OK, I've been beating my head on this new 'feature' in AutoCAD 2012 and it seems totally useless. What does it do? So I signed in, great! Now what? If I click on it, it opens a dummy browser, and I get access to...lo and behold...the same junk I get access to with my other internet browsers, plus a direct link to the Help files.
I cannot seem to find an overview of what it does, but if it does what it appears to do...nothing...then I can understand why there is no overview. What is worse, though, is that Autodesk seems to have removed some features that some of us liked, like InfoCenter, without a single word to anyone.
Sort of. They seem to cohabit the upper right corner of the screen, but I'm not sure what either of them do, so perhaps they are different. Exchange button opens the Exchange browser, which loads an Autodesk site that is dedicated to self-promotion and has some links to other Autodesk sites, like Subscription. Not useful.
The Online Services area shows that I am logged in to....what? What good does logging in do? Here is the exact text from the tooltip, "Sign in to Autodesk Online to access services that integrate with your desktop software." What does that mean? I might be a little grumpy as a result of no RSS in AutoCAD anymore, but I fail to see any benefit in either of these 'features'.
We use RSS to connect to our internal knowledge base from within AutoCAD, at least, we did before 2012. I can find no way to do this now.
Exchange is just a dummy browser with direct links to the Help and the Autodesk website, which is not really a feature. I am on subscription, but I don't see the benefit of logging in via AutoCAD, since it opens a real browser window if I need to get into my subscription account.
Not sure what the 'exact' issue is with your queries with this topic (I see your other more focused discussion), but I'm pretty sure I did not say anything about Exchange being useful to all for anything more than a single location for self-help for those seeking it.
No offense to anyone else reading this thread, but I'm still amazed to this day how little folks know about using search engines. So someone had to take a stab at putting things in one spot for them, and Exchange is version-1.0 of that attempt. Kudos for trying I say.
if you want to talk RSS feeds, please stick with your other thread so as not to dilute participation by others.
I'm not sure there is an 'issue', per-se, but rather this is a topic for discussion. I was just curious what other users felt about the move to Exchange, and if there was a perceived need that is now being filled for them. The Online Services login seems to be a part of that change, but I'm not sure what it really does, and if the others in the community see it as fulfilling some need.
My best guess is that logging in allows a couple more links to appear in Exchange, and if you follow those links, a new browser session will open, having automatically logged the user into a Subscription account.
In my opinion, if they want Exchange to be a truly useful tool, they should do a couple of things.
My final concern is that this seems to be an undocumented change. I've seen Exchange mentioned a number of places, but a true explanation of what it does and what features were either changed or removed as a result is not in any of the places I've looked.
Dean, you specifically mention people's inability to use search engines, and I join you in that lamentation (sometimes I even commit the sin myself), but I don't see a lot of search capability in Exchange. You could say that the links in Exchange are a sort of 'canned' search, but there is really nothing there that I could not access just as well in IE, Chrome or Firefox. Perhaps I'm one of the few that took advantage of the past capabilities. I know I was in the minority with Dashboard adoption, and boy did I get burned there!
Exchange is where you go for Help, in help type Exchange, and there you go. Also there are videos about what is new in 2012 and in that video they talk about Exchange.
Whether you agree that it offers any real value is yours to decide, I am not saying it is great, but it is fairly helpful for Help queries.
I came here trying to find a way to configure the "Autodesk Exchange" window to NOT come up when I click a Help link. There's no address bar. It WILL NOT Alt-Tab out of the danged way from the CAD window - I have to close it. If I'm looking up a complicated new procedure, with several steps, I can't tab back and forth between CAD and the Help windows - the Help is persistent and in the way. So I have to close it. What good is that? I want Help to open up in the default browser, and be available but out of my way. I got in the habit (back when accidentally clicking Help would land you in limbo for several minutes) of just having Help open. I'm more likely to check something, and read the actual procedures and related commands, if it's already open. But this is ridiculous. How do I get it out of my way? How do I specify that I want help to open in a true browser, not this pretend one?
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