Software As A Service (SaaS)

SAAS not SAAS, a rather confusing statement when you look at the use of acronyms. We can assure you that Cradle Software As A Service is what we mean. However, we’ve had a bit of fun looking at some of the other meanings.

Software As A Service not Southend Amateur Angling Society
SAAS not Southend Amateur Angling Society


Shared or dedicated servers and not the lifesaving work of South Australian Ambulance Service.Software As A Service not South Australian Ambulance Service

SAAS not South Australian Ambulance Service

The full Cradle experience and not the promotion of science in agriculture offered by the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists

Software as a Service and not Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists
SAAS not Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists


Cradle SaaS from Barrow but not to be confused with the historic Barrow-in-Furness product – Marsh’s Sass

Software as a Service not Marsh's Sass
SAAS not Marsh’s Sass

There’s a Cradle SaaS collection suitable for you, but if you’ve got a yawny #FridayFeeling, then maybe you need to look at the work of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service instead.

Software as a Service not the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service
SAAS not Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service

Mini Poll

Please answer our Mini Poll, whether you prefer the:

  • ownership, control and flexibility of software purchase,
  • simplified, outsourced benefits of a managed service.

Cradle-7.4.1 Released

3SL is pleased to announce the release of Cradle-7.4.1.

This is available for download from the 3SL website. This has some handy new features and fixes. Which are in place to improve your overall Cradle experience .

Cradle-7.4.1 is the latest patch release for Cradle-7.4, so is completely compatible with your 7.4 security code. Users with 7.4 do not need a new code and can download and install without charge. Users on older versions of Cradle, with maintenance, can move to this version at any time by requesting a new code from 3SL support.

Cradle 7.4.1
Cradle 7.4.1

Some of the new features in this release are:

    • Non-model item symbols have now been added to non-SysML diagrams. Item types (requirements and system notes and cross references are represented as ) Item symbols,  Link symbols and Context symbols.
      Non-model item symbols
      Non-model item symbols

      Details on the new symbols are below;

    • The link symbol will be the obvious connector which can be drawn between any item symbol and any diagram object that has a description. For example a specification / system note. Link symbols can only be connected to item and context symbols.
    • The context symbol represents the system note in a diagram but is a container within which other object symbols can be attached. This will show the existence of cross references between the context symbols system note and the descriptions (system notes, data definitions and specifications) accordingly.


  • Memory leak when querying RTF frames has been removed.
  • Cradle help now opens in the default browser for Web Access.
  • SysML reports now run successfully within consistency checker.

To download the latest release please visit our website at and login. Once you have logged in navigate to the Resources section to download this release.

Full details of the fixes in this release are in the Cradle help.

What is Engineering?

Engineering: (en-juhneer-ing)

The formal application of scientific and or mathematical principles to achieve a required goal.

This is quite a broad definition, there are many topics that are derived from the ‘pure sciences’ of  biology, chemistry, and physics and the mathematics behind them. Applying these sciences in different proportions gives us the terms we understand as engineering.  There are few ‘pure scientists’. Most professions require a mix with, say biology and chemistry to produce medicine or foodstuffs. Combine biology with physics to develop a space suit.  Physics and chemistry to produce batteries for your phone or car. Engineering is a mix of all these principles to solve problems and produce solutions.

Application of Science

As we, at 3SL, work (Software Engineers – application of logic and mathematical principles) there’s a construction site outside our windows. When you stop and think, there are a large number of principles being used in this civil engineering project. Definitely a lot of physics and mathematics, were used to calculate the safest ways to demolish the old building. A Police station, used to stand on this site. More science will have been used, by structural engineers, to calculate the forces and stresses in the new structure. A hotel and restaurant is to be built. Similarly the ‘Cast-In-Place’ 20m concrete piles that are being drilled into the ground will have chemical reactions occurring in the cement and ballast mix. These have been calculated and tested to produce the right strength pile to support the building.

