• Communities Upgrade: RSS Feeds

    In the current communities platform, you can get information delivered to you about a topic (or topics) or from a community or application within a community (e.g. forum, blog, wiki, calendar, etc.) You can even get information based on a search string -- all this can be done through something called RSS. RSS feeds are available for every forum, topic, blog, and wiki. Subscribing to them allows you to get up to the minute…
  • Communities Upgrade: SyntaxHighlighter

    Another thing introduced in the recent Communities upgrade is the inclusion of a "syntax highlighter"

    Programmers and developers should find useful when providing or including code in a Communities forum post or blog or wiki article. To take advantage of this, simply follow these steps:

    1. In your post or article, enter what you want to write about
    2. Place your cursor where you want to insert code
    3. Click the "Insert…
  • Communities Upgrade: Additional Email Notifications

    If you are getting a good number of notifications through email relating to activity in Communities forums (e.g. forum threads started, forum reply posts, etc.) that you had not been receiving before, this could be due to some services that existed previously but only "became alive" during the upgrade of the site. There is an email notification setting for each Communities forum that can be enabled or disabled. You can…

  • Communities upgrade: Transfer of search string to forum thread subject seamless

    As you add a question to a forum (i.e. start a new thread)

    whatever you enter will invoke the site's search utility to see if what you are asking had been asked previously:

    In situations where no of the returned results is what you are looking for, your "search string" is used as the subject of a new forum thread:

    This ability is another thing that makes getting information you are looking for more…

  • Communities upgrade: "Search as you type" finds applicable forum threads while you type a question

    When you use Search, results appear as you are entering what you are searching for. As you start, you will see one set of results:

    and then as you enter more information, you will see a different set of results:

    Subsequently, when you enter all that you are looking for, you will be presented with content that best meets what you have entered:

    This dynamic result return helps you identify things that may help…

  • Communities upgrade: Search filters based on context

    As mentioned previously, Search results are based on the scope of where you are when you initiate your search. So if you are in a wiki, the results will default to being scoped to that community's wiki content:

    You can dynamically expand that to be the scope of the community you are in (which then returns content AND communities that meet the criteria):

    That can be further expanded (again, dynamically) to be…

  • Communities upgrade: More modern search interface

    The Communities Search function provides a better user experience by supporting "natural language" search for content, users, etc. within scope of the application (e.g. forum, community, site, etc.) that you are currently in, but with the flexibility to expand that scope should you want to do that.

    Once you start getting search results, you can dynamically refine what it is you are looking for to any number…

  • Communities upgrade: Search always present

    Regardless of the browser, device, or size of the browser window, search is always present in the interface.

    This provides continual, almost persistent reminder that search is a primary form of getting information and answers to questions.

  • Communities upgrade: Related and Recommended Content

    Something else that helps provide assistance in finding solutions to issues is a dialog that appears and suggests other content that could be relevant or recommended as it relates to what you are looking at. As you scroll down through forum threads and wiki articles:

    that results in

    The dynamic nature of this functionality makes it so you can see other content that could relate to the issue or question that you…

  • Communities upgrade: No more view original post

    In the activity streams, replies to posts and answers to posts are linked directly to the thread they are part of:

    So there is no longer any need to have to expand the "View original post" to see what the response is to.

  • Communities upgrade: Forum post options

    Something else to provide more obviousness is the elimination of tabs for options in the Forum post editor. All options are now on the same page as the editor:

    This makes it much easier to "see" all options available to you when creating or maintaining a forum post.

    Additionally, one of the more common questions asked by members was how to attach files to forum posts. This was "hidden" a bit in the Attachments…

  • Communities upgrade: More Button

    The "More" button combines a number of user interface items (e.g. tabs, "hidden" glyphs, etc.) that competed for space or were just plain not obvious.

    This makes some previously hidden items (e.g. "Flag as spam/abuse", moderator options, etc.)  much more accessible. It also opens up some screen real estate and provides a more consistent approach for making options available for various…
  • Communities upgrade: Forum Thread Presentation

    Forum thread presentation got a good deal of user experience improvement. When looking at the forum thread list...

    If you click on "Answered" or "Suggested Answer", you will see a preview of the answer without having to "open" the thread.

