Remote Workers and Cradle – Network Address Translation

Your company is using Cradle, but you’re a remote worker – how do you connect to the Cradle Database Server (CDS)?

With Network Address Translation – the IT administrator, where the CDS is located, can modify their firewall to redirect specific external ports to a local server.

Make a note of the internal IP address of the CDS – we’ll use CDS_IPADDR later in this post to reference this address. (In this test environment it is 192.168.11.168).

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)

CDS_UDP_PORT_NUMBER = 23960
TOOL_UDP_PORT_NUMBER = 23961
PRJMAN_UDP_PORT_NUMBER = 23962

CDS_TCP_TOOL_PORT_NUMBER   = 16161
CDS_TCP_PRJMAN_PORT_NUMBER = 16162
UTILITIES_TCP_PORT_NUMBER   = 16163-16169
WBENCH_TCP_PORT_NUMBER      = 16170-16176
PRJMAN_TCP_PORT_NUMBER      = 16177

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

Firewall Config Changes

The IT administrator can now edit their firewall rules to redirect the external IP ports to the internal CDS.  As part of these rules they can set it so that only specific remote IP addresses are permitted to access these redirected ports.

I’m using pfSense as the example firewall in this case, and adding separate rules for each Cradle Port.
pfSense Cradle NAT Rules

Through the application of Network Address Translation, the remote worker now uses their locally installed Cradle client installation and talks to the Cradle Database Server, as if it is on the Cradle site’s external IP address.

Related Articles

Remote Workers and Cradle – how do they communicate?

Can I install Toolsuite with Office 365 (CTR)?

Toolsuite

Cradle Toolsuite is compatible with both 2013 and 2016 Office 365. To see all Toolsuite compatibility see this page. Toolsuite should work with Office 365 the same as with a normal Office install. Occasionally there are problems due to issues with Office 365 not always with Toolsuite.

Document Loader, Document Publisher and Spellchecker make up Toolsuite
Document Loader, Document Publisher and Spellchecker make up Toolsuite

Office Updates

Recently there was an issue with an update to Office 365 which stopped our InstallShield correctly detecting the installed version. This issue has been fixed by changing our detection routine in a patch release. If you are seeing this issue with your original install files, please download the latest files and try again. Unfortunately this could happen again as we have no control over these updates. All 3SL can do is update our routines as and when this comes to our attention.

Occasionally when Office is updated and when newly installed, it requires you to Accept new terms. If you have not done this then you will see an Error when trying to start Toolsuite applications.

  • Error instartup: Object reference not set to an instance of an object

Windows 10 Updates

Since a Windows 10 update earlier this year everything is running slower on may different Microsoft™ Windows flavours. Word can open slower and this can cause issues if you are trying to publish a document. There is no work around for this except to keep trying to publish. Check this blog for more information but the summary so far is:

  • With Windows 10 on newer silicon (2016-era PCs with Skylake, Kabylake or newer CPU), benchmarks show single-digit slowdowns, but we don’t expect most users to notice a change because these percentages are reflected in milliseconds.
  • Aklso on Windows 10 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), some benchmarks show more significant slowdowns, and we expect that some users will notice a decrease in system performance.
  • Windows 8 and Windows 7 on older silicon (2015-era PCs with Haswell or older CPU), we expect most users to notice a decrease in system performance.
  • Windows Server on any silicon, especially in any IO-intensive application, shows a more significant performance impact when you enable the mitigations to isolate untrusted code within a Windows Server instance. This is why you want to be careful to evaluate the risk of untrusted code for each Windows Server instance, and balance the security versus performance trade-off for your environment.

Connection or Server Issues

Occasionally the Microsoft server or the connection is down (DownDetector) and this can also cause issues with the Office and Toolsuite. There is no work around for this except patience. Once the connection/server is fixed and up and running you should have no issues with Toolsuite.

Subscription and MSI installs

Having a mix of subscription and Microsoft Installer based MS Office installs can cause detection issues during a Toolsuite install. For example the user has a click-to-run Office 2013  installed but a Microsoft Installer version of MS Project or Visio™. This has been fixed by altering how we detect the architecture of the Office applications.

Mixed Office Versions

It is recommended in our install guides not to have mixed Office environments. For example you may have MS Office 2010 but Project 2016. These type of environments can cause install issues. Even once an install is successful there can be application issues including the loading and publishing documents.

