Controlling the Cradle Access Mode

All Cradle users have a read-write access mode by default, and as such can create and modify information in their project databases, subject only to Cradle’s security and access control mechanisms such as privileges, classifications, skills, user types and so on.

There are no dedicated read-only user accounts in Cradle. However, there is a mechanism to specify which user accounts should be read-only and which should be read-write for a specified project.

This mechanism might be useful in protecting the consumption of your read-write connections.

Cradle User Control File (UCF)

Cradle contains a cradle_users file that is stored in the admin directory of your Cradle installation. This file allows your System Administrator to control the access mode that a user has for specified projects.

The file allows you to specify the Cradle username, the project code and the access mode separated by a space or tab characters:

Cradle-Username      Project-Code     Access-Mode

where:

  • Cradle-Username – is the Cradle username to be controlled, in uppercase or lowercase, and at most 40 characters
  • Project-Code – the project in which the username is defined, specified in uppercase or lowercase, and at most 4 characters
  • Access-Mode – the access mode to be assigned whenever anyone logs in to the specified project with the specified username, as:
    • R – the username is always to be read-only
    • W – the username is always to be read-write
    Example cds_users file
    Example cds_users file

    The entries in this file override any -ro or -rw command line options to Cradle tools.

    This file is empty by default, so all users would have the ability to connect to databases read-write unless specified otherwise.

Using a Form for Each Workflow Stage

Example Scenario

Cradle items can contain many frames, categories and other attributes that might not necessarily be relevant or required to be shown at different stages of your workflow. An example of which is shown below:

Item showing stage frames
Item showing stage frames

The example provides frames that should only be shown at the relevant stage in the workflow and the Acceptance Criteria, we decided that we wish to show this information at all stages but displayed read-only at stages 2 and 3.

Defining a Stage Category

To start with, create a category to base the workflow on. This must be set as mandatory and have a default value set.

Setup category values
Setup category values

You can then assign this category to the item type. In this example we have used Requirements:

Assign Category
Assign category to item type

Defining the Workflow

In the Workflow Settings, create a workflow that uses the Stage category to advance to the next stage of the process. In this example, we demonstrate a very simple workflow that advances from Stage 1 to Stage 2 and then Stage 2 to Stage 3. The 3rd level shown here is to then advance to formal review:

Show workflow stages
Show workflow stages

You can then set this as the default workflow for the item type:

Set default workflow
Set default workflow

Note that the Stage Category Form… button becomes active. We will come back to this later as firstly you need to create a form for each stage.

Creating Forms

Using the Form Details dialog, create a form for each stage of the workflow.

Stage 1 Form

The Stage 1 form in this example should show the frame STAGE 1 NOTES but not STAGE 2 NOTES or STAGE 3 NOTES.

Stage 1 form
Stage 1 form

Stage 2 Form

The Stage 2 form in this example should show the frame STAGE 2 NOTES but not STAGE 1 NOTES or STAGE 3 NOTES. You can also set the Acceptance Criteria frame to only be shown read-only as in the example below:

Stage 2 form
Stage 2 form

Stage 3 Form

The Stage 3 form in this example should show the frame STAGE 3 NOTES but not STAGE 1 NOTES or STAGE 2 NOTES. You can also set the Acceptance Criteria frame to only be shown read-only as in the example below.

Stage 3 form
Stage 3 form

Setting the Stage Forms

You can now return to Project Setup and press the Stage Category Form… button:

Project Setup Stage Category Form button
Stage Category Form button in Project Setup

This will allow you to specify the form to be used at each stage of the workflow.

Stage Category Form dialog
Stage Category Form dialog

Advancing the Item

When you first create the item, the Stage category is set to Stage 1 as this is the default value for the item. You can see here that the STAGE 1 NOTES frame is shown and the Acceptance Criteria is read-write:

Advance option
Advance option in ribbon

Pressing the Advance… button closes the item and changes the Stage value to Stage 2 once confirmed in the Advance Operation dialog:

Advance Operation dialog
Advance Operation dialog

When you open the item again, you will see that the Stage category is set to Stage 2 and will use the Stage 2 form that shows the STAGE 2 NOTES frame and the Acceptance Criteria is read-only:

Item showing stage 2
Item in form showing stage 2

Advancing the item again uses the form that has been created for Stage 3 and so on.

