Covid-19 Good News

We are all feeling the pressure, stress and anxiety as the current pandemic sweeps the world. We at 3SL believe that we need to pull together and focus on the positives. This Blog post is to present you with uplifting stories, helpful advice and Covid-19 good news about progress being made in stemming the rise of infections and finding medications to help tackle this virus.

Please note all stories and science shown below have been fact checked to the best of our ability and with all scientific claims, please be aware that these are very early days and information is prone to change. With that in mind…

Can we trust the data?

Barely a day goes by in the lifecycle of the coronavirus pandemic without a new model or analytical tool aiming to chart the spread or predict the outcome. But data for COVID-19 is far from perfect.

102-year-old woman recovers from COVID-19

Coronavirus: 102-year-old Italian woman recovers successfully; docs call her 'immortal'
102-year-old Italica Grondona (Image Source: CNN)

102-year-old woman recovers from COVID-19 after 20-day hospitalization in Italy. GENOA, Italy -Covid-19 good news – A 102-year-old woman in Italy recovered from COVID-19 after spending 20 days in the hospital. Italica Grondona’s doctors said they nicknamed her “Highlander – the Immortal.” They said she represents a hope for “all the elderly facing this pandemic.”

Mercedes to make breathing aid

Professor Rebecca Shipley and Professor Mervyn Singer, who helped develop the device
Image courtesy of James Tye/UCL and the BBC

A breathing aid that can help keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care has been created in under a week. University College London engineers worked with clinicians at UCLH and Mercedes Formula One to build the device, which delivers oxygen to the lungs without needing a ventilator.

Joe Wicks’ PE Lessons and exercise videos raise £80,000 for the NHS

Fitness sensation Joe Wicks revealed today on Good Morning Britain that he has raised £80,000 for the NHS in just one week. The Body Coach-turned-nation’s-P.E-teacher, 33, has been hosting live classes at 9am, to keep children and adults active during this period of isolation.

Coronavirus: how to cope with anxiety and self-isolation

The coronavirus pandemic is causing increased stress and anxiety, particularly people with existing mental health problems, practitioners and campaigners have said. The behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings (@TVpsychologist) has been talking through how to cope with these feelings and offering advice to those who have a fear of isolation

Comparing HydroxyChloroquine Trials

One minor side effect of the pandemic is that perhaps more people will learn about what drug research and clinical trials can really be like. Today’s example: we have a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine from Wuhan that has just published on a preprint server. What’s good is that this one is blinded, randomized, and controlled (like the earlier hydroxychloroquine which one I blogged about here) from Zhejiang University, so we can actually talk about it rather than just spend all our time wondering what the heck is going on.

Treatment of 5 Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19 With Convalescent Plasma

Objective: To determine whether convalescent plasma transfusion may be beneficial in the treatment of critically ill patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

Coronavirus ‘is cornered and will burn out’ due to UK distancing measure

The UK’s social distancing measures are working and mean coronavirus now “has nowhere to go and will burn out”, a former World Health Organization director has said. While estimates previously indicated each person infected with COVID-19 would infect 2.6 other people, research conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine revealed that number has fallen to 0.62.

Online Cradle training courses

More Covid-19 Good news? We are holding our first online Cradle training course in May for Requirements Management and you can book your place upon it here. and you can read more details of it here.

Tutor Font – Lip-Flaoor

A Tutor’s New Best Friend

Lip-Flaoor keyboard font
Tutor using Lip-Flaoor on Keyboard

Whilst during lock-down,  it is not the most opportune time to be thinking about face to face training, we were interested to spot this little training aid. It should make classrooms and training seminars a lot easier for the tutor and teacher.


Cradle on a computer based on image

When a teacher or tutor approaches a student, they are often faced with their keyboard and screen upside down. This makes it very difficult to type and aid the student. However, with the release of the new open-source font Lip-Flaoor, the tutor is  able to use the keyboard as if it is the right way round and the right characters will appear to the student. It is available from most good font factories.


  • ✅The font face looks very like Arial on the screen, so if perfectly readable.
  • ✅The student does not have to type any differently as they do not hold the <ctrl> key, so their experience is no different.
  • ✅If the tutor can type well, the dual mapping works wonderfully, they say it is like using any standard QWERY layout the right way up.
  • ❌The tutor, if not a competent typist may struggle as their fingers may not hit the “right” keys
  • ❌The need to hold the <ctrl> key while typing to enable the switch can be a bit awkward.