 

August 2018 Newsletter

Shhhh, It’s a Secret

Photo by Based on image from Tayeb MEZAHDIA from Pexels
Secret

Hack Green “Secret” Nuclear Bunker is no longer a secret. (Although some Sat Navs still have difficulty finding it!). The level of secrecy and ‘need to know’ that was maintained during the cold war is quite incredible. For most of us it’s not every day that we work with information that is that high in confidentiality. However, it is much more common that we deal with different levels of information depending on our role within a company. This could be personal information that may have a GDPR aspect, or financial information to which we are not privy, or confidential design information which as a sub-contractor we are not allowed to see.

When managing a project it is important to ensure each  team member is only shown information that they are authorised to see.

Cradle provides many ways to control which information
can be seen by each team member’.

  • Classification – This is a top level filter. You may only see items that match or are lower than your own classification.
  • Ownership/Privileges – A team hierarchy and the allocation of user privileges ensures that users can only access appropriate sets of information.
  • Item Types/Skills – If a user defined  item type is assigned a skill, and a user does not posses that skill they are unable to see any items of that type.
  • Frames/Skills – Frames within an item can be restricted to users with a particular skill.
  • Categories/Skills – Categories can be hidden from direct view for users without a skill.

It is impossible to print a single document and allow some staff to see some pages and some pictures and others to see different ones. However, when you arrange your project in a tool, this control can be achieved quite easily. If you’d like advice on setting up Cradle to meet your needs, check out the help pages, if you are under maintenance contact support@threesl.com for advice or sign up for a training course.

Cradle Latest Version

If you’ve not tried the following features yet, here are some highlights from the blog.

  • Start page enhancements. Creation of Start Pages is even faster with a copy facility for panels and entries. This is helpful when you want to list a number of very similar commands and just tweak each one. Start Pages are a good way to customise your user interface and provide the necessary commands to a user as soon as they open WorkBench.  It is possible to create different pages for different users or types of user. We know that sometimes Cradle’s comprehensive nature can be a little overwhelming for the occasional user. Using start pages to ensure your teams are shown the most appropriate set of actions for their daily work, removes any confusion. Combined with a phase tree to arrange stages/areas of your project end users can be guided to the information they need quickly and efficiently.
  • Split xrefs – We have to admit that this may not be the most exciting enhancement for many users, but for those that frequently create baselines it provides a speed enhancement and disk management benefit. The state of the cross references in a project are recorded each time a baseline is taken. Now they are created in separate directories, in a smaller file format. If you don’t intend to use Baseline Mode earlier directories could even be archived off from you main storage.

Charity

User 3SL30 for a £30 discount see https://www.threesl.com/blog/birthday-voucher-30/ ‎
Discount code

There is still time to use the special “Secret (not!) Birthday Discount” offer of £30 off single user prices and licences. Or  those buying Cradle Enterprise licences can choose to donate £30 per licence bought to a charity of their choice. Ts&Cs apply

Review Us!

If you are using Cradle in your projects, or if you have recently evaluated Cradle, please consider reviewing 3SL and Cradle on Capterra here. It only takes 2-3 minutes, and we would really appreciate your feedback.

Social Media

Twitter

tweet from Penn State University
Penn State Inspiration

We love keeping an eye on what’s new with our customers and what’s changing in the engineering community. Strange that inspiration for better data controls should come from Mayonnaise…..

And on a lighter note we celebrated our neighbouring county’s special day with a cuppa! Yorkshire Day

YouTube

If you’d like to watch some explanatory and how-to videos about Cradle don’t forget to check and follow our YouTube channel here.

How do I change the text size in the Cradle UI?

Many of us spend long periods of time working at our computer screens. Consequently, eye strain can become a serious problem. Also, we can sometimes be more productive if we can maximise the amount of information shown. Hence, changing the text size used in the Cradle UI can help in both of these cases, and in several other situations as well.

Maximised Data Display Area

Read articles covering how to maximise the screen area available to display information or drawings.

For comparison, if you use all of the tips described in that other blog post, the UI will have a maximised data display area and will appear like this:

normal text size in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Display in Normal Text

Increase Text Size

You can increase the size of text used in the UI by setting the Text size user preference to Large:

set large text size in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Set Large Text Size

You must re-start WorkBench after making this change.

Using the larger text, the above query and view will be shown like this:

large text size in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Display in Large Text Size

Decrease Text Size

You can decrease the size of text used in the UI by setting the Text size user preference to Small:

set small text size in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Set Small Text Size

You must re-start WorkBench after making this change.

Using the smaller text, the above query and view will be shown like this:

small text size in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Display in Small Text Size

Uses

Cradle provides several options to maximise the screen area used to display information. You can change a user preference to change the size of text used throughout the UI.