Summary

WorkBench allows you to create a specific form for each stage of your workflow. This can be particularly useful if the frames, categories or attributes only need to be shown at certain stages of your process. It would simplify the user interface for the users that are modifying the items as they would not be presented with information that might be irrelevant to their task.

January Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the January 2023 newsletter from 3SL!

This newsletter contains a mixture of news and technical information about us, and our requirements management and systems engineering tool “Cradle”. We would especially like to welcome everyone who has purchased Cradle in the past month and those who are currently evaluating Cradle for their projects and processes.

We hope that 3SL and Cradle can deliver real and measurable benefits that help you to improve the information flow within, the quality and timeliness of, and the traceability, compliance and governance for, all of your current and future projects.

If you have any problems in your use of Cradle, please do not hesitate to contact 3SL Support here.

Happy New Year

We hope all those celebrating over Christmas had a safe and happy time.

Into a new year and a time to reflect on both your company’s achievements and problems. Whilst the turn of a date is nothing magical, the psychological effect of a new term can really help enthuse and help us focus.

If a project wasn’t quite on track, a root cause analysis can help identify where things went astray. Use this as a positive for new projects and look out for the ‘gotcha’ next time round. It is also important to identify the successes, the team and company can lever the feel-good factor on jobs well done.

3SL US Training Courses

Our US colleagues have scheduled the following public courses:

    • 3-Day User Course
      February 6-8 (3 days), $1395/attendee
    • Combined Administration Course
      February 9 (1 day), $465/attendee
    • 3-Day User Course
      April 17-19 (3 days), $1395/attendee
    • Combined Administration Course
      April 20 (1 day), $465/attendee

These courses are open to anyone from any organisation. If you register for one of these courses, it may mean that you will be joined by people from other organisations.

All of these public courses are limited to 8 attendees. For further information or to book your place on one of these courses please contact 3SL US.

Combined Administration Course

The Combined Administration Course course is designed for project team leaders or managers who administer and manage Cradle projects. It covers both user and project administration. It also includes setting up project schemas helping your users to hit the ground running.

3-Day User Course

The 3-Day User Course is designed to help new users become acquainted with Cradle. This course includes hands on demonstrations for both administration and requirements management tasks.

3SL Listed in ESMCP ESN Supplier Directory

The Home Office is leading a cross-government programme to deliver the new Emergency Services Network (ESN) critical communications system, see here. ESN is being delivered through the Emergency Services Mobile Communication Programme (ESMCP) in the Home Office where 3SL and Cradle have provided requirements and test/evidence management and contract governance support since 2013.

Emergency Services Network
Emergency Services Network

ESN is being delivered through the Emergency Services Mobile Communication Programme (ESMCP) in the Home Office. ESMCP has many component projects, including the acquisition of MCX end user communication services.

3SL is pleased to announce that we have been listed as a supplier in this programme here. Interest in 3SL and Cradle can be registered through the portal or directly to 3SL.

Interest in Cradle from HMG or 3ES can be sent directly to 3SL or through G-Cloud 13 in the Digital Marketplace here.

Still to come this month

    • Project Administration online course – January 17th to 18th
    • User online course – January 24th to 25th

To book your place on either of the Project Administration or User courses please see here.

Simplifying your WorkBench Environment

WorkBench is an extremely flexible and customisable tool which can then result in user complexity as it provides such a wide range of displays and outputs for your project data:

  • MANY definition files to show queries and views of how you want to see your data
  • MANY types of reports and documents tailored for your required outputs
  • Different outputs/views of the project required at particular stages

With so many features available to users, it is important to understand how we can manage to reduce the complexity of the tool for them by using the Phase Hierarchy and/or Start Pages:

WorkBench Environment
Simplifying your WorkBench environment

We can reduce tool complexity by the use of the Phase Hierarchy and/or Start Pages.

Phase Hierarchy

The phase hierarchy is an order of elements that can be grouped together under different folders to describe the process or project lifecycle of your project. You can think of these as phases, activities or tasks.

Creating a phase hierarchy is the task of a Project Administrator who needs PROJECT privilege and is created in Project Setup.

