Why do I get a ‘Item Not Completed’ message?

Item Stuck in a Change Task

When using the Cradle Configuration Management System (CMS) you may come across the ‘Item Not Completed‘ message.

Item Not Completed Dialog
Item Not Completed Dialog

This happens when a Draft item associated with a Change Task gets deleted. As a result, the lack of the deleted Draft item, means the Change Task cannot be completed and the item cannot be added to a new baseline.

If you have an item stuck in a Change Task, fear not, there is a solution!

Resolving the ‘Item Not Completed’ Warning

To resolve the issue where an item is ‘stuck’ in a Change Task, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Project Setup and make sure the ‘Disable copying of baseline items‘ option is unchecked.

    Image of Project Setup with Disable Copying of Baselined Items Option Highlighted
    Disable Copying of Baselined Items in Project Setup
  2. In a query select the item shown in the ‘Item Not Completed‘ dialog. From the right-click context menu select ‘Copy‘ and create a new Draft of the ‘stuck’ item.
  3. Submit, Review, Register the newly created Draft item as necessary until it is in a Baseline, then close the Baseline.
  4. The ‘Item Not Completed‘ message should no longer show and it should now be possible to Complete the Change Task.
  5. If required, re-enable the ‘Disable copying of baseline items‘ option in Project Setup which was disabled in step 1.

 

Happy Towel Day 2017

Don’t panic

Wherever you are in the universe, as Douglas Adams wrote, “Don’t Panic”. We all like a bit of comfort and security, and if that means taking a towel with you that’s fine.

Towel Day 2017
Happy Towel Day 2017

However, if you would like the comfort and security knowing you requirements and designs are fully covered, and traceable, may we suggest Cradle might be better?

the answer to life the universe and everything?
The Answer is …..

Merging Items Together

Merging Items

One or more requirements or system notes can be merged into either a new item or an existing item. Merging items combines their frames, concatenating frames that appear in two or more of the source items. Cross references are created between the requirements being merged and the merged result.

You can control the effect on the item’s key, origin, reference and category codes. The merged item can be cross referenced to everything that the sources were, as well as to the sources themselves. The source requirements can be deleted after the merge (if you have read-write access to them) if required.

When multiple items are merged, conflicts arise when their components differ. Fields in the Item Merge dialog with a blue border show conflicts between the selected items. The Options section in this dialog helps define how such conflicts can be resolved.

Dialog produced when merging items
Item Merge dialog

Click here to see the steps on how to merge your requirements/system notes.

 

Using WorkBench Sessions

Would you like to save the state of your WorkBench environment so you can restore to this state again?

If you do, try using WorkBench sessions. You can use a session to save the state of your WorkBench environment so you can return to the same point each time you login by choosing the required session from the Login dialog.

What is a Session?

Sessions store information about your WorkBench environment, such as:

  • Current project
  • Currently set navigation in the primary WorkBench window
  • Current window dimensions
  • Currently opened definitions (only if saved definitions)
  • Currently set navigation for each query pane

Saving a WorkBench session preserves the size and position of the main screen and which queries are active. Then next time you login to WorkBench you can choose the session to use.

How can I Save WorkBench Sessions?

To save a session select Save or Save As from the WorkBench Window tab. You can then enter a name for the session before confirming.

How can I Restore WorkBench Sessions?

To restore a session select Reload from the Window tab. Once you confirm the session is restored to how it was when you logged in initially.

How to Select a Session on Login

From the Login dialog there is a Session menu. From here you can choose the session you want to use when you login.

Select a session upon login
Sessions option in Login dialog

Checking the integrity of your downloaded Cradle files

Want to ensure the files you have downloaded are the original files published by 3SL?

On our website as well as being able to download the Cradle software we supply two text files. These files contain checksums, which are used to ensure the integrity of a file after it has been transmitted from one storage device to another.Screenshot showing checksum download on website

Checksums available on 3SL website

SHA512.txt

This file contains SHA512 checksums for the files. You can generate a SHA512 checksum using the sha512sum command. For example:

sha512sum Cradle72_Setup.exe

Compare the output to the contents of the sha512.txt file.

