Connection Roles allow you to link virtually any record type to another. They have been around for many releases and have not really changed much during that time. 
 
However, they are not often used as they are not as intuitive as other areas of the system. 
Part of the key to being able to use Connection Roles effectively is to carefully think what roles you are going to use and name them so they are easy to understand, and getting used to the terminology for the Connection To/From and Role To/From. 
 
Once you have mastered this, setting up System Views using Advanced Find will greatly increase the usability of this feature.. 
A great advantage of using Connection Roles (rather than the Relationship Type field) is that you can specify multiple connection to a record. For example an Account may be a Customer and a Supplier, and maybe a Referrer as well. A Contact may be an Influencer to another Account, a Spouse of another Contact and a member of a Networking Group. Connections can also be set up to show relationships to “me” rather than records within the database.. 
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