Cradle-7.4.2 Released

3SL is pleased to announce the release of Cradle-7.4.2.

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-7.4.2 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 7.4.2
Cradle 7.4.2


New features

Matrix Item Attribute / Navigation Filtering

showing teams that transitively link to a requirement
Transitive Links

In a standard matrix, would show as a fully populated grid. However, whilst Team A does provide part of Service 1, they do not provide the element which satisfies Requirement 7 or any part of Requirement 10. Those are provided by Team B.

Showing all links even those not desired
Complete Matrix

Cradle has always provided the facility to add textual attributes to the cross reference between items. In this example, choosing the link between Service 1 and Requirement 7 we could add Team A to note that Team A provides that element of the service. The new feature lets you filter the matrix results in the transitive cells by adding a Regex filter to the navigation being followed. This will look for a match between the attribute of the item and the text in the cross reference. In this case looking for the item Identity will give the following result.

Showing the results of filtering the item attributes agains the cross reference attributes
Attribute Filtered Matrix

Cross Reference Attributes

Allow restriction to a set of pre-defined values. Allow replacement or append behaviour when selecting from a list.


Upgrade OpenSSL and TLS to support TLS v1.3


An improvement in the behaviour dealing with pre-existing adaptation links.


  • Issue when importing change history with overwrite set to on.
  • The symbol resize handles were not working correctly.

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

December 2018 Newsletter

It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like….

3SL Snowflake bauble
Christmas 2018
  • Cross bullet pointThere should have been some acceptance tests associated with these requirements.
  • Cross bullet pointThe customer’s changes might be what they want for Christmas, but we’re unsure of the impact
  • Cross bullet pointThere might not be enough time to finish this project by the end of the year.
  • Cross bullet pointWe’ll forget the designs in our heads after a few party sherries and not know what to do in January.
  • Tick bullet point It’s time to relax and enjoy the festive period, our project is in Cradle.

Whilst we’re sure our customers align with the last point, its worth noting these seasonal holiday reminders.

Discussions dialog showing multiple comments
Discussions Dialog in WorkBench

Cradle Subscriptions

Mini Poll

Results of the SaaS verses traditional ownership poll
SaaS ‘v’ Traditional Ownership Poll

We asked you about subscription products. You answered our Mini Poll, and said that ‘horses for courses’ is the rule of thumb when selecting SaaS or conventional ownership. We’re happy to say Cradle is available in whichever guise suits your business.

Cradle Release

showing the setting up of matrix variables in a navigation
Navigation with MATRIX variables

The latest release of Cradle 7.4.2 contains a new Matrix feature. A matrix allows items linked items to be shown as a set of rows and columns with the cells representing the links between them. It is also possible to show the items in the rows linked to the items in the columns via a third item type represented in the cell. For example, rows representing requirements, columns representing results and the items in the cells representing the tests between the two. The new feature lets users filter the items shown in the matrix cells based on the value of a column or row item appearing in the cross reference attribute. This is set up as part of the navigation that is followed between items.

We have also upgraded our OpenSSL to use version 1.3 TLS.

There are a number of small bug fixes including diagram drawings, workflows, importing with overwrite.

As usual anyone with a current 7.4 code is entitled to download the latest release. Anyone with current maintenance is entitled to upgrade any previous version to this latest release.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday

Well done if you managed to take advantage of our £50 per licence/product deal.



We had a great time at INCOSE EMEASEC 2018 conference in Berlin and enjoyed meeting all those who visited us.
Missed the conference or our stand? Don’t forget you can still download an evaluation copy of Cradle

Social Media


clever engineering loo on the moveWe love keeping an eye on what’s new in the field of engineering. Did you realise how much the humble loo on the move has changed? #WorldToiletDay

We celebrated Saint Andrew’s Day  by constructing a COD (Collaboration diagram) showing how the Picts and Scots faced the Angles.


Happy Saint Andrew’s Day 2018

Wishing all our customers, suppliers and followers a Happy Saint Andrew’s day 2018 from 3SL

Whether a descendent of the Picts, Scots, or Angles, we hope the only battle today will be how best to model interactions in Cradle!

COD Collaboration Diagram

A Use Case is a class of interactions between actors in a UML model’s environment and the system. Each may be complex or compound and may require decomposition into simpler Use Cases. Each path through the possible options in a Use Case, (an  event flow) is called a scenario.

