CIVIL and WORKSPACES folders.  In these folders, you will find two “FDOT” folders and additional configuration files. That is because the FDOTConnect folder itself is simply a “Custom Workspaces” location.  If you were to install another state’s workspace into the FDOTConnect folder, it would (in theory) create subfolders in the ORGANIZATION-CIVIL and WORKSPACES folder for that state’s workspace.  Launching ORD would then allow you to select that additional workspace as well.

     

    To make it clearer, you could install the FDOTConnect software to a folder called “CustomWorkspaces” instead of “FDOTConnect,” and spec that as your custom configuration location during ORD installation.  The process would look like this:

     

    1. Install ORD and spec the location of your custom configuration as C:\CustomWorkspaces\ or \\SERVER\CustomWorkspaces\.
    2. Install the FDOTConnect software, but during installation, change the install location to “CustomWorkspaces” instead of “FDOTConnect.”
    3. Review the location of the FDOTConnect software, you should see the ORGANIZATION-CIVIL and WORKSPACES folders immediately inside the CustomWorkspaces folder. There will not be a folder called FDOTConnect.
    4. Install subsequent workspaces or state configurations to the CustomWorkspaces folder.  These workspaces should install appropriate subfolders under the Organization-Civil and Workspaces folders.
    5. Upon launching of OpenRoads Designer, the workspace selection menu should now list FDOT as well as the additional workspaces.

    Matt Sexton
    CADD Applications Support Coordinator
    Florida Department of Transportation
    Engineering/CADD Systems Office
    850-414-4840
    matt.sexton@dot.state.fl.us