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

Season’s Greetings 2019

Season’s Greetings from 3SL

节日祝福, С Новым годом и Рождеством, Saudações da temporada, Prettige Feestdagen, Frohe Festtage, Cyfarchion y Tymor, 계절의 인사, Joyeuses Fêtes.

3SL Christmas star - Based on Photo by Nick Collins from Pexels
3SL Star

Whatever your beliefs and however you celebrate the end of 2019, 3SL would like to wish all its customers, potential customers, distributors, partners and staff, Season’s Greetings, a Happy Christmas and peaceful family times over the festive season. We’ll see you again in the new year.

The UK offices will be closed, from end of business on Tuesday 24th December to 2nd January 2020. During that time there will be no one manning the phones. However, you can send support enquiries to and we’ll deal with them as soon as we can.

December 2019 Newsletter

‘Tis The Season To Be…..

Spending Lolly?

 Photo by Burak K from Pexels
Christmas Tree

It sometimes feels, that at this time of the year, we’re just “pushing trolley” piling it high with presents and food. Swept along with the commercialism of the season, “Buy Now“, “Massive Discount” adverts. And all while listening to endless repeats of “Now That’s What I Call Christmas” played over the tinny PA system. (Congratulations if you took advantage of Cradle #BlackFriday deal! To remain on point, “Only a few days left to buy a copy of Cradle for ChristmasLook into my eyes; You want to buy now).

Whilst indulging in the festivities, don’t forget to pause a while and consider those less fortunate. Making an extra effort to put change in a collector’s tin, donating to your local food-bank, or shelter can make a great difference.


Yep, you didn’t finish that report before leaving for the holiday. Over the holiday you ate too much. You didn’t take advantage of that gym membership you bought last New Year? Well, you can make promises to start the  New Year afresh and do all those things you intended to do in 2019. (You can see this is working up to another sales point) So if extra copies of Cradle are not on your Christmas list, make sure it’s lined up for new projects starting in 2020.

Build a Folly? or Buying a Collie?

 Photo by Aloïs Moubax from Pexels

If you like, as long as it is at home and not one of the projects at work – Customers will always see through a façade eventually.

Remember a dog is not just for Christmas.


Above all, we hope if you get a break, you find time to relax with family and friends. Whatever this Winter (Summer – to our friends South of the equator) season means to you, we wish you all the best from 3SL.


Cradle WSI resources
WSI Resources

The Cradle Web Services Interface is an API (Application Programming Interface) to Cradle to allow you to develop your own interactions with the database.
Cradle has long offered a C and .Net interface to allow programs to retrieve and store database items. Whilst the standard API is a comprehensive interface, it requires a fair degree of programming knowledge and support structure to create and maintain applications which interface to Cradle.
The new Cradle WSI is a REST-based HTTP interface, this  offers an alternative method by which users can make data requests using a URI to the Cradle Web Service. Through support of standard HTTP methods POST, GET, PUT & DELETE, data can be retrieved and manipulated. The JSON data returned can be manipulated by any script or programming language you choose. Updated data can then be returned to Cradle.  You may want to interface with another product, linking Cradle data, or simply to output  and use in a different data visualisation tool. To see the full range of capabilities see the product documentation for the Web Services Interface User Guide. In order to use these facilities, talk to us about a Cradle API licence.

Look Back……

Wow 2019 has flown by, in writing our December 2019 Newsletter, we take a peek back at what happened:

  • Cradle 7.5 released
  • WSI  – Web Services Interface http REST interface
  • ReqIF – A standard for requirement interchange can now be imported and exported from Cradle
  • ODBC database support – if you want to store your data in an Oracle or MySQL data-farm
  • Baseline histories can be read through our API
  • Non-model items (requirements and system notes) on Cradle diagrams.
  • We passed muster with ISO9001:2015
  • G-Cloud 11

Social Media


piece of one of the UK's newest submarines
BAE Engineering

We wondered quite what was inside the 150 tonne engineering component moving along Barrow’s streets, was it a bit of submarine or some strange alien recovered from a crash landing in Barrow docks?

Just in case it had escaped your notice, we had a general election, but we opted to ask people to vote for supporting Cradle

And Finally

That’s all for the December 2019 Newsletter , and indeed this year. If you would like to suggest a topic for next time, drop us a line

November 2019 Newsletter

November Luck, Eddystone and Adaptations

The type of luck for Guy Fawkes and the discovery of the plot may depend on your political and religious views. November also appeared to have good and bad luck for a lighthouse. Read our November 2019 newsletter to find out more.

