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Questions and Answers


So you think Cradle might be suitable for your project but you are not sure if it meets your needs?

The questions and answers below may be useful if you are assembling a Request for Information (RFI). Select the questions from the Available Questions sub-sections and drag them to the Selected Questions section. Once you have populated the Selected Questions section press the Generate QandA (Permanent Link) button. This will produce a document with the answers to the chosen questions.

You can save the URL. Press the Printable button to produce a document with the selected questions and answers.

Press the Download as Spreadsheet button to generate a spreadsheet with all the questions and answers that you requested. Or you can press the Download as Empty Spreadsheet button where the questions, but no answers, are produced. This could be used to pass on to other tool vendors for responses.

We hope you find this section useful. If you have any further questions that are not available here please do not hesitate to contact us..

Selected Questions

Available Questions

Drag the required questions from one of the sub-sections below into the Selected Questions section above. You can then press on the button below to generate the document. You can also save the URL generated so you can permanently access the generated document.


Requirements

  •  Does the tool allocate unique identifiers to requirements?
  •  Does the tool allow classification of requirements?
  •  Does the tool provide a means to check the text in a requirement or other item for examples of bad structure?
  •  Does the tool provide the means to define 'good phrases' for the text of requirements (and other items)?
  •  Does the tool provide the means to define 'bad phrases' for the text of requirements (and other items)?
  •  Can a piece of information be entered manually by a user?
  •  Can a child be created from a piece of information?
  •  Can a sibling be created from a piece of information?
  •  Can a hierarchy be created from a piece of information?
  •  How can pieces of information be created in the tool?
  •  Can pieces of information be created by copying other pieces of information?
  •  Does the tool support adaptations of an item?
  •  Can the tool track the history of changes
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism to record all edits to each piece of information in the database??
  •  Does the tool allow the recording of edits to information to be triggered in a user-defined way?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism that allows multiple users to add comments to pieces of information?
  •  Can comments be added against each discussion?
  •  Does the tool produce a notification when a comment is recorded?
  •  Can a user query on discussions including the status?
  •  Does the tool provide mechanisms to perform user-defined actions when events occur within it?
  •  Can the tool record who edited the piece of information and when it was edited?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to easily compare edits?
  •  Does the tool record all changes to the cross references to/from the piece of information?
  •  Does the tool record more than 1,000 edits to each piece of information?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to view the edits to a piece of information?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to filter which edits to a piece of information are shown?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to select a specific edit and reverse it, such reversal creating a further entry in the edit history for the piece of information?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to reverse multiple consecutive edits to a piece of information?
  •  Can users define a separate set of attributes for each user-defined type of information?
  •  What type of attributes can be defined for items?
  •  Does the tool allow attributes to be defined that are calculated from the values of other attributes?
  •  Does the tool allow users to define attributes that are blocks of text with a maximum size greater than 10 Mbytes?
  •  Does the tool allow attributes to contain formatted text including special characters, i.e. RTF?
  •  Does the tool allow rich text to be edited inside the tool?
  •  Does the tool allow attributes to contain numbered and bullet lists, and embedded figures and tables?
  •  Does the tool allow users to define attributes that can contain a user-defined type of data, e.g. Word, Excel, PDF, GIF/JPEG images, with a maximum size that is more than 100 Mbytes?
  •  Does the tool allow users to define attributes that reference external data?
  •  Does the tool allow attributes containing numeric values to be automatically coloured?
  •  Does the tool allow users to specify that one or more attributes are mandatory?
  •  Does the tool allow data to be grouped into organisational units?
  •  Does the tool allow information types and attributes to be defined, changed and deleted through the tool's UI?
  •  Does the tool provide a database-wide unique ID?
  •  Does the tool allow information types to have an attribute containing an automatically generated unique ID?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to control the format of an automatically generated ID?
  •  Is the tool able to guarantee that unique IDs are not reused. ?
  •  Can the tool recover deleted information?
  •  Can the tool search the database to find information based on user-defined criteria?
  •  Can the tool search the database based on user-defined value(s)?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to define regular expressions to find information when defining a search?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to search the database to find linked/not linked information?
  •  Can the tool query the database for information based on a nested filter or query?
  •  Can the tool query on suspect items?
  •  Does the tool allow searches defined by the user to be saved and re-used?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to modify any attribute of a piece of information in a single item display?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to modify any attribute of a piece of information in a tabular presentation style?
  •  Can linked information in a nested query be edited by the user?
  •  When a user has finished editing a piece of information, does the tool automatically write that updated information to the database?
  •  Is a user's view of information in the database updated to show changes made by other users?
  •  Does the tool allow for the reordering of items within a hierarchical structure, e.g. moving a subtree from one part of the hierarchy to another?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to customise the entry of data entered by the user at runtime?
  •  Does the tool allow all pieces of information of all types to be shown for each piece of information found by a database search?
  •  Can the tool define a customisable set of operations or phases to simplify the interface for users
  •  Can the tool define a control panel that allows the user to quickly and simply launch tasks/outputs?
  •  Can you query for items plus their descendants?

