What's All the Buzz About CONNECT Advisor in AutoPIPE?

NOTE: CONNECT Advisor is only available with AutoPIPE v11.1 through v12.5.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at CONNECT Advisor and how Bentley AutoPIPE v11.4 leverages this in-application cloud service to boost your team’s productivity, improve your project execution, and reduce your time-to-market for your engineering projects.

Most of you are probably already aware of the volumes of product-specific information and documentation Bentley provides with AutoPIPE, but maybe there’s some of you that aren’t fully aware of all these resources and exactly where they’re located.

When you install AutoPIPE, three comprehensive help files are placed in your local directory (or on a network drive if that’s where you installed). These help files can also be accessed directly from the AutoPIPE ribbon, or by pressing the Help button on any dialog.

The main program help documents what’s new and changed in the application, walks you through some getting started exercises and examples, gives you an introduction to the interface, and documents every dialog in the program and fields within those dialogs. There’s also a Frequently Asked Questions area, Technical Support details, and a Supplemental Documentation area that has volumes of stand-alone PDFs that cover specific areas of the program.

The second help file is for Reference Information, which details AutoPIPE libraries, program files like unit files, and all the calculations and considerations used by the application.

The third addresses modelling approaches. This help file gives you a set of practical examples arranged in “How To” procedures that guide you through modeling typical piping systems. This file also documents modeling and stress scenarios you’re likely to encounter, and the procedures for modeling these elements in AutoPIPE.

If you don’t already, you should take advantage of Bentley Communities – it’s a free and invaluable resource. Bentley’s online community lets you interact with other users and Bentley experts who have knowledge and expertise with products, disciplines, projects, and industries similar to your own. Communities allows you, the user, to be an active participant in product-related and industry-related conversations and solutions. It’s really your chance to be heard and to share ideas and best practices. The AutoPIPE Community has areas dedicated exclusively to Forums, Wikis, Product Announcements, and a whole lot more.

The Bentley LEARN Server gives you direct access to learning curriculum and materials tailored for specific products, disciplines, and skill levels. It also provides access to recorded learning sessions, virtual classes, webinars, hands-on workshops, video lectures, and Special Interest Group sessions. Think of it as a virtual classroom for engineers. There’s literally thousands of hours of training materials available here.

I’m sure we’ve all seen YouTube, but did you know Bentley has a Pipe Stress Analysis YouTube channel? There’s hours of video content posted there on a variety of subjects – product information, industry hot topics, benefits analysis, How To procedures, and so on. Take a minute and subscribe – it’s definitely worth your time.

On Bentley’s corporate website, we have an entire area dedicated just to Upcoming Events – training sessions, industry events, Special Interest Groups, and so on. We further categorize these offerings by live and recorded events, webinars, tech talks, conferences, and training opportunities.

If you were to consider all the product assistance resources we just covered, that can be overwhelming number of windows, webpages, bookmarks, and tabs to keep track of and to navigate. If you’re anything like me, those windows can occupy valuable real estate on your screen.

So, Bentley came up with a great solution. CONNECT Advisor consolidates all these resources with a single, non-intrusive, access point. This how CONNECT Advisor looks alongside AutoPIPE:

You can see this is a floating window, so you can move it to the most convenient place that fits your working style or even to another monitor. The window is also scalable, so you can adjust the size to your preference. There’s even a zoom slider to control the magnification level.

Remember, this instance of CONNECT Advisor is “wired” directly to AutoPIPE so that all the information you see is automatically filtered to apply only to AutoPIPE.

When CONNECT Advisor is initiated each time, it automatically retrieves and displays the most recent content posted to the Bentley LEARN server, Bentley Communities, and YouTube. This can be useful for keeping up on the latest “hot topics” and what’s happening with AutoPIPE.

Don’t just take our word on the benefits of leveraging CONNECT Advisor in your organization. Here’s what a few of our users had to say.

Read the next installment in this series: "Getting the Most out of CONNECT Advisor in AutoPIPE."