National Pencil Day

National Pencil Day March 30th

The humble mark of a human. We’ve moved a long way from chipping runes in stones, scratching Roman wax tablets, one significant find was that of a special form of carbon. Borrowdale is well known for its beautiful scenery and scrummy tea bread especially served with cheese. However, in around 1565 a ‘lead like’ substance was discovered that could be used to make a clean defined mark. This was ultimately the birth of the pencil, and an industry in Keswick. If you visit there really is a museum for all things pencil.

Random Pencils
Surprising how many pencils are in my desk tidy

Pencil day seeks to reconnect us with the humble pencil. The tool used by artists, designers and writers for hundreds of years. Why not take a picture of the chewed, blunt, or exquisite drawing tools and post them (#PencilDay).

Whilst we would definitely advocate Cradle as a preferred design tool, allowing cross references and traceability, not something you get on paper**. The humble sketch is still a goto design tool. And we should remember that.

Manual ‘ V’ Cradle

Take a 5 minute coffee break; Sketch what your product does or your company makes, with a pencil and paper and then post it! (#PencilDay).

Pencil sketch of what Cradle does
Cradle Operations

We found some handy suggestions of other ways to celebrate here at  Go on, celebrate pencil day and sketch away!

**Updating manual cross references between your sketches and text is possible with pencil and eraser, but easier if the database looks after it!

March 2020 Newsletter

The World has Turned Upside Down!

globe in petri dish based on images from Anna Shvets & Polina Zimmerman on
World Virus

This undoubtedly, is one of the craziest peace times we have lived through. Our hearts and thoughts go out to any families who are affected by the terrible Covid-19 infection. A great big shout-out, to the healthcare professionals and critical service workers who are doing their best to keep our countries running. #WeAreInThisTogether

A Letter from our Managing Director

As the pace of the Coronavirus quickens and presents challenges to the way we work and deal with everyday situations, we wanted to reassure you that we are taking the safety and well-being of our customers and employees very seriously. We’re monitoring the situation to ensure we can continue to provide the level of support and service you need. Following government guidelines, we have taken the decision to modify our ways of working. This means a number of our employees will be transitioning to working from home where appropriate. Therefore as a temporary measure, we would prefer you to contact us via email. For support queries email For sales queries contact We wish all our customers and suppliers well, and hope you are all able to cope with the current situation.

Kind regards

Mark Walker (MD) and the 3SL team


Public Online Trainig CourseMany companies have found that a tailored training course can help drive the most beneficial implementation of Cradle in their organisation. However, we are aware that sometimes this is not suitable. When you only have a couple of new people joining the team, a very small team, or you’d just like to get up to speed for an extended evaluation, a customer on-site course may be difficult to justify.

3SL are pleased to announce that they will be holding a number of public training courses. These will be tutor led and either online or in a common venue. There will be candidates from all companies wishing to take part. The first course is Requirements Management and is an online course in May, so can be followed at home during lock-down as long as you have an internet connection, a browser and Cradle. Your tutor will lead you through the course requirements, provide  exercises for completion and be available through the two days to answer questions and give guidance.


Hardie Polymers tweet March 2020
Where is Wear?

We looked at where wear might be! With this tweet from Hardie Polymers.

We reminded our readers how they can re-create Microsoft® Word cross references in Cradle.

And wondered if M C Escher had been at work with some stair design.

…and Finally.

circus tent - based on photo

Last month 3SL supported Circus Starr “The Circus with a Purpose” Founded in 1987 it is a touring circus that boasts world-class, professional artists from around the globe. It provides free seats for thousands of disadvantaged, disabled or vulnerable children, and helps raise much needed funds for local charities. It’s nice to put a smile onto someone’s face.

Cradle Public Training Courses 2020

Training Course Dates for 2020

3SL are offering a number of Cradle public training courses in 2020.

Meeting Room based on image from Christina Morillo ·

These are subject to change and additional courses may be added as required.

Booking will become available through the website shop for  credit/debit card transactions prior to each course. For purchase orders and transfer payments please contact 3SL.