You can use these in combination to:

  • Simply see bigger text and reduce the risk of eye strain
  • Reduce the risk of eye strain and also maximise the display area so you do not reduce the amount of information shown in the UI
  • Use smaller text because you are using a low display resolution and Cradle is using text that is needlessly large for your display
  • Reduce the size of text and also maximise the display area because you have a large screen and good eyesight and you must have the maximum possible data visible, particularly when you are using multiple panes to display multiple sets of information at the same time

Tree Style

You can find items in a Cradle database by running a query. For example, you can use the pre-defined queries in the Quick Access Bar at the bottom of the UI. Once the query has run, the results are shown in a display style. Tree style is one of the four styles available:

A view is used to specify which parts (attributes) of the items will be shown. A display style controls how these attributes will be displayed, and the facilities that are available to you.

Tree Style

This is the second most frequently-used of the display styles after table style. It displays each item as a node in a tree, with a set of columns for the other attributes:

display items using tree style in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Items Shown in Tree Style

There are two views used to display trees:

  • A view that specifies the contents of the node shown in the tree. You specify this view in the schema for the item type.
  • A view that specifies the attributes shown in columns to the right of the tree

To have items displayed in this style:

  • Specify it in the query to be run:
choose tree style in a query in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Specify Tree Style in a Query
  • Also, select it from the Context group in the Home tab:
choose tree style in the UI in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Choose Tree Style in the UI Ribbon
  • Or, right click and choose Style -> Tree from the context-sensitive menu
  • Finally, press <CTRL> and 4

Facilities

  • Use the left mouse button to select individual items
  • You can select a groups of items by selecting the first and then pressing <SHIFT> and the left mouse button to select the end of the group
  • Press <CTRL> and the left mouse button to select or de-select individual items
  • You can shrink and widen the display columns. Move your cursor to the edge of a column heading and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to change the column’s width.
  • You can follow cross references by expanding the tree node for the item. Cradle will find all cross references to and from the item, select which cross references to use, and display the items at the other end of these cross references as new nodes in the tree.
  • Use drag-and-drop items between trees to create cross references between the items
  • Drag-and-drop items inside a hierarchy of the same type of items to reorder that hierarchy and automatically rebuild the hierarchical numbering within it

You can expand a tree node by:

  • Click its + button
  • Select the text of the tree node and press: +
  • Select the text of the tree node, right click, and choose Expand from the menu
  • Double click on the text of the tree node

You can collapse a tree node by:

  • Click its button
  • Double-click on the text of the tree node
  • Select the text of the tree node and press:
  • Select the text of the tree node, right click, and choose Collapse from the menu

Advantages

The advantages of tree style are that it is:

  • The simplest way to explore items and their relationships
  • A convenient method to create cross references
  • The easiest way to reorganise a hierarchy of items

If you want to do anything with cross references between items, or to work in a hierarchy of items, then this is the best display style to use.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of tree style are that:

  • It provides a limited ability to display information
  • You cannot edit information directly

Summary

Tree style is the most convenient method to work with cross references within a set of items and between one set of items and other sets of information.

Therefore, we recommend this style whenever you need to work with cross references between items and inside hierarchies.

Document Style

You can find items in a Cradle database by running a query. For example, you can use the pre-defined queries in the Quick Access Bar at the bottom of the UI. Once the query has run, the results are shown in a display style. Document style is one of the four styles available:

A view is used to specify which parts (attributes) of the items will be shown. A display style controls how these attributes will be displayed, and the facilities that are available to you.

Document Style

This is the second most flexible of all the display styles. It displays each item as a set of one or more rows and one or more columns (as controlled by the view), with invisible borders around each of the cells. You can edit items directly in this display style.

display items using document style in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Items Shown in Document Style

This display style is similar to table style, except that:

  • The height of each item’s row is set by the information to be shown. So some rows are shallow and other rows are deep. If an attribute contains no data, its height will be close to zero.
  • Different sized fonts are used to display the first row in the view. The size of the font is based on the level of the item being shown. This level is based on the number of dots (periods) in the first attribute shown in the row. This is typically the Key, or whatever attribute you may have specified to hold the item’s hierarchical number.
  • The borders around the rows and columns are invisible

For document style, you should use views that show attributes in successive rows, rather than successive columns. For example:

view to items using document style in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Arrangement of Attributes in a View for Document Style

The result is that items are displayed in a style that looks like a document, with large font for section headings and smaller fonts used for subsection headings.

To have items displayed in this style:

  • Specify it in the query to be run:
choose document style in a query in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Specify Document Style in a Query
  • Also, select it from the Context group in the Home tab:
choose document style in the UI in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Choose Document Style in the UI Ribbon
  • Or, right click and choose Style -> Document from the context-sensitive menu
  • Finally, press CTRL and 3

Facilities

Document style provides a wide range of faciltiies.