Each element of a phase can run an operation in an organised structure which is shown by expanding folders such as:

  • Running saved queries
  • Opening an item/set of items
  • Expanding a tree
  • Running a matrix
  • Running a metric
  • Producing a report
  • Producing a graph
  • Producing a draft document (Document Publisher)
  • Executing an external command
Phase Hierarchy
Defined Phase Hierarchy

These phase operations are for all users of the project. However, you can restrict operations to a particular team or a particular skill:

Phase hierarchy showing skill
Phase hierarchy showing skill

The phase hierarchy is also used in the Web Access tool.

Please note that the phase hierarchy feature is not available in single-user products.

Start Pages

Whereas a phase hierarchy defines the whole process and the activities to be performed, start pages could help to automate the steps to perform each activity for a particular user or set of users.

Start pages also allow you to open a specific WorkBench dialog or run a tool such as Document Loader that will simplify usage considerably as your users would have all relevant operations in an organised page without having to navigate through all of the menus, ribbons and dialogs.

These are organised in:

  • Labels
  • Headings
  • Actions / multiple actions

You can also add images to your start page which can be very useful in customising the interface for your project:

Start page
Example Start Page

Start pages can also allow you to run multiple operations with a single click.

You can define multiple start pages for a specific set of tasks and for multiple sets of users.

Start Page Details option
Start Page Details option

Summary

The phase hierarchy and start pages allow you to simplify the user experience of WorkBench.

The phase hierarchy defines a set of operations in folders which can be filtered for specific sets of users. This feature is not available in single-user products.

Start pages can be more personal and will quickly allow you to complete a task or create an output without having to navigate the WorkBench menu, ribbons and dialogs and saved definition files.

 

Season’s Greetings 2022

Happy Christmas

To all those who are celebrating, 3SL would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and we look forward to working with you again in the New Year.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

From all at Structured Software Systems Limited. #3SL producers of #Cradle

December 2022 – Newsletter

Welcome to the December 2022 newsletter from 3SL!

This newsletter contains a mixture of news and technical information about us, and our requirements management and systems engineering tool “Cradle”. We would especially like to welcome everyone who has purchased Cradle in the past month and those who are currently evaluating Cradle for their projects and processes.

We hope that 3SL and Cradle can deliver real and measurable benefits that help you to improve the information flow within, the quality and timeliness of, and the traceability, compliance and governance for, all of your current and future projects.

If you have any problems in your use of Cradle, please do not hesitate to contact 3SL Support here.

32-Bit vs 64-Bit

For our next major release – Cradle-8.0 – we are proposing to remove support for:

    • 32-bit Windows
    • 32-bit Microsoft Office
    • 32-bit Linux

We would like to know if this would have adverse effects for any of our current customers and any potential customers.  If you believe that removing 32-bit support from Cradle would affect you or your company, then please send your views and opinions to 3SL Support here.

Cradle-8.0 will not be released until mid 2023 at the earliest.

New User Training Course

We have a new training course available: Cradle User Course.

This course is ideal for:

    • Anyone who is new to Cradle and needs an overview
    • Anyone who is joining a team that has been using Cradle for some time
    • Anyone who has not used Cradle for some time and needs to update their skills

For further details, please see here.

New Configuration Management Training Course

We have a new training course available: Configuration and Change Management.

This course is ideal for anyone:

    • Who needs to apply specific workflows to the information in your Cradle databases, or
    • Who needs to introduce formal reviews and approvals into a Cradle-based project, or
    • Who needs to understand and use Cradle’s baseline mechanism, or
    • Who needs to apply configuration management, configuration control and formal change to a Cradle project

The course includes:

For further details, please see here.

This course has been included in our 2023 training course calendar as discussed below.

Public Training Course Calendar 2023

The courses available in 2023 are listed below. You can now see a list of the public courses available here within the Public Training Courses panel.

You can also book your place on one of the courses here.

For details of the modules in each course, please see here:

Project Administration Course

Learn how to configure Cradle to best support your project’s processes and to deliver that process support to your users. This is a great opportunity for project managers to understand their schemas and Cradle UI customisations.