Date Subject Venue Cost Details
20th-21st May 2020 Requirements Management Online learning tutored course. £475+VAT requirements-management-may-2020
17th-18th June 2020 Document Publisher Online learning tutored course. £475+VAT TBD
21st-22nd October 2020 Requirements Management Barrow-in-Furness £570+VAT TBD
11th-12th November 2020 Document Publisher Barrow-in-Furness £570+VAT TBD

If you would like to be kept in touch with the details for Cradle public training courses 2020, please send an email to

Buy Now

All courses are available for direct purchase online.

Continue reading “Cradle Public Training Courses 2020”

Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management May 2020

Requirements Management 20th – 21st May 2020

3SL are pleased to announce the dates for this year’s first training course – Requirements Management May 2020

“A great opportunity for small teams, or a couple of new team members to get started with RM and Cradle”

Public Online Trainig Course
Online Course

Businesses that are introducing Cradle and full Requirements Management processes into their operations, can book training for all aspects of the roll-out, from the basics through to specialist administration courses – See here.  These courses are tailored and held at your premises and are ideal for getting a team up and running.

Public Requirements Management Training Course May 2020

If, however, you have one or two people new to a project or only have a very small team, this may not be a viable solution. With 3SL’s public online courses, you’ll benefit from all the normal learning, but will have the chance to network and share with other virtual attendees from other industries. This can be a cost effective solution to get you up to speed with Cradle and Requirements Management.


Date Subject Venue Cost Pre-Requisites Provision
20th-21st May 2020 Requirements Management Online learning tutored course. £475+VAT PC/Laptop – internet browser & Cradle installed ** Soft copy course materials, and printed certificate

If you would like to be kept in touch with the details for this Training Course – Requirements Management May 2020, please send an email to

Buy Now

All courses are available for direct purchase online.

Other Dates and Courses:

For details of other courses on offer this year please see our training calendar.

Continue reading “Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management May 2020”

Valentine’s Discount 2020

Valentine’s Discount

Love Engineering,  Love Requirements Management, Love Cradle!

3SL Heart based on Photo by SHAHBAZ AKRAM from Pexels
Love Cradle

Cradle is THE tool for massively scalable Requirements Engineering, combined  with Model Based Systems Engineering capabilities (MBSE).  From your first requirements, through design to delivery and beyond!

Cradle Enterprise allows you to share the love of engineering with collaboration from the whole team. Licence components are tailored to your team needs.

If you work independently you can still share in the love of good Requirements Management discipline with a number of pre packaged Single User versions.

You can own and install it yourself or opt for SaaS hosting. From the initial inception of your project through the elicitation, analysis, design, testing and documentation phases of your project, Cradle is there to support you. With this great offer we’re giving you even better value, or  allowing you to share the love with a charity – see ‘Enterprise licences’.

Go on, share the love, share this page’s URL and let other people know using the hash-tags #ValentinesDay2020 and  #LoveEngineering  #Cradle

Single User Product Discount

five pound notes
Five Pound Notes

Use the special Valentine’s discount voucher code to get £50** off any single user product. If you’re not already on the latest version of Cradle, we’d love you to upgrade using this year’s Valentine offer.

All you need to do is enter the £50** discount voucher code in the “Discount Code” field at the bottom of the shop checkout page during the Valentine’s week deal.

Enterprise Licences

We will offer £50** off EACH licence purchased during the offer period. For SaaS the discount will be taken off the per-user fee***. This may be taken as a lovely discount from your invoice or you can show some love and nominate a registered charity of your choice and 3SL will make an equivalent donation. If you find your project is expanding and you add a single REQ licence for another engineer you can claim one £50** Valentine’s discount / donation. If you are buying a new set of licences for a project say 5-REQ, 2-SYS and 1-MET that’s a total of 8*£50 = £400 off the licence cost, or a lovely donation to a charity of your choice.

Enter your code NOW!

Lefthand starsLoveRM2020Righthand stars

(*) Terms and Conditions

Continue reading “Valentine’s Discount 2020”

February 2020 Newsletter

Woob-woob-woob, Aaaharrha! – Aaaharrha!, Ding-Ding, waaaaAAAHAAaaaa

Siren horn based on Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Trying to find an onomatopoeic word for a siren, is a bit tricky (as you will see from our efforts above!). WarningWarning! you have an extra day in February this year. Just in case you’d not realised the divisible by 4 but not 100, unless 400, means 2020 will have 29 days this February.  Now that you have been Alerted to that fact, we can use this as the most convoluted (so far this year) seg-way to  remind you about Cradle’s Alert feature.