You may not find much biology being applied on the site (save the organisms now living in the muddy puddles). However,  the chemicals used in the building from water pipes to paints will have had biological studies to ensure they are human safe, or how to use them safely.  Although,  when we have watched the seemingly graceful ballet of the excavators, diggers and trucks we can’t help feeling that the movements and joints were based on mother nature. The human and the control systems they operate, produce movements and operations which make it hard not to anthropomorphise the JCB!

Old Police station/ new Holiday Inn Express site Barrow-in-Furness
Civil Engineering Barrow-In-Furness

Discovery and Development

The principles used in engineering are or have been, observed empirically, calculated mathematically. They are then proven or developed by experimentation or modelling. The results are recorded and can be used in the next application. Therefore, that field of human endeavour moves forward. Whilst each engineering task will have a new goal, the principles that are applied will be based on the underlying sciences. The old building, that was removed, had different foundations from the new one. Development and testing move our engineering forward. We achieve more as knowledge and principles are built upon.


Engineers need to understand the principles they are applying. Whilst these may be at very different levels, they still require planning and thought. No one would expect the building  to be produced by pressing one button on an ‘app’, but neither would you expect the civil engineers and architects to start experimenting with concrete mixes for every building. That’s not to say that there isn’t a group of engineers experimenting with different carbon fibre additives to give the concrete more strength at a reduced weight; their results being fed upwards to the building design engineers of the future.


The formal application of these scientific principles, is how problem solving engineers meet the requirements. We know this as a design process. The whole being a ‘system’, this is systems engineering.  From the initial ideas and requirements management to the finished article, this engineering step is as crucial as the science principles upon which the solution relies. What ever engineering discipline you are in we hope you’ll agree, from concept to creation Cradle is the best tool you’ll see!

The Tail End

Whilst we agree that every job and every individual in our society plays an important role. There has been a bit of dilution of the ‘Engineering’ term in recent years. There’s a tendency for anything that is remotely technical to be labelled engineering. Anyone who understands which end of a screwdriver to hold gets called an engineer. Whilst I agree that there are chemical and physics principles afoot when I place the food in the pan for tea (dinner if you’re not from up North) and when I use the washing up liquid to clean the dishes, I don’t label myself a Domestic Engineer 😉

If you’d like to share your engineering thoughts for possible inclusion in a blog/Tweet/LinkedIn article, let us know your thoughts


Roald Dahl Day 2018

It’s Roald Dahl Day today 13/9/2018. A day to celebrate one of the best story tellers and writers of modern times with around 250 million books sold worldwide.


Stories tell a tale, something we can envisage and understand. They usually have a beginning introducing us to the situation, the main body describing the tale and an ending. (Whether a cliff hanger or tidy conclusion)

In business we often describe a process as a story. Sometimes formally (BPMN), or sometimes as a descriptive user story. This tells how the item, customer, (character or actor) interacts with their surroundings.

Often, as in the case with Dahl, the stories are further enhanced by pictures (often Blake) which bring the situation to life. Diagrams can be used to model your user stories and processes to encapsulate the current focus in that chapter of the system.


Illustration of component part associations in SysML for George's Maevellous Medicine
George’s Marvellous Medicine

Read and Enjoy

Whether you’re dreaming of revenge as George sought, cunfuddled as a Twit. If you are wishing you could jump into a chocolate stream with Charlie, or being spooked by the macabre story of ‘skin’,  remember stories are good for all. Children, adults (including business managers and engineers) all benefit from a story, whether for relaxation, or to help explain the complex. Go find a copy of a Roald Dahl and keep reading.

September 2018 Newsletter

Budget Thoughts

based on image from, costs are both project and capital / infastructure based
Budget Thoughts

As we head towards Q4, both businesses and governments will be looking at their costs to date and their costs for next year. As we mentioned in last September’s newsletter, one way of controlling your project costs is to use Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) with costings associated with each element. Those costs are for the actual implementation of the elements of the project, materials or labour. However, every business has base running costs associated staff, buildings, machines and software.