    If you do open a thread, there are two "tabs" for threads that have verified and suggested answers... one showing just the question and the answers…

  • Communities upgrade: Responsive design

    Another great new capability included with the Communities platform upgrade is responsive design. With this scheme, site elements appear almost identically on different formats and screens -- whether from a desktop browser or from a mobile browser. With responsive design, page layouts adjust according to layout priority and device width, images and media adjust to full screen size, tables and pre-formatted content are…

  • Communities upgrade: Tour Tips

    One of the various things we heard from members when the Communities site was migrated at the end of 2013 was what the new things were. In this migration, there is something called "Tour Tips" included, which are meant for first-time, new members and display short description bubbles that point to important home page areas and items. Tour Tips are designed to quickly engage a new member with the community by pointing…

  • Communities Platform Upgrade

    We recently mentioned that an upgrade to our Communities site is coming. A sneak peek at the next release is below:
    Our biggest effort is to provide “new and improved” for the user experience. Although we are starting simple, there are a number of things will be introduced on the platform and as "programs" to help make Communities an awesome experience. Some of the Communities "programs" we are working…
  • Introduction to Tags and Tag Clouds

    A tag is a keyword or term associated with a piece of content. In the context of Bentley Communities, that is a forum post, wiki or blog article, file or image, idea, etc. It links the content to other content that it relates to contextually. Tags give you flexibility in structuring a Web site and in helping map information. Tags also make the information on a Web site more discoverable and accessible via search engines…

  • Be Communities Mail Gateway

    Be Communities provides a rich Web experience that gives members the opportunity to interact with other community members (including Bentley colleagues) through online forums, blogs, files/images galleries, and wikis. To increase participation and productivity in Be Communities, we have enabled notifications and forum posts to be delivered to community members via a Mail Gateway on the site. This gateway manages queuing…

  • Introducing Community Ideas

    "Ideas" is a Bentley Communities application module that adds category posing and idea generation, rating, commenting, voting, and triage to communities. The Ideas application can be customized with a look and feel that encourages innovation and community participation. It can even provide a sampling of ideas from across the community on the "Ideas" home page.

    To a certain extent, "Ideas" could be…

  • Introducing Communities Document Preview

    The Document Preview feature provides the ability to preview certain documents in the media galleries before downloading them. Here are some things to know about this function:

    • You can download a file that has a Document Preview.
    • The size of the preview can only be restricted by setting size restrictions on the media gallery.
    • If a preview is not available for a file, you only have the option to download the file…
  • The New-and-improved Be Communities

    Here are just some of the things that are included with the new-and-improved Be Communities:


    There is now more prominence and improvements to the site's search. The search field is located closer to “the action” on the home page as well on the pages within each community. During the site update, the entire database was indexed, providing better search results than before. Search scope (i.e. the current application…

  • Viewing an image at original size when inserting in a post or article

    When you insert an image that is larger than the width of the widget you are in inserting the image into (in pixels in the x direction), the image will either get "resized" to the pixel width of the widget or the image will get "cut off" on the right side. To avoid this when inserting an image in a wiki article, forum post, or blog article, you need to do a few things to make sure it can be viewed at its original size…

  • Search Using Tags via a Tag Cloud

    An alternative method of searching for information on Be Communities is to take advantage of something called tags. A tag is a keyword or term associated with a piece of content (e.g. forum post, wiki or blog article, file or image, etc.) It links the content to other content that it relates to contextually. Tags give you flexibility in structuring a Web site and in helping map information. Tags also make the information…

  • How to get community forum threads and posts sent to your email

    If you wish to receive posts made in certain community forums - or specific threads - you can accomplish this in a few easy steps.

    First of all, log into your Bentely Communities account and go to account settings.

     Ensure that "Enable email contact" and "Enable HTML emails" are selected. You can also customise what notifications you receive from under the Notifications tab.

    If you wish to recieve…

  • Creating Be Communities blog articles

    A while back, there was discussion about what blogs are and how they can be used. But what about options to use for authoring blog articles on Be Communities? Here are some do’s and don’ts that should help regarding that.

    Do not use Word to create your blog article

    As good as Word might be for creating and editing word processing documents, it is horrible in converting the formatting it uses for other purposes. I have…