Capture and Documents

  •  Can the tool capture and import items from source documents?
  •  Can items imported from source documents be edited?
  •  Does the tool allow unique identifiers to be tailored to the document?
  •  Can the tool reproduce the hierarchical structure of the section(s) of the Word document being loaded?
  •  Does the tool depend on the names of paragraph styles used in the source document so must infer hierarchical structure from paragraphs' outline levels?
  •  Is the tool able to keep an internal copy of any Word document from which information has been loaded, to protect the information source from external changes?
  •  Can the tool allow the user to specify from which part(s) of a Word document will information be loaded?
  •  Does the tool allow different types of information to be loaded from different part(s) of a Word document in a single load operation?
  •  Does the tool provide links from the information loaded into the tool back to its source (such as a paragraph, table, or table cell)?
  •  Does the tool allow any figure, diagram or other graphic in the Word document to be loaded directly?
  •  Does the tool allow rows in tables to be loaded into the database?
  •  Does the tool allow each cell in a table to be loaded into an individual piece of information in the database?
  •  Does the tool allow a single piece of information to be loaded from a table?.
  •  Can the tool allow a document to be loaded in stages, at different times?
  •  Does the tool support the capture of multiple versions?
  •  Is the tool able to highlight differences between versions of a document?
  •  Is the tool able to capture changes in a new document version as changes to existing information in the database or as new information (as appropriate)?
  •  Does the tool allow a new version of a loaded document to be deleted?
  •  Does the tool allow rules that have been defined to load a particular document's contents into the tool to be saved?
  •  Is the tool able to load information from PDF documents?
  •  Is the tool able to load information from a selected range of cells in an Excel spreadsheet?
  •  Is the tool able to load data from CSV files?
  •  When loading information from an external source, can the user specify whether existing items of information are overwritten or merged?
  •  Can the tool generate graphs and reports
  •  Can user-defined views of information be printed?
  •  Can any report be displayed within the tool's UI rather than being sent to an external file?
  •  Can the user define a standard format containing a user defined view?
  •  Can customised formats for reports be saved into different groups?
  •  Can the user define the format and structure of complete documents to be generated from the tool?
  •  Can document templates contain any information in the database?
  •  Can document templates make references externally to the tool's database and include external information?
  •  Can documents with any format, any structure, and any information content be output?
  •  Can any number of document templates be defined and stored for later reuse?
  •  Can document templates be saved into different groups
  •  Can the user load existing documents (corporate template styles) into the tool?
  •  To define a document template does the user need to write scripts in a special language?
  •  Does the tool allow document templates to reference either baselined information or the latest instances of information?
  •  Does the tool allow documents to be generated in a batch mode?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to designate that a specific instance of a document being generated from a template is one of the project's formal deliverables?
  •  When producing and storing formal documents what information does the tool record?
  •  Does the publishing tool allow the user to enter data at runtime to base the published document on?
  •  When publishing a table to CSV, can the tool choose the encoding to be used?
  •  Is the tool able to generate reports from information that allows the user to see in which formal documents a piece of information has been reported?
  •  Can earned-value / burn-down graphs be produced automatically?
  •  Can earned-value / burn-down graphs be produced against a time axis that is based on the last modification dates of the pieces of information?
  •  Can graphs be saved for subsequent re-use?
  •  Can customised formats for graphs be saved into different groups?
  •  Can the data from earned-value / burn-down graphs be exported in CSV for processing by another tool?