Running Costs

How do you plan your yearly costs? What does your jurisdiction count as capital investment and what as running costs? Need a fixed price for a fixed period of your project? Do you have an IT department that is more wrapped up in red tape than a red billiard ball in a tin of red paint within a red (reusable of course) red carrier bag? Don’t like the installation cost of keeping up to date with the latest versions of software.

If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above, then SaaS could be the way to go.  3SL is hard at work putting our hosted software service provision together. Watch out for further announcements.

Mini Poll

Please answer our Mini Poll, whether you prefer the:

  • ownership, control and flexibility of software purchase,
  • simplified, outsourced benefits of a managed service.

Cradle Latest Version

The latest version has all the latest 7.4 patches. If you’ve not downloaded and installed it, please consider doing so to ensure you have the best Cradle experience. Anyone with a 7.4 licence code is entitled to this update.

Fixes include;

  • An issue setting names for requirements and notes in the Item Properties dialog.
  • A glitch showing some RTF frames.
  • Exact match query not returning all versions.
  • An issue with historic blank alerts, and item ownership changes.
  • Opening parent diagram or deleting symbol could hang.
  • Document Publisher failed when checking for existing processes.
  • Web Access bug with LOGIN_UI_SHOW parameter.
  • Improvement in queries on RTF frames now supporting <null> and !<null> searches.
  • Better detection for Microsoft® Office 365 during installation.


User 3SL30 for a £30 discount see ‎
Discount code

We have a special “Secret (not!) Birthday Discount” offer of £30 off single user prices and licences.

However, those buying Cradle Enterprise licences can choose to donate £30 per licence bought to a charity of their choice. Ts&Cs apply

Social Media


tweet by B1M regarding hyperloop
Hyper Loop

We love keeping an eye on what’s new in the field of engineering. The prospect of an airline speed train caught our eye.
The vacuum in here is neither hand-held, vortex, bagged nor available at any supermarket / electrical retailer! However it will be required to shift vast quantities of air.

illustration of the use of pictures within modelling environemtn in MBSE Cradle tool
Cat in Cradle

And on a lighter note we mused at International Cat Day placing a cat in the #Cradle as an illustration in the use of images in diagrams as part of the MBSE (Model Based Systems Engineering) representation of a system.


Tour of Britain 2018 – Cradle Competition Day

Tour of Britain

Cycle from on Pexels
Tour Of Britain

We’re all excited here in Barrow-in-Furness as the Tour of Britain bike race starts here today.

We’ve got a great view from 3SL towers and will add a couple of pictures throughout the day.

Win a Copy of Cradle SE Pro with #Cradle and Tour of Britain

3SL_Logo_MediumLook for the TV/social media coverage. If you spot a 3SL logo in Barrow-in-Furness, follow us and send a tweet to @threesl with #Cradle and #TourofBritain telling us where the 3SL logo is physically displayed and  win an SE Pro worth £399* (first 50 correct tweets).
* Price valid as 07/09/2018.

Tour of Britain 2018 Pictures

setting up Tour of Britain Start at Barrow-in-Furness
Tour of Britain 2018 Setup
the spare bikes follow the race as cyclists moveoff
Support Bikes at the Ready
Terms and Conditions

Continue reading “Tour of Britain 2018 – Cradle Competition Day”

Can I keep an item’s change history when exporting?

Can I keep an item’s change history when exporting?

The simple answer is yes!

I certain scenario’s you may need to export items from one Cradle database and import them into another. Depending on your reasons for this, you may want to retain an items change history. However, this is only possible when using the Standard Cradle Export Format and Change History is enabled for your item types.

Enabling Change History

Each item type can have change history enabled in the Project Schema via the Project Setup dialog. You can see how to enable change history in this Cradle help article. Once enabled you should start to receive a change dialog pop-up when making changes to items of that type.

Image showing Change details window
Change details

You can choose to enter a change comment, which can include your reasons for making this change. This can prove useful in situations where there are a large number of users in one database enabling full traceability.

Standard Cradle format

Cradle export format files are unique to Cradle and can store every piece of PDB (Project Database) information which does include an item’s change history. However, the type of information that is stored can be further defined by you in the export interface.

