I'm starting to dig into Connect (ORD) and I'm trying to wrap my head around how this will work in the least disruptive way.
Currently, we have all of our standards (configurations, DGNLIBs, cell, resources) on the M: drive. There's a Bentley directory, and then each client has a directory under that. My PCFs contain the variables necessary to load the standards for that client. Since each client has any number of design projects, that made more sense than trying to create a PCF for every project we're going to work on - the list would have been hundreds of projects long if there were a PCF for each project.
Project design files are stored on a different network drive (S:). Everybody knows where they are, and all of the departments have equal access to any project they are a part of. Most people working on a project know which client that job is for, so when they open Microstation, they select their Project (PCF) User (them) and they navigate to the S: drive and open their files.
It's not super technical, but it's been effective enough. Any project manager can create a design project, and there's nothing really technical to it because the CAD just kind of floats on top. It's not an integral part of project creation.
That has me thinking about the new Connect workspaces and worksets - I'm not entirely sure how that would shake out over our network.
The way I understand it right now (and feel free to enlighten me!) is that, for our purposes, workspaces could be essentially what our client PCFs are now. Those would go onto our M: drive, similar to now.
But what about worksets? Those would seem to be the actual design project directories on the S: drive...and that sounds like a lot of overhead to keep managed. That sounds as if the person who creates the project directory would also need to know how to generate a workset to go along with it. Or they would need to remember that a workset needed to be requested to go along with the directory before anyone starts working. Both of which are a bit much to expect our project managers to remember...And the list of worksets would be dozens and dozens long. Can I even store my worksets in a place separate from the workspace?
Is it possible to have more than one workspace, but then just one "generic" workset? I can see the benefit of having a workset for each project, but I'm concerned that creating them all might be too restrictive or complicated for "anyone" in the company to do. How essential is it to have only data for a specific project locked into a workset? Can a workset span multiple projects?
I understand that there will have to be some rethinking about how best to manage data with the new Connect-type configurations, but I want to disrupt the company process as little as possible. I can appreciate that I could be missing out on some neat features by sticking as closely as possible to the established way we have here, but I really don't want to turn everybody upside down, or tell them that Transportation has to have something special.
Does anyone have suggestions, experiences, things NOT to do?
Do your clients have ORD Configurations of their own you can download, like DOT's?
In ORD your project dgn files can stay on the S: drive, and your standards on the M: drive. Just make sure your standards for ORD are stored in a folder structure separate from your V8i standards. While some are shareable between versions, you'll be pulling your hair out if you mix and match them.
From your description, what you have now as Project PCF's will become WorkSpaces in ORD. At the WorkSpace level for each client you will define the standards and resources specific to that client. Under each client WorkSpace you will have one, or more WorkSets. You can certainly use just one WorkSet per client if you want (we have some clients who work that way), but then you won't be able to take advantage of the custom WorkSet properties to make filling in your title blocks easier.
A WorkSet belongs to a single WorkSpace, so you cannot have a WorkSet that is used by multiple WorkSpaces.
You might want to download some of the DOT ORD Configurations and check them out, even if they are not clients of yours. Most of them follow the same Bentley template for setting up their ORD configurations. You can use them as examples on how to set up your own if you have to start from scratch.
You can contact PM me, or contact me offline if you want to discuss this further.
I appreciate that, Rod.
Our DOT has an "alpha" Configuration, and I have been told it is not complete nor ready to use. Provided at this stage as a courtesy to those of use who want to see the general direction. But their setup has always been designed for their in-house use, requiring a certain amount of repathing to run on anyone else's network. I'm digging into it, but I figured if I can get my head around WHAT things are supposed to be, it'll be easier to "see" where they are going. I'm done for today, but I may just hit you up soon. Thank you so very much.
Microstation 08.11.09.829Power GeoPak 08.11.09.878Power InRoads 08.11.07.615
Hi Mary, I'm in the same boat as you, for V8i, we do things just as you do with your M and S drives. I am too trying to digest how Worksets are going to play out. We're working with multiple DOTs, and while it seems Bentley made a better attempt at driving how the configs should be put together, I'm seeing there still isn't as much consistency as I was hoping. Our most established DOT client using ORD has us create a workset for every project which basically creates a project directory with the DOTs folder structure on what would be your S drive. This is not ideal for us to keep disruption and administrative efforts minimal. The discussion I started the 25th was to see how others were working with worksets as well.
I'll make the same offer to you. You can PM me, or contact me offline to discuss this further.
Other than the location of the "CAD data" what other stuff is really needed ?
Like you - all of our standards are the same for every project under that client.
What I have done is create a "generic" workspace and then under that I have the workset that contains the standards. So essentially now my users pick a workspace/workset for the project they will be working on. Since the workspace is required (which I don't agree with) I simply just make it a pointer to load the workset and nothing more.
So if I have 6 clients and 60 projects (10 each for example) I will have 6 workspaces and each will contain a workset (so 6 worksets). I load all the standards in my worksets and point to the "S" drive where the working files are. At that point the users can browse to the needed sub folder on the "S" drive for the files.