The 2023 dates for this course are:

    • January 17th to 18th
    • July 18th to 19th

User Course

This course provides an overview of Cradle’s capabilities including best practices and includes demonstrations of the major Cradle features. This course is excellent for new users to familiarise themselves with Cradle.

The 2023 dates for this course are:

    • January 24th to 25th
    • July 25th to 26th

Requirements Management

This is a great opportunity for small teams, or just new team members to get started with requirements management in Cradle, including loading information from external sources, organising it, evolving it through your process, and then publishing the integrated information set that this creates.

The 2023 dates for this course are:

    • February 20th to 23rd
    • August 21st to 24th

Document Publisher

Make your output shine with this course that explains how to create and publish document templates using Cradle’s Document Publisher tool. Once you have managed your requirements, models, risks and tests through your process, it is essential that you can deliver essential, accurate and consistent project documentation directly from this integrated set of information.

The 2023 dates for this course are:

    • March 20th to 23rd
    • September 18th to 21st

Risk Management

Learn how to identify, analyse, treat and monitor your project’s risks, link them to your requirements, SBS and other information and manage these risks and their mitigations. This course ensures you can implement your risk management plan, manage your risk registers and publish your risk profiles.

The 2023 dates for this course are:

    • April 18th to 19th
    • October 24th to 25th

Test Management and Execution

Learn how to integrate a complete suite of test plans and test cases into your project data, and how to execute test runs of these test plans and cases so as to collect test results and associated data for each step in the test cases. Apply this mechanism at all module/unit, subsystem, system and higher levels to deliver the V&V, acceptance and governance of your project.

The 2023 dates for this course are:

    • May 23rd to 24th
    • November 21st to 22nd

Configuration Management

Learn how to use Cradle’s workflow and CM system to manage the creation and evolution of items of information, how to formally review these items into project baselines, and how to make formally controlled changes to new instances of these items.

The 2023 dates for this course are:

    • June 20th to 21st
    • December 12th to 13th

G-Cloud 13

The UK government provides the G-Cloud procurement framework for its departments and agencies. G-Cloud 13 is the latest instance of that framework, agreement number RM1557.13, and is available between 9th November 2022 and 8th November 2023.

3SL is pleased to announce that we have been accepted into G-Cloud 13,Crown Commercial Service Supplier logo and that Cradle is available as a variety of SaaS services through Lot 2 in this framework, and a range of training and consultancy services are available through Lot 3.

Cradle SaaS Services

A wide range of SaaS services are available through G-Cloud 13 Lot 2. For a summary of this Lot, please see here.

Each service includes Cradle licences, a user-configurable schema, and a comprehensive support package. The SaaS can be delivered for both UNCLASSIFIED (IL0) and OFFICIAL (certified IL3) deployments. The services are:

Cradle Training/Consultancy

A range of configurable services are available to support a Cradle deployment through G-Cloud 13 Lot 3. For a summary of this Lot, please see here.

These services are:

    • Consultancy
    • Administration Training
    • Fundamentals Training
    • Advanced Lifecycle Training

Social Media

Over the past month we have discussed:

3SL Celebrating 35 Years

1st December 2022 marks our 35th year of trading.

35 Years
3SL Celebrates 35 Years

Thank you to all our loyal customers and friends past and present. We’re proud to have been of assistance in your projects.

Thank you to all the staff who over the years have changed Cradle into the multi module full lifecycle suite it is today.

Structured Software Systems Limited’s official start date was 1st December 1987 and trades under the catchier moniker 3SL.

Happy Christmas

May we take this opportunity to wish you, our wonderful customers, suppliers and distributors, season’s greetings and a peaceful and Happy Christmas. We wish you all the best in 2023.

Happy Christmas based on Photo by Giftpundits.com from Pexels
Season’s Greetings

Lookback

Well 2022 seems to have gone so quickly, in writing our December 2022 Newsletter, we take a look back at what happened:

  • All 3SL staff returned to the office
  • Cradle-7.7 released
  • Snapshots – a read-only copy of information in a Cradle database at a specific point in time
  • New dashboard dial types
  • Ability to test sending Cradle email alerts
  • Cradle-7.7.0.1 released
  • ISO-9001 recertification
  • G-Cloud 13

And Finally

That’s all for the December 2022 Newsletter, and indeed this year. If you would like to suggest a topic for next time, drop us a line social-customer@threesl.com.