Screenshot showing a SHA512 checksum result
SHA512 Integrity Checksum on Windows

MD5.txt

This file contains MD5 checksums for the files. You can generate a MD5 checksum using the md5sum command. For example:

md5sum Cradle72_Setup.tar.gz

Compare the output to the contents of the md5.txt file. The md5sum utility is available for Windows from various websites on the Internet.

Screenshot showing a MD5 checksum result
MD5 Integrity Checksum on Linux

Can I reset the auto number?

Auto Numbering Change and Reset

The short answer is yes you can reset an item’s auto numbering. The more complex answer is a word of caution.
Firstly to reset the auto number for an item you need ACCESS_BYPASS, or PROJECT project privileges.
This is to prevent any accidental operations by a user.
Secondly you should ensure you understand the issue you are trying to resolve and the consequences of resetting in a live database.

Item Numbering

Every item in the database has a unique identity made from a combination of attributes. These usually include the Identity, Version and Draft. Model based information includes the Domain and MUID. The identity can be manually entered or automatically filled. There are benefits to both. For example; if your customer sent you a set of user requirements in a CSV file, you would want to retain whatever ID system they had used UF1.45 to UF6.78 having a Cradle Auto ID and then having to place their ID in the Name field would make little sense. On the other hand when raising a new Issue, you’d expect them to be sequentially numbered without having to find the previous item and mentally add ‘1’ and type into a field.

When Values Need Resetting

In the case where a batch of items have been imported or created, but whilst at draft a decision has been made that none of them are required, or are fundamentally wrong, they would normally be deleted. The next item to be created would then have an auto number of say “Res-103” which may not be appropriate. In this case resetting the count for the “Result” item type makes sense.

When Values Need Setting

It is possible that batches of requirements come in from various sources, it may be convenient to start each batch at a ‘nice’ number point “Reference-1 … Reference-560” and then “Reference-1000 … Reference-1304“. In this case setting the number by advancing the count would be appropriate.
If new versions of the item were brought in by import expecting to overwrite the old ones, and the user forgot to mark “Ignore project’s current auto numbering” you would end up with two versions of the item. In that case 1..n and n+1..2n+1, deleting items n+1..2n+1 and choosing “Set Highest” would return the database to the point before the mistake.

When Caution Should be Exercised

Once the items are stored in the database, their Identities should remain fixed. Creating a new version of an item would normally involve the original version being baselined, a Change Request being raised and a Change Task being issued to allow the work to create the next draft version of the item. In this case the identity remains the same but the two versions of the item are unique by their Version and Draft. Changing the auto number when there are items in the database and then creating new items of that type would cause conflict with items already stored. This is not a desirable effect. Therefore, the message is be careful, this feature is necessary and useful in some cases but incorrect use could have undesirable side-effects.

showing the Reset Auto Number Counts dialog
Auto Number Reset

Celebrate World Telecommunications Day 2017

The aim of World Telecommunications Day is to highlight the importance of communication and how information travels across the world.

The day is closely  connected with the International Telegraph Union (ITU), the committee formed in 1865 to handle the emerging technologies.

We’re celebrating Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency signalling (DTMF). This is in-band signal alongside the normal voice data, between equipment and other devices and usually at the exchange. DTMF was first developed in the Bell System.

Data Structure Diagram illustrating DTMF
DSD showing DTMF signalling tone

Data Structure Diagram (DSD)

DSDs are a graphical alternative to the composition specifications in data definitions. In our model of the DTMF, the signal is shown comprising of the Low Tone and the High Tone. These are  made up of the individual optional low and high tone components.

If you want a teaser for World Telecommunications Day 2017, why is the 1633Hz frequency not shown?

Answer below:

Continue reading “Celebrate World Telecommunications Day 2017”

May 2017 Newsletter

May Already

Since our last newsletter: We sincerely hope that those of you who celebrate Easter had a nice break and are not too full of Easter Eggs!   We’ve also had an Activity Diagram to celebrate St. George’s day and tried to conquer the Universe on Star Wars Day with some Functional Modelling. That aside development continues on Cradle 7.3.