Selecting Items

  • Use the left mouse button to select individual items
  • You can select a groups of items by selecting the first and then pressing SHIFT and the left mouse button to select the end of the group
  • Press <CTRL> and the left mouse button to select or de-select individual items

Changing the Display

  • You can shrink and widen the display columns. Move your cursor to the edge of a column heading and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to change the column’s width.
  • You can move any row or column in the view. Move your cursor onto any cell border and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to move that border.
  • By default, all rows are displayed with different heights, you can increase or decrease the height of any row
  • You can sort the data in any column. Click the column heading and choose a sort order, either ascending or descending, in either a case-sensitive or case-insensitve manner (this only applies to languages that have upper-case and lower-case characters)
  • Tooltips are displayed for each column. Move your cursor into a column heading and after a second, a description of that attribute will be shown. You can enter these descriptions in the schema.
  • You can see tooltips for some attribute values. Move your cursor into a cell that displays a category with a pick-list of possible values. A tooltip appears containing a description of that category and category value. You can enter these descriptions in the schema.

Exploring Data

  • You can expand rows to follow cross references. Double-click the heading for an item’s row and that row will expand to show one new row for each item linked to the original item. Repeat this as many times as you like.
  • You will see the level of any expanded row as the number of dots in its row heading
  • You can collapse rows by double-clicking the row heading.

Editing Data

  • You can edit items directly Click inside any cell. If you have RW access to the item, Cradle locks the item so you can edit it.

Advantages

The advantages of document style are that it is:

  • Flexible. You can adjust the display and sort information.
  • Navigable. You can explore the database by expanding rows to follow cross references.
  • Editable. You can edit information through the display style.
  • Readable. All items are shown with a display height to display their entire contents.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of document style are that:

  • It takes much longer to display than list style or tree style
  • The rows displaying information are of different heights, so you may not see many items at the same time. You may need to scroll more than in other display styles.

Summary

Document style is the second most flexible of Cradle’s four display styles, after table style. It is not the quickest style to generate, but it does provide a familiar document-like view of information and a lot of capability.

Therefore, we recommend document style whenever you want to display items in a document format. This can be very helpful for users who are more familiar with using documents, rather than data-orientated tools.

Yorkshire Day – 1st August 2018

Celebrating Yorkshire Day on 1st August 2018

Eyup! Today, at 3SL in Cumbria, we are celebrating another great UK county,  our neighbours in Yorkshire.

What better way to celebrate, than with a great cup of Yorkshire tea? We all know engineers from builders to space scientists alike need a good brew to function!

 

Need a drink, concept to creation, have a cup of tea
Have a brew

From concept to creation, you can see there are steps to follow when making a good cup of tea, just as there are steps involved for anything we create. From the initial requirements to the final product it’s always best to follow a method, ensure traceability and record the details. The result will be a good quality product with repeatability, easy change management and success all round. “Cheers”

So, if you’re thinking of fugglin with a shortcut in your next project, don’t be a claht’ead, use a bit of gumption and choose the right tools and methods for the job. Cradle just makes it easier!

OK, mash over, back to tew.

 

Table Style

You can find items in a Cradle database by running a query. For example, you can use the pre-defined queries in the Quick Access Bar at the bottom of the UI. Once the query has run, the results are shown in a display style. Table style is one of the four styles available:

A view is used to specify which parts (attributes) of the items will be shown. A display style controls how these attributes will be displayed, and the facilities that are available to you.

Table Style

This is the most flexible of all the display styles. It displays each item as a set of one or more rows and one or more columns (as controlled by the view), with borders around each of the cells. You can edit items directly in this display style.

display items using table style in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Items Shown in Table Style

To have items displayed in this style:

  • Specify it in the query to be run:
choose table style in a query in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Specify Table Style in a Query
  • Also, select it from the Context group in the Home tab:
choose table style in the UI in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Choose Table Style in the UI Ribbon
  • Or, right click and choose Style -> Table from the context-sensitive menu
  • Finally, press <CTRL> and 2

Facilities

Table style provides a wide range of facilities.