Public Online Training Course – Document Publisher March 2023

Document Publisher March 20th – 23rd 2023

The first scheduled publishing course of 2023. Cradle report creation training – Document Publisher March 2023 course.

“Once you have managed your requirements and development, producing a comprehensive report, automatically based directly on the project data, provides an essential deliverable”

Cradle Online Course based on Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels
Online Course

Businesses that have Cradle for their Requirements Management or Systems Engineering process can benefit from additional Cradle tools.

Document Publisher is a Windows® based publishing tool that allows professional documentation to be produced directly from the data within your project’s database. Fully understanding how to configure templates and data manipulation will offer the best output for you to provide to your stakeholders and customers, regulators and other interested parties.

Public Document Publisher Course March 20th to 23rd 2023

Often the document production task is run by an individual or a very small team. Therefore, this public online course will offer a cost effective way of providing training. You’ll benefit from all the normal learning, but will have the chance to network and share with other virtual attendees from other industries. However, if you have a larger team courses can be tailored and held at your premises / virtually depending on restrictions and requirements at a date and time to suit see here. This will be conducted over four ½ days.

Details:

DateSubjectVenueCostPre-RequisitesProvision
March 20th – 23rd 2023Document PublisherOnline learning tutored course.
4 * ½ days.
£620+VATPC/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 – Document Publisher March 2023 please send an email to salesdetails@threesl.com.

Buy Now

All courses are available for direct purchase online.

Continue reading “Public Online Training Course – Document Publisher March 2023”

Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management February 2023

Requirements Management February 20th to 23rd 2023

The first RM training this year is – Requirements Management February 2023 course.

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

Cradle Online Course based on Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels
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 / virtually depending on restrictions and requirements and are ideal for getting a team up and running.

Public Requirements Management February 20th to 23rd 2023

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.

Details:

DateSubjectVenueCostPre-RequisitesProvision
February 20th to 23rd 2023Requirements ManagementOnline learning tutored course.
4 * ½ days.
£620+VATPC/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 February 2023 please send an email to salesdetails@threesl.com.

Buy Now

All courses are available for direct purchase online.

Continue reading “Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management February 2023”

Public Online Training Course – User Course July 2023

User Course 25th-26th July 2023

The second scheduled general user course of 2023. Overview of the many capabilities in Cradle including best practices, demonstrating the Cradle tool and its features – User July 2023 course.

“A great opportunity for new users to familiarise themselves with Cradle”

Cradle Online Course based on Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels
Online User Course

Businesses that have chosen Cradle can benefit from this general Cradle overview and how to apply Cradle to their projects.

User Course 25th to 26th July 2023

“The User course is designed for both new users or users requiring a refresher course.

The Cradle User Course helps you to understand the benefits of Cradle and see examples of where Cradle is used. We provide explanations of the various Cradle modules as well as providing the basic concepts of Cradle, including items, cross references and the Cradle schema. There is a tutor led example of some of the WorkBench features and the Toolsuite tools.

Please note this course is provided through demonstration only, there are no “hands-on” exercises.

Details:

DateSubjectVenueCostPre-RequisitesProvision
July 25th – 26th 2023UserOnline learning tutored course.
2 * ½ days.
£310+VATPC/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 – User July 25th to 26th 2023 please send an email to salesdetails@threesl.com.

Buy Now

Courses will be available to purchase online at the start of 2023.

Continue reading “Public Online Training Course – User Course July 2023”

Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management August 2023

Requirements Management August 21st to 24th 2023

The second RM training this year is – Requirements Management August 2023 course.

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

Cradle Online Course based on Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels
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 / virtually depending on restrictions and requirements and are ideal for getting a team up and running.

Public Requirements Management August 21st to 24th 2023

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.

Details:

DateSubjectVenueCostPre-RequisitesProvision
August  21st to 24th 2023Requirements ManagementOnline learning tutored course.
4 * ½ days.
£620+VATPC/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 August 2023 please send an email to salesdetails@threesl.com.

Buy Now

All courses are available for direct purchase online.

Continue reading “Public Online Training Course – Requirements Management August 2023”