Sir John Barrow Monument - Hoad Ulverston Cumbria
Sir John Barrow monument – based on Eddystone lighthouse

The problem with undersea rocks, is they are difficult to see. If they are too near the surface they can easily catch wayfarers off guard with disastrous consequences. Painter and engineer Sir Henry Winstanley solved the problem of ships being wrecked off the Plymouth coast with the construction of the first Eddystone lighthouse. The wooden structure was first lit in November 1698, good luck for all the sailors. However, again in November bad luck struck,  the lighthouse was washed away in the Great Storm of 1703. The next incarnation came from John Rudyard, a silk merchant;  an adaptation of the initial idea,  a flashing light built out at sea right on top of the treacherous rocks. This time a brick core, covered with planks and caulking almost like a vertical ship. The lighthouse survived all its Novembers, only to burn down in December 1755. The next adaptation was by a civil engineer, John Smeaton. This design revolutionised lighthouse building. It was ready and shining just before November 1756. This concrete based construction lasted until 1877, and it was the erosion of the rocks upon which it stood, rather than the construction which failed. So great was this engineering design, it was reconstructed on Plymouth Hoe as a memorial, a copy was even built here in Cumbria, standing as a memorial to naval administrator Sir John Barrow. The current adaptation has stood for 140 years and fingers crossed it has no bad luck in the November weather currently battering the UK. The moral of the story, as far as engineering goes, build upon what is good, adapt and improve your design and don’t reinvent the wheel (or lighthouse). To read more on adaptations and reuse download our whitepaper, or see the Cradle help.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals

five pound notes
Five Pound Notes

We’ve got some great discounts for you or a donation to a charity of your choice with our 2019 discounts.

Social Media


B1M show us about the engineering spans in New Yourk
B1M tweet Nov 14th

Another item’s design that often evolves and adapts, is that of the bridge. We looked at a story from B1M about bridges in New York. We reminded you  there are different ways to control your password in Cradle, and hosted a student from Furness College on work experience.

And Finally


We’d like to mark our respects for the fallen, and hope you all had a peaceful remembrance day on the 11th. That’s all for our November 2019 Newsletter, let’s hope you have plenty of good luck. If you would like to suggest a topic for next time, drop us a line

Barrow Holiday Inn Express Barrow – Nearing Completion


3SL were given a sneak preview of the new Holiday Inn Express Barrow hotel opposite our offices today.

We were given a warm welcome at #HIEX_Barrow, while final preparations and tidy ups continue.  The facility has a great set of meeting rooms along with plush accommodation, food and bar facilities. All hosted in a friendly informal atmosphere.


What better time to consider whether you would benefit from some Cradle training, and a few days away near the English Lake District! Whether you are a requirements manager, a quality controller, a systems administrator or system design engineer, call us now to discuss your requirements.

Holiday Inn Express Barrow Construction
Holiday Inn Express, Barrow-in-Furness


The Holiday Inn can be booked directly. Please contact 3SL for details of rates.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2019

Flash Discount Sale

Great Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2019 deals this November / December. MIMO[1]!

Roll-up! Roll-up! Get Your  #BlackFriday / #CyberMonday Discounts

Buy your Cradle software and get a #BlackFriday / #CyberMonday discount
Cradle Discounts

Cradle combines a hugely powerful Requirements Management tool for massively scalable requirements engineering, with Model Based Systems Engineering capabilities (MBSE). It is available in a number of single user versions, or as tailored multi user enterprise packages. 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 offering to support a charity – see ‘Enterprise licences’.

Single User Product Discount

Use the special discount voucher code to get £50** off any single user product. If you’re not already on the latest version of Cradle, this year’s Black Friday is an ideal opportunity to upgrade.

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 Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2019 flash 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 discount from your invoice or you can 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** 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 starsBFCM2019Righthand stars

(*) Terms and Conditions

Continue reading “Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2019”

Work Experience – October 2019

Furness College Work Experience

Day 1:

work experience with Cradle

My week placement from Furness College at 3SL started with an introduction to the company’s employees, courtesy of Jan. She briefly addressed their roles and explained the layout of the office, before showing me to my desk. There was a laptop set up ready, and it was on this I’d be working for the rest of the week.

The first task given to me was to work through Cradle’s comprehensive tutorial, so I could learn its functionality through experience. This knowledge, albeit gradually gained, would serve me well over the following days.

Day 2:

Cradle Development database
Cradle Development Database

My second day began with one of 3SL’s Support Engineers, Cam, explaining how to operate their development database. It was very intuitive, being another instance of the Cradle software. If anything demonstrates a company has confidence in its product; it’s the fact that they use it themselves.

On here, the company had prepared a series of tests for me to perform across many of Cradle’s various facets. These helped to expand my understanding of Cradle’s applications, and gave me a valuable insight into the procedures involved in testing a software product.

Day 3:

Cradle screen
Features requested by customers

The third day, I was taught again by Cam on how to navigate and utilise the support call database, where the company logs any exchanges they have with their customers. One feature of this particular service is said database’s external accessibility – which, if they’re so inclined, allows Cradle users to see how their call is progressing.

Some calls may reveal flaws in the software; either by exposing bugs overlooked during testing, or by bringing to light new issues.

Customers may also call to investigate whether Cradle provides a certain feature they’ve found themselves needing. If it doesn’t, the suggested feature is filed into a list of those potentially included in the future. As this list is weighted by demand, periodic reviews are held to consider Cradle’s direction with these requests in mind.

I also learned about the internal testing, performed by the support department prior to software release.