Selecting Items

  • Use the left mouse button to select individual items
  • You can select a groups of items by selecting the first and then pressing SHIFT and the left mouse button to select the end of the group
  • Press <CTRL> and the left mouse button to select or de-select individual items

Changing the Display

  • You can shrink and widen the display columns. Move your cursor to the edge of a column heading and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to change the column’s width.
  • You can move any row or column in the view. Move your cursor onto any cell border and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to move that border.
  • By default, all rows are displayed the same height, but you can increase the height of any row
  • You can sort the data in any column. Click the column heading and choose a sort order, either ascending or descending, in either a case-sensitive or case-insensitve manner (this only applies to languages that have upper-case and lower-case characters)
  • Tooltips are displayed for each column. Move your cursor into a column heading and after a second, a description of that attribute will be shown. You can enter these descriptions in the schema.
  • You can see tooltips for some attribute values. Move your cursor into a cell that displays a category with a pick-list of possible values. A tooltip appears containing a description of that category and category value. You can enter these descriptions in the schema.

Exploring Data

  • You can expand rows to follow cross references. Double-click the heading for an item’s row and that row will expand to show one new row for each item linked to the original item. Repeat this as many times as you like.
  • You will see the level of any expanded row as the number of dots in its row heading
  • You can collapse rows by double-clicking the row heading.

Editing Data

  • You can edit items in a table. Click inside any cell in the table. If you have RW access to the item, Cradle locks the item so you can edit it.

Advantages

The advantages of table style are that it is:

  • Flexible. You can adjust the display and sort information.
  • Navigable. You can explore the database by expanding rows to follow cross references.
  • Editable. You can edit information through the display style.
  • Compact. All items are shown with the same display height.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of table style are that:

  • It takes longer to display than list style or tree style
  • The rows displaying information are all the same height, so you may have to click in a cell or expand a row border to see all of the information in some attributes

Summary

Table style is the most flexible of Cradle’s four display styles. It is not the quickest to generate, but it provides the most capability.

Therefore, we recommend table style as the best general purpose display style in Cradle. Unless you need something provided by a different display style, use table style.

List Style

You can find items in a Cradle database by running a query. For example, you can use the pre-defined queries in the Quick Access Bar at the bottom of the UI. Once the query has run, the results are shown in a display style. List style is one of the four styles available:

A view is used to specify which parts (attributes) of the items will be shown. A display style controls how these attributes will be displayed, and the facilities that are available to you.

List Style

This is the simplest of the four display styles. It shows each item as a single line of text, whose fields are controlled by the view that you have chosen:

display items using list style in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Items Shown in List Style

To have items displayed in this style:

  • Specify it in the query to be run:
choose list style in a query in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Specify List Style in a Query
  • Also, select it from the Context group in the Home tab:
choose list style in the UI in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Choose List Style in the UI Ribbon
  • Or, right click and choose Style -> List from the context-sensitive menu
  • Finally, press CTRL and 1

Facilities

  • Use the left mouse button to select individual items
  • You can select a groups of items by selecting the first and then pressing SHIFT and the left mouse button to select the end of the group
  • Press <CTRL> and the left mouse button to select or de-select individual items
  • You can shrink and widen the display columns. Move your cursor to the edge of a column heading and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to change the column’s width.

Advantages

The advantages of list style are that it is:

  • The fastest display style. Your view will appear most quickly in list style.
  • The most compact display style

If you simply want to run a query as quickly as possible so you can select some items and do something with them, then this is the best display style to use.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of list style are that:

  • It provides the fewest capabilities
  • You cannot edit information directly

Summary

List style is the simplest and most compact of Cradle’s four display styles. It is quick and simple to generate.

Therefore, we recommend this style whenever you simply want items to be shown as quickly as possible, so you can do something to them.

Count the Shalls

‘Shall’ Counting

“Count the shalls!” This was one of the strangest introductions to Requirements Management that I’ve heard. Firstly as a young engineer I didn’t know what a ‘shall‘ was, let alone why I should count it. For those of you reading this thinking “… no Idea what he’s on about..” let me explain. A crude method of working out the size of a project requirement was to count the number of paragraphs containing the word ‘shall‘. This gave the number of mandatory contractual statements that must be met for the project. Paragraphs containing ‘should‘ or ‘may‘ could be ignored as they were ‘nice to haves‘ rather than obligations.

counting the shalls as a method of determining contractual requirements
Shalls

Limitations

There is some logic to the approach, if the statements have been written atomically. However, as a provider one should never presume the customer has written the requirements to the right level for ‘shall counting‘.  For example these two customers’s requirement  sets are wildly different.

  1. The vehicle shall carry a load of 500Kg
  2. The vehicle shall pass legal requirements for use on UK roads.

and

  1. The pipe insulation shall be provided in 1m lengths
  2. Insulation shall be installable with standard DIY tools such as a craft knife and tie-wraps, and not require specialist equipment.
  3. The insulation shall