Image showing export dialog
Export dialog
Related Articles:

Item’s Edit History

History Filter in Views


Cradle SaaS

3SL are would like to announce our latest product. The Cradle Subscriptions option is a SaaS (Software as a Service) product that that provides access to 3SL’s requirements management and systems engineering tool Cradle using remote servers. There will be no need to install software on your own company systems.

Cradle Software As A Service
Cradle SaaS


Cradle Enterprise offers huge flexibility in terms of the modules you can choose to licence and how many of each concurrent user you’ll need. This provides ultimate flexibility. In order to provide a hosted service and keep administration simple, Cradle ‘SaaS’ will be offered in four ‘flavours’ similar to the versions available as single user products. We offer the most popular licences in collection at a set ratio depending on the number of users.

So whether you are collating requirements, designing a system model, running a dashboard or publishing a document, there’s a SaaS collection form you.

Cradle Licences Collection Enterprise-RM Basic Enterprise-RM Pro Enterprise-SE Basic Enterprise-SE Pro
Functions Requirements elicitation and processing. Requirements elicitation and processing with project management functions and publishing Requirements and System modelling. Requirements and System modelling,
project management functions and publishing

Shared or Dedicated

For smaller projects, at a really keen price, you can pick a shared server hosted by 3SL with a shared database backend. This is ideal to get you up and running or to give you an easy way to test the benefits of an enterprise level system. This would be a great way of quickly scaling from a single user system to an enterprise arrangement as more people onboard to you project.

For larger corporate users wanting a little more control and no shared resource, Cradle is available on a cloud server. There will be a dedicated CDS (Cradle Database Server) just for your projects. This will provide you with the full power of an enterprise system without you needing your own IT hardware or managers.


Cradle SaaS can be packaged into simple fixed term durations. These will be available from one month to sixty months. This will allow customers to budget and ensure cover for a whole host of projects. You’ll be free to finish or renew as your project needs at the end of a term.

Article UpdateD

02/10/2018 – Release of SaaS

Remote Workers and Cradle – Connecting with SSH Tunnels

Your company is using Cradle, but you’re a remote worker – how do you connect to the Cradle server?

If you have the Cradle client utilities installed locally without a local CDS then one method, if you have an externally accessible Linux/Unix system is SSH tunnels.

To use SSH tunnels you need to “lock down” the Cradle server to use specific ports, so they’re not randomly allocated from a wide pool.  You can do this in the $CRADLEHOME/admin/ports file.

Make a note of the internal IP address of the Cradle server – we’ll use CDS_IPADDR later in this post to reference this address. (In this test environment it is

Cradle Configuration Changes

As an example of a small Cradle system with 6 users we can configure the ports file as such. (We’re setting ports for each possible user and an extra)


WBENCH_TCP_PORT_NUMBER      = 16170-16176
CWS_TCP_PORT_NUMBER         = 21211-21217

This ports file needs to be copied to all the clients using this CDS.

Putty Configuration Changes

Now we can look at configuring the SSH tunnels. To do this we’ll be using PuTTY – probably the most popular Windows SSH client.

First off, click on the Category Session and enter the hostname or IP of the externally accessible box in the Host Name field.
Now expand the category SSH and click on Tunnels.
For each of the ports configured in Cradle we need to add an entry.
So, for the first one:
Source port  23960
Destination CDS_IPADDR:23960
You can leave the radio buttons alone (set to Local & Auto)
Now click the Add button.

In the Forwarded Ports box you should now have an entry similar to:

Repeat this for all the other ports and we end up with a Forwarded ports section which looks like (if you scroll up and down):

Cradle Putty Tunnel Settings


Click back on the category Session, then add a name to the Saved Sessions and click on Save – so we don’t have to do this again.

If you now click on Open and login to the Linux host.
You can now use your local Cradle client with it pointed to the CDS as being on your local IP.

While you have this SSH session active, you will be able to access the CDS over the SSH tunnels.

Related Articles

Remote Workers and Cradle – how do they communicate?