Unread alert dialog Photo
Alerts Dialog

There are no bells, whistles or sirens, and the most likely way you’ll know you have one is a reminder when you log into WorkBench. The tool bar across the top will show the number of new alerts you have. Alerts can be raised for all manner of things, from the Project Schema changing, to a new item being created or items being linked to items you own. You can see, read, clear them from the Alerts dialog. You can even send new ones directly to other users, “Gwendolyn – have you finished that review yet please?”. You can have Cradle create email alerts,  sent directly to a user’s in-box.  In summary, they are a useful tool to keep you up to speed with what’s going on in Cradle. More in depth information can be found in this post, or in the help. There are also a setting to control their accumulation.

Love is in the Air

3SL Heart based on Photo by SHAHBAZ AKRAM from Pexels
Love Cradle

Need more Cradle licences for a bigger project? Not upgraded your single user product to Cradle 7.5?  We want to share the love of Engineering, Requirements Management and our favourite topic Cradle. Take a look at this special Valentine’s 2020 discount offer.

Social Media


Alstom tweet Jan 2020
H2 – Future Fuel Tweet

We noted that the most basic element is starting to attract a lot of interest, with @Alstom‘s tweet.

We mourned the loss of #Windows7, and wondered whether users would turn to  Windows 10 or Linux

And Finally

February the 27th marks World NGO Day a chance to remember that not everything is run by governments, or businesses, that charities, organisations and collaborative groups are equally important in a harmonious world. So have a think how you can support an NGO of your choice, let others know too #WorldNGODay. To those that are keeping the wheels of society silently ticking – we salute you.

January 2020 Newsletter

A New Dawn, a New Decade, a New Year, a New Animal

Red Rat Silhouette
Year of the Rat

We all like to celebrate something new, and 3SL hope you do too. Whether it was the change in decade, the Norse/Gaelic Hogmanay, or the new moon bringing in the year of the Rat. We wish you a great start.

This year will also see a new chapter in UK’s history. At the end of the month we are leaving the European Union. Rest assured 3SL will still be here in Barrow, providing new releases, support, training and services. However, as new regulations come into effect we may need to change some contractual details. We will work hard to ensure these have as little impact as possible on your continued use of Cradle. We will keep you posted through these newsletters and direct mailings. So it’s a good time to ensure all staff that may need to know are signed up to receive communications. If you need to change your main company contact, write to .


Cyber Essentials Badge
Cyber Essentials Badge

3SL successfully completed Cyber Essentials and IASME/GDPR Assessment for 2020.

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats.

Cradle Update

We’re busy completing and testing the latest batch of features for Cradle 7.6. Release date coming soon.

Social Media


We were concerned and saddened by the devastation caused by the fires in Australia #AustraliaFires our thoughts are with all those affected.

Harting UK tweet about connectors
Harting UK Tweet

We noted that @HartingUK had investigated a problem with automated testing. The item itself may only need to be connected and disconnected a few times, but what about the equipment running the test….

We pondered on the options now #Windows7 has ‘died’.

And Finally

A Persian new year gift of an egg, symbolises productivity, and creation, but you’ll have to wait until March to celebrate.

Cyber Essentials and IASME/GDPR Assessment 2020

Cyber Essentials Assessment

Structured Software Systems Limited (3SL)  are happy to say that we have been successful in our re-assessment under the Cyber Essentials

scheme for another year.

Cyber Essentials Badge
Cyber Essentials Badge

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats.

IASME Assessment

Assessment for the IASME standard including GDPR were also successfully renewed.


The IASME Governance standard, based on international best practice, is risk-based and includes aspects such as physical security, staff awareness, and data backup. It is recognised as the best cyber security standard for small companies by the UK Government when in consultation with trade associations and industry groups.

Best Practice

We believe this sort of assessment will give our customers confidence when dealing with 3SL.  It is a good reality check, and we would encourage our customers use similar precautions for their businesses. Whilst these assessments can provide confidence in your data security, the unexpected may happen. Whether this is a malicious attack, or simply  a power loss and failure of your UPS resulting in disk corruption. Alongside good data security, we would also recommend you always have a good backup plan for your Cradle data.

Further Reading

The Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials Logo
Cyber Essentials