Day 4:

Command prompt with some of the command lines used in the Batch File Reports
Command Prompt

On day four, I had the opportunity to meet the company’s programmers. They provided me with a document of both requirements and background information to their current project; then asked me to consider how I would approach the same problem. I was told to consider how elements of the software already present could be reused to accomplish a different objective – one of the key skills for any developer to have. This is because modularised code is not only far more versatile; but far more stable too.

De-constructing, the method by which a goal is achieved into componential steps (allocating a minimalistic concern per element) allows one to maintain track of all the necessary inputs and outputs at each. With these in isolation, another programmer – or even the selfsame at a later date – need not know exactly how a particular element of the broader system works in order to utilise it effectively; as they know what to feed into it and what it will produce in return.

I also learned one of the reasons bugs can appear only on the user’s version of the program, is that the optimisation processes of the IDE-external compiler can make alterations to the finalised code. Whilst this is typically a positive thing, there are instances whereby the structural changes may interfere with the core functionality of the software.

Day 5:

My final day of work experience at 3SL consisted of: watching a pair of videos explaining software as a service; being given a tour of the company’s social media, including some of the behind-the-scenes on how posts are produced; and writing this blog post to record everything I’ve learned this week.

L Anderson Work Experience Oct 2019


October 2019 Newsletter

Spirits, Cauldrons, Witches and Jack-O-Lanterns

Hubble bubble a requirements cauldron

The masses were hungry, they needed a solution. The Requirements Master toiled over her cauldron. Into the mix she added a freshly cut bunch of requirements, a handful of ideas and a sackful of luck. The brew steamed for day and night, and as members of her family walked by they threw in their ha’p’orth of comments.

The requirements soon stewed and disintegrated, but all could see the ideas floating to the top.

The swirling liquor produced a heady vapour, caught by the nostrils of the management team. They liked what they smelled and believed the Requirements Master was doing just fine.

When the soup was dished up to the masses, the flavour was odd, and it didn’t satisfy their hunger. They felt weakened and sad, some even passed over to another project. “A curse has been placed upon this town”, they cried, “the Requirements Master is a Witch!”  The town’s folk lit lanterns to guide the lost souls home to the  land of abandoned engineering.

Well, that’s certainly one way to do design and engineering! But we don’t believe the most successful.  Whilst it is often the case that many ideas are ‘chucked in the melting pot’, it should be used as a tool elicit idea, and not to ‘hopefully solve’ the problem. A more complex mix isn’t necessarily successful. As the tale told, losing sight of the requirements is a dangerous thing. Managing the project by a whiff of success is unlikely to be accurate.

So, don’t fall under the spell of those that don’t know how to engineer, and let Cradle light your way!

Non-Model Items, in a Model

What do we mean by non-model  items? In our system engineering representations specific components of the ‘model’ appear as particular symbols on the diagram. Behind each symbol the specification details the values and characteristics associated with the process/function/store/environment etc. A data definition is used to detail the information in a flow/store/relationship and so on.

The diagram can be cross referenced to the other Cradle components, such as  requirements or user defined system design notes. In this way a requirement could be “modelled by” a particular diagram. A feature “defined by” a state transition diagram and so on. These items, present in the Requirements Management arena are linked but not directly depicted within the model. We therefore class them as ‘non-model’ items.

It is possible, within Cradle, to directly show these items on FAD (Function Analysis Design) modelling diagrams. They can be used to group sub components of the diagram by representing the context within which they reside, or directly showing the item and some of its details. ‘Opening’ the symbol will show the details of the item in a Cradle form.

Screenshot of non-model items on a modelling diagram
Non-modelling Items on a Diagram

For further information on classic modelling, see the Cradle help.

Social Media


@ThalesGroup tweet regarding cyber attack prevention on transportation systems
@ThalesGroup Tweet

We postulated over travelling to work in a software controlled transport system, and the damage it could wreak following this tweet from @thalesgroup.

We asked you to get a colleague to quickly draw a hill on a piece of paper and then draw a house on it. How did they do?

That’s all for the October 2019 Newsletter, but if you would like to suggest a topic for next time, drop us a line

Cradle 7.5.1 Released

3SL is pleased to announce the release of Cradle-7.5.1

This is available for download from the 3SL website. This contains some new features and fixes which help provide a better Cradle experience for you.

Cradle-7.5.1 is the first patch release for Cradle-7.5, so is completely compatible with your 7.5 security code. Users with 7.5 do not need a new security code and can download and install without charge. Users on older versions of Cradle such as 7.4 or earlier can move to this version as long as they have maintenance. Simply request a new security code from the 3SL support team and get started!

Cradle 7.5.1
Cradle 7.5.1

New Features

  • 3SL have added the Brazilian Portuguese language to the message catalogue to go with the other 9 catalogues that already exist within Cradle!
  • The ability to get Baseline details and histories via the CradleAPI has also been added to 7.5.1.
  • ODBC was added to Cradle 7.5, after a couple of tweaks 3SL have now updated the documentation for this. Helping everything run more smoothly.

Any further information can be found within our help page. Cradle Help