Scenarios can be described by a COD. This diagram  shows the details of the interaction of the environment and part(s) of the system.  On a UCD these are the external actors with the appropriate classes and their object instances. Each interaction is represented in terms of an exchange of messages. The COD focuses on clearly showing the totality of message transfers between all the actors and classes/object instances involved in the scenario. Similarly a SQD (Sequence diagram would be used to highlight the chronological ordering of the events.

Depicting the battle of Athelstaneford as a COD (Collaboration Diagram)
The Battle of Athelstaneford

Whilst the battle at Athelstaneford, is over simplified in this diagram, it still shows how a more detailed interaction of the whole Use Case can be illustrated. Therefore, if you ever want a reminder of why the Saltire of Saint Andrew was chosen as the emblem of Scotland…. The legend of the clouds vision to Óengus II COD diagram, may be a handy reminder. For more information see the Cradle help section for COD.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2018

Flash Discount Sale

Great BlackFriday / CyberMonday deal for November 2018. Take advantage while you can!

Hurry Hurry Hurry, #BlackFriday / #CyberMonday deal

five pound notes
Five Pound Notes

We hope you’ll agree that Cradle is already a great value package in any of its single user or enterprise versions. It combines a hugely powerful Requirements Management tool for massively scalable requirements engineering, with Model Based Systems Engineering capabilities (MBSE). 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 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 Friday to Monday flash deal.

Enterprise Licences

We will offer £50** off EACH licence purchased during the offer period. 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-DASH 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 starsBFCM2018Righthand stars

(*) Terms and Conditions

Continue reading “Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2018”

INCOSE – EMEA Sector Systems Engineering Conference 2018

INCOSE Systems Engineering Conference2018 

Monday 5th – Wednesday 7th November, 2018

INCOSE host the premier conference of systems engineering and related disciplines in Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA). If you would like to find out more about Cradle come and say “Hello” or “Guten Morgen / Guten Tag” to us at booth 20.

Come and see us at booth 20 INCOSE EMEA 2018 Conference
INCOSE EMEA 2018 Conference

This year’s conference is at the Mercure Hotel, Stephanstraße, Berlin.

Follow INCOSE @incose_org on Twitter or talk about it with #emeasec



November 2018 Newsletter

Remember, Remember

static firework

There’s quite a bit to remember this month whether it’s the  failed plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, or the war fallen.

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot!” Might be a good way to cement a date in your mind we humans tend to like rhymes, songs, and mnemonics to help our brains ‘visualise’ an otherwise abstract date or fact. However, trying to remember what’s needed and when on a large project is really quite difficult. Especially when dates are not fixed.

query on a date in a category with relative offset
Relative Date Query

Cradle offers a number of ways you can track your project one of which is querying on relative dates.

For example an item representing a ‘test’ that needs to be run could be set with a category of type date. You could then query on ‘tests‘ that are due to occur (or should have occurred) before the end of next week. It is also possible to query on a range, say beginning of this month and end of next week.

For work breakdown items there are some built-in ranges which can be accessed on the Progress tab of query. This gives a planning view of where your project stands.

The Fallen


3SL join with our customers, friends and suppliers, on this armistice day,  to take a moment to remember those who have fallen fighting for their countries. There is a special poignance this year, the 100th anniversary since the signing of the armistice treaty between first world war allies and Central Powers.

Cradle Subscriptions

Cradle Software As A Service
Cradle SAAS subscription product

Last month saw the launch of an addition to the Cradle family.

Cradle Subscriptions option is a SaaS (Software as a Service) product that provides access to 3SL’s requirements management and systems engineering tool Cradle using remote servers.  This means there is no need to install software on your own company systems.


There are a number of bundles covering the most frequently requested configurations of Cradle. The choices reflect whether you are performing both Systems Engineering and RM, or just Requirements Management.

There are also different hosting options depending on the size/loads and locations of the servers. Choose between shared 3SL hosted or dedicated cloud environments. For further information see the product announcement.

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.
    • don’t really mind, I just use it
    • there’s room for both…..


We’re at the INCOSE EMEASEC 2018 conference in Berlin Nov 05, 2018 – Nov 08, 2018. Come and say ‘Hello’ to us at booth 20.

Social Media


Tweet by
British Engineering

We love keeping an eye on what’s new in the field of engineering. The brought British engineering into the spotlight

Widget of the Week

We won Howden Power’s #WidgetOfTheWeek with our hierarchy diagram drawing tool


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