Data Display

  •  Does the tool allow information to be viewed one piece of information at a time, such as in a dialog or a user-defined layout?
  •  Does the tool allow information to be viewed in a simple list display?
  •  Does the tool have facilities to manipulate the data shown in views?
  •  Does the tool allow information to be viewed in a tabular display?
  •  Can the tool allow simple calculations to be performed on information that is shown?
  •  Can the tool allow a default view style to be associated with each type of information?
  •  Can the tool allow information to be viewed in a hierarchical display?
  •  Can the tool allow other attributes of pieces of information in the hierarchy to be shown in a columns beside the hierarchy?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to customise the attributes shown in single item dialogs, and to save such customised formats for subsequent re-use?
  •  Can the tool customise formats for single-item views of information to be saved into different groups?
  •  Does the tool allow default views to be set for item types?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to customise the attributes that are shown in tabular or hierarchical multiple item displays?
  •  Does the tool allow views of information to be colour-coded based on the value(s) of one or more attribute(s) of the pieces of information that are being shown?
  •  Does the tool allow views of information to display a specific value depending on an attribute's value. ?
  •  Can the tool provide a matrix view in which pieces of information are both rows and columns?
  •  In a matrix, can the tool display variable substitutions within navigation attribute values to allow matrices to be produced which include three item types?
  •  Can the tool provide a matrix view in which three sets of information are shown?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to save matrix formats for subsequent re-use?
  •  Does the tool allow customised formats for matrices to be saved into different groups?
  •  Can cross references be viewed, deleted, created from within a matrix?
  •  Can the tool provide a pivot table view?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to interact with a pivot table?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to save the pivot table formats for subsequent re-use?
  •  Does the tool allow customised formats for pivot tables to be saved into different groups?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to present multiple views of information at the same time?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to save a preferred layout of the UI and to re-use such layouts when the user next logs-in to the tool?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to define any number of metrics, each of which performs a user-defined calculation on the values of one or more attributes for any set of pieces of information in the database?
  •  Does the tool allow the results of a metric to be shown inside the tool and to be reported?
  •  Is the tool able to customise formats for pivot tables to be saved into different groups?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to define a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by which the project can be managed?
  •  Can the tool allow any number of KPIs to be shown in a management dashboard within the tool?
  •  Does the tool allow colour bands to be defined for a KPI?
  •  Does the tool allow KPI displays to be reported externally from the tool?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to interact with KPIs?
  •  Does the tool allow a graphical chart of KPIs to be shown from a web UI?
  •  Does the tool allow the user to save KPI display definitions for subsequent re-use?
  •  Does the tool allow customised formats for dashboards to be saved into different groups?

Traceability

  •  Can traceability be shown to enable users to understand the effect of impact
  •  Can information be linked by cross references to allow the user to reflect dependencies between different pieces of information in the database?
  •  Can users define different types of cross reference?
  •  Can users define groups of cross reference types, where each group can contain one or more of the cross reference types?
  •  Can users specify a group of cross reference types to use to browse relationships between items in the database?
  •  Can users define attributes that can be defined and stored in cross references to explain or justify the existence of a cross reference?
  •  Can users define rules that will control, and potentially restrict, which user-defined types of information can be connected by which user-defined types of cross reference?
  •  Can projects define the cardinality allowed between links?
  •  Can cross reference types, groups and attributes be defined, changed and deleted through the tool's normal UI?
  •  Can cross reference types, groups and attributes be defined and changed at any time?
  •  Can pieces of information of the same type be linked together?
  •  Can pieces of information of different types be linked together?
  •  Does the tool allow indirect linking between items of information?
  •  Is the tool able to show all pieces information, of all types, that are linked to a given piece of information?
  •  When copying existing information, does the tool allow the copied information to be linked to the original information?
  •  Does the tool allow a new piece of information to be created and automatically linked to an existing piece of information that is of a different type?
  •  Does the tool provide the ability to restrict users to only choosing a link attribute from the list shown when creating/modifying cross references?
  •  Does the tool provide the optional ability for users to enter link attributes as free form text?
  •  Can the tool allow only a specific user-defined type of information to be shown for each piece of information found by a database search?
  •  Can the tool allow only a specific user-defined type of cross reference to be used to show pieces of information that are linked to each piece of information found by a database search?
  •  Can the tool allow only a specific user-defined group of types of cross reference to be used to show pieces of information that are linked to each piece of information found by a database search?
  •  Can the tool allow multiple levels of linked information to be shown for each piece of information found by a database search?.
  •  Does the tool provide graphical views of the cross references?
  •  Does the tool allow the format of the graphical views of cross references to be controlled and for such formats to be saved and reused?
  •  In the graphical views of cross references, does the tool allow the types of linked information and the types of cross references to be followed between pieces of information?
  •  In the graphical views of cross references, does the tool allow the user to interact with the diagram?

Modelling

  •  Does the tool support SysML?
  •  Does the tool support UML?
  •  Does the tool include diagramming for capturing system structure graphically?

Import and Export

  •  Is the tool able to export information into an ASCII (not raw binary) format?
  •  Can export files created in a previous version be used in later versions of the tool?
  •  Does the tool support CSV import/export?
  •  For CSV import, does the tool support merging of empty fields?
  •  Does the tool support XML import/export?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism to support other XML notations?
  •  Can the tool allow an administrator to restrict imports and/or exports to specific users?
  •  Can a log of each import and export be saved?
  •  Does the import/export log include who performed them, when, and the controls used to perform the import or export?
  •  Can last modification dates and times be updated on import to when the import occurred?
  •  Can last modification dates and times be updated on import to reflect the information in the import file?
  •  Does the tool support ReqIF import/export?

Access Control

  •  Does the tool allow data to be hidden from users?
  •  Does the tool provide access controls by project?
  •  Does the tool prevent password reuse
  •  Does the tool provide a user-defined access control mechanism that allows access to the tool to be controlled and restricted?
  •  Does the tool provide a user-defined access control mechanism to an individual piece of information?
  •  Does the tool provide a user-defined access control mechanism to an attribute of an individual piece of information?
  •  Can a set of items be protected from modification (e.g. baselines, archives, snapshots etc.)?
  •  Does the tool allow read, update, delete, link, view, set-rights operations to be controlled?
  •  Does the tool allow multiple users to interact with the tool at the same time
  •  Does the tool prevent multiple concurrent users being able to update an individual piece of information at the same time?
  •  Does the tool apply locks to each individual piece of information and not to a group of items?
  •  Does the tool restrict the number of concurrent users who can simultaneously access pieces of information of the same type read-write?
  •  Does the tool scale to support a large number of pieces of information without any marked loss of performance?
  •  Does the tool allow a set of user accounts to be defined?
  •  Does the tool provide passwords to control access to user accounts?
  •  Does the tool provide facilities to support strong passwords?
  •  Does the tool allow an Admin user to disconnect another user from the database?
  •  Is the tool vulnerable to brute force attempts to discover passwords?
  •  Does the tool provide formatting controls for user passwords to enforce an organisation's rules and conventions for their form and content?
  •  Does the tool provide a password history mechanism that remembers a number of previously used passwords and prevents their re-use?
  •  Does the tool provide a password aging mechanism whereby user passwords are only valid for N days?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism to prevent a user changing his/her password more than once each day?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism whereby a user is forced to change his/her password after it has been set or reset by an administrator?
  •  Does the tool provide a preference where you can choose whether to show the Project Code dropdown list from each of the login dialogs?
  •  Does the tool allow users to specify that a type of information can be hidden from one or more users?
  •  Can several users work within the tool at the same time and all of these users access the same set of data?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism for notifying a user if he/she is attempting to modify a piece of information that is already locked by another user?
  •  When modifying information that is locked by another user, can the tool inform the user attempting this second access of the identity of the user who has the piece of information locked?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism to control who can create, view and modify existing information?

Configuration Management

  •  Does the tool allow formal review of one or more items of information in which reviewers make individual approve/reject decisions about each piece of information?
  •  Does the tool allow one or more baselines to be created that contain protected, approved pieces of information?
  •  Does the tool allow multiple instances (revisions/versions/generations) of pieces of information to exist in the database?
  •  Does the tool allow a project to define a series of one or more reviews which will allow information to be formally approved into a baseline?
  •  Does the tool provide the means to specify the group of reviewers to be involved in each review in a workflow?
  •  Does the tool allow the decision method for each review in a workflow to be controlled?
  •  Does the tool allow a user submitting information for review to control who will review the items?
  •  Can attributes be automatically progressed based upon a defined workflow?
  •  Does the tool provide an alerts mechanism that automatically sends predefined alerts to other members of the project?
  •  Does the tool allow a high level user to change item ownership and optionally a set of linked information?
  •  Does the tool allow a workflow to be defined for requests to change baselined information?
  •  Does the tool allow a workflow to be defined for the task of making approved change(s) to baselined information?
  •  Can the tool record the pieces of information that were in each baseline and the set of cross references to/from each item in each baseline?
  •  Does the tool allow historic baselines to be restored?
  •  Can the tool record changes between baselines?
  •  Does the tool provide a means to compare the contents of two baselines?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism whereby a user can revert temporarily to a previous baseline?
  •  If the tool can present a historic baseline, can it show only that instance of each piece of information that existed at the time of the historic baseline?
  •  If the tool can present a historic baseline, can it provide only those cross references that existed at the time that the historic baseline was created?
  •  If the tool can present a historic baseline, can it display in a read-only mode so that new information cannot be created or existing information deleted?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism whereby users can propose, review and approve changes to baselined information?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism whereby agreed changes can be actioned to create copies (new instances) of one or more pieces of baselined information?
  •  Does the tool keep all instances of all pieces of information?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism to remove, but not actually delete, one or more pieces of baselined information?
  •  Will the tool automatically discard edit histories when pieces of information are placed into a baseline?
  •  When a new instance of an item is created under the action of a formal change, does the new instance of the item contain the edit history of the original item?
  •  Does the tool provide a mechanism to automatically log all CM events that occur?
  •  When information is in a baseline, can a new piece of information be created as an editable instance?
  •  Does the tool allow an item to have many instances that correspond to the development and evolution of the item?

