Upgrade strategies: MicroStation CONNECT Edition
5 Transition Strategies for moving to MicroStation CONNECT Edition (part 2 of 2)
Strategy #3: Get comfortable with and teach your users about Search
Two CONNECT Edition additions strongly empower your users to get up to speed with minimal hand-holding.
Start with Search.
Search is pervasive in MicroStation CONNECT Edition. You can search for help, files, content and more.
The new Windows/Office-style ribbon user interface keeps a search box front and center always (well upper left-hand corner, anyway). Using this ribbon search box invokes CONNECT Advisor (see strategy #4 below) for a host of support including Bentley LEARN Server content, materials from Bentley Communities and even YouTube videos to help you on your way.
Search from the Ribbon.
The CONNECT Advisor dialog box pops up when you begin keying into the Advisor search. In this case typing ‘line’ revealsa list of Bentley LEARN items, Bentley Communities results and YouTube videos. You can customize prioritization and add personalized feeds.
And most dialog and other pop-up boxes include a context sensitive search box appropriate for the task at hand.
Search within dialog boxes.
Strategy #4: Get comfortable with and teach your users about CONNECT Advisor, especially “QuickStarts”
Need help? Click the ? button in the upper left-hand corner of the MicroStation ribbon and you jump to the CONNECT Advisor--which brings together resources from a whole host of places: Bentley LEARN Server, Bentley Communities, YouTube videos and more.
Right at the top of the CONNECT Advisor dialog box is a search line – enter a few keystrokes and the list below starts populating. In the example below, entering ‘line’ brings up all kinds of resources.
In addition to this list, most enterprises are loading searchable links to their personalized project or enterprise CONNECT Advisor resources, so users have, right within-MicroStation, the access they need to things like inter- and intra-net pages, RSS feeds and more.
You can even set up ‘frequently viewed’ lists and other ‘folders’ to keep track of tools you use frequently – or even tools you use infrequently so that you cut down on search links.
One of the great things about CONNECT Advisor is that it is constantly updating in real time. In the example above, training resources started populating for ‘line’ dated October 25 right in the middle of our October 25th webinar. This was unrehearsed!
If you are not familiar with the huge number of resources available free from the Bentley LEARN Server, this would be a good time to get a feel for the self-training tools you can use.
The ribbon dialog box keeps track of things like ‘Most Recent,’ ‘Search Results,’ ‘QuickStarts’ and more. When you select QuickStarts you get a full array of 2-4-hour tutorials to get up-to-speed on concepts, best practices, and recommended workflows. The more you type in the search box, the more contextually sensitive results you will get.
Highlight QuickStarts to access tutorial information.
QuickStart tutorials are 2-4-hour mini tutorials.
Strategy #5: Get familiar with and prepopulate a few each: Data Types/Properties, Documentation and Display Rules/Reports, and Design Libraries
These three CONNECT Edition tools offer perhaps the most dynamic productivity improvements over similar V8i functions. They also have the greatest potential to entice new users and folks holding out from moving over the CONNECT Edition.
Data Types with their underlying database-driven properties open possibilities for smart designs, documentation and reports. Design libraries come alive when the properties underlying the graphics are intelligent.
The more your team uses Item Type properties, the more you can take advantage of CONNECT Edition Property Driven smart tools.
In the example above the tanks are storing more than liquids or gasses! They have size, pressure, thickness, location and much more. In fact, the ‘tank’ item in the design library can be a smart ‘parametrically-driven’ cell that creates and places itself using these underlying properties.
The more Data Type properties are built into a design file, the more you can do automatically based on these properties. In the example above the display, reporting, annotation and sheet layout have all been automatically created from the underlying data.
Using ‘smart’ property data also opens the possibilities for parametrically-driven design, automatic reporting, sheet creation and more.
I recommend that you pick one or two examples of design cells that are commonly used in your organization, set them up with Data Types and underlying properties, and use these in a few designs to demonstrate their power – first for yourself, and then for others you are trying to get on board with CONNECT Edition.
Do you have one or more strategies that have worked for you as you’ve implemented MicroStation CONNECT Edition evangelist in your organization? I want to hear from you and maybe share your story with others – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Raker has been writing about CAD and MicroStation software for over 35 years.
This article originally appeared in MicroStationConnections.com and is copyright ©2018 by ConnectPress, Ltd. Some of the material in this article originated in the live webinar “Why you should start using MicroStation CONNECT Edition” on October 25, 2017. You can watch the view on demand version of this webinar at http://microstationconnections.com/feature_full.php?cpfeatureid=118508. ConnectPress’ MicroStationConnections.com also runs a resource page for CONNECT Edition learning and migration at http://microstationconnections.com/spotlight.php?spotid=805.