New Voices

We’ve expanded the writing team to include authors from elsewhere in the 3SL team. Because this is a blog, there is more emphasis on people’s personal insights into the Cradle product. This should make the style and tone more varied and hopefully more interesting to read.

As you may have already seen the 3SL-Blog is groaning full of new articles. These are mainly “Hints and Tips” and longer RM/SE articles. Increasingly we’ve found that some of the support questions that arrive here in 3SL towers are very similar. To that end we’re publishing them under the FAQ section.

If you have a burning question and would like to see an article covering a particular topic, drop us a line at social-blog@threesl.com and we’ll see what we can do. On the other hand, if you have a novel use of Cradle that you’re happy to share with us, drop us a line with the article, screen shots and accreditation details and we may feature it.

Non Graphic Interfaces

There is widespread understanding of the WorkBench and even Web Access interaction with Cradle. It is, after all the main way we interact with the data. However, there are many occasions when we want some of the data from Cradle but don’t want to or can’t use a screen to interact. This month we’re highlighting c_table.

c_table

This command line utility can be used to produce Reports, Matrices, Metrics, Graphs or Queries in a tabular form. This can be an HTML, RTF, CSV or SVG output. If every morning you need to go into a meeting, or stand at your ‘toolbox talk’ with a printed report detailing the number of ‘Issues’ with a category of ‘Raised’ you can do this by running one command. Creating a desktop short cut to run the command / batch file you need not start WorkBench just to run the query and publish the result. Even more cunningly a script could be triggered at 8:00am every morning to create the document for you.  Our blog article “Batch File Reporting in Cradle” adds more detail.

CompeteFor

If you are working or bidding on large infrastructure projects,  Cradle is now available through the CompeteFor procurement portal. Whatever the size of your Requirements Management or Systems Engineering task, Cradle is there from Concept to Creation.

Social Media

Twitter

May Day 2017 Madness Giveaway. Thanks to all those who re-Tweeted and followed @threesl, during our Twitter #FreebieFriday giveaway and congratulations to @baguettio, who won a copy of Cradle RM Desktop. It was really great to see re-Tweets from around the globe.

Hints of the Month

Here are some links to helpful topics since our last newsletter, they should improve your Cradle experience:

When working in large teams or over a long period an item’s edit history is very useful. See the LinkedIn discussion Who Changed That? When? Why?

When you have many items to submit all in one go, selecting them on the screen and submitting them is not practical. This article Configuration Management – Submit by Query discusses the alternative.

You can read Hints & Tips in the 3SL Blog.

Single Diagram Consistency Check

Want to run a Consistency Check on just a single diagram?

Consistency Check from the Project Sidebar

If the user doesn’t wish to open the diagram, to run a consistency check. They can just right-click on a diagram in the Project sidebar tree and select ‘More –> Consistency Check’ from the context menu.

Consistency Checking a diagram from Project Tree
Using the Consistency Checker for a single diagram

This will bring up a report on the errors and warnings within the diagram; it will not open the diagram:

Physical Architecture Diagram Consistency Check Report
PAD Consistency Check Report

Check Diagram within a Form

If the user is happy to open the diagram in a form, they can right-click on the diagram and select ‘More –> Consistency Check’ from the context menu. They can also select the Diagram tab and click on the Consistency button.

How to Consistency Checker a single diagram in a form
Single Diagram Consistency Checking from a diagram form

Once the check is done the diagram will show you with the colours red (item has an error) and green (item is fine) in the diagram. A report with the errors within the diagram will now open as well.

Physical Architecture diagram showing the errors in red
Physical Architecture diagram showing the errors

Once you have checked and corrected the errors found, you can then recheck the diagram if you so wish.

Complete Consistency Check of a single diagram in a form
Complete Consistency Check of a single diagram in a form

Once the diagram is error free, it will show all symbols as green and the report will not show any errors.

Click for more information on the Consistency Checker