Database

  •  Does the tool allow multiple sets of data to be created and managed, one set of each project?
  •  Does the tool allow users to define any number of types of information (such as system requirements, verifications, issues, test cases and so on)?
  •  Can the tool handle multiple projects
  •  Does the tool support multiple web-based users?
  •  Is the tool able to store user-defined project configurations and reload them?
  •  Is the tool able to share and reuse schemas between projects (or equivalent concept as provided by the tool)?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to define that a schema can be a template that will be used to initialise future projects?
  •  Does the tool allow its databases to be held on a remote filesystem, such as a network drive that has been mounted?
  •  If the tool has a web-based component, which web server(s) are required?
  •  Does the tool need to be shut down for backups to be taken of the database(s) that contain users' project information?
  •  Does the tool require any routine administrative operations that require manual intervention?

Communications

  •  Does the tool support LDAP/Active Directory?
  •  Does the tool support LDAP for user authentication?
  •  Does the tool support Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)?
  •  Does the tool support SSL and HTTPS?
  •  Does the tool support IPv4?
  •  Does the tool support IPv6?
  •  Does the tool support TLS?
  •  Does the tool support multi-user connectivity?
  •  Does the tool support single user operation?
  •  Does the tool use TCP/IP UDP and TCP protocols for its internal communications?
  •  Does the tool allow internal communications to be configured to specific TCP/IP ports?
  •  Does the tool allow its internal communications to be run through one or more firewalls (for within a DMZ)?

Platforms

  •  Does the tool run under Citrix XenApp?
  •  Does the tool run under Microsoft RemoteApp?
  •  Does the tool run on Cloud Hosting Platforms like AWS and Azure?
  •  Does the tool allow its client and server software components to be run on different platforms (for example clients on Windows and server on Linux)?
  •  Which web browsers does the tool support?
  •  Is the tool client software capable of being run inside a Virtual PC or Virtual Server?
  •  Does the tool's server software require a dedicated server?
  •  Do of the tool's components (except for tool components that are designed for use only with Windows applications such as Word) should run on Linux?
  •  Are the tool's executables digitally signed
  •  Can the client software support ASP deployment so that it can be run on a server farm using Citrix or VNC or similar UI-redirection software?

Installation

  •  Is the tool modular and can they be purchased separately?
  •  Can the tool log licence usage?

Services

  •  Does the vendor provide a technical support service?
  •  Does the vendor provide a technical support service in languages other than English?
  •  When is the technical support service available?
  •  Does the vendor have a method to prioritise customer support issues?
  •  Can the vendor allow the resolution of the customer's technical queries to be tracked through the vendor's website?
  •  Does the vendor have a mechanism to provide remote support through webinars?
  •  Does the vendor provide training courses at various levels for various roles of users?
  •  Is the vendor able to provide training in English and in the customer's native language?
  •  Is the vendor able to provide project start-up and project support consultancy that will be delivered at the customer's site?
  •  Is the vendor able to offer project review consultancy to provide IV&V to the project?

Interfaces

  •  Does the tool provide an interface with PDF files?
  •  Does the tool provide an interface with Visio?
  •  Does the tool provide an interface with MS Project?
  •  Does the tool allow data to be exchanged between pieces of information in the tool's database and a Microsoft Project programme?
  •  Does the tool provide URL-style links between database information and any information in an external environment that can identify its information by URLs?
  •  Does the tool provide any integration with Microsoft Office, and if it does, which versions does it support?
  •  Does the tool allow a link between a WBS inside the tool and a project plan maintained in an external project management tool?
  •  Does the tool allow the WBS to be created automatically from the hierarchy of activities in a plan?
  •  Does the tool allow for any changes made in the project plan to be represented by updates in the WBS inside the tool, and vice versa?
  •  Does the tool allow for each WBS item to be associated with any number of users?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to see a list of all WBS items that have been associated with him or her?
  •  Does the tool allow a user to record actual progress against any WBS items that have been associated with him or her?
  •  Does the tool provide an API, either based on web services technology such as REST or a more traditional technology such as C or VB or both?

Vendor

  •  Has the vendor been operating for at least 5 years or more under the same ownership?
  •  Does the vendor have previous experience deploying its tool into a similar industry or project?
  •  Can the vendor provide references?
  •  Does the vendor hold any certifications?
  •  Is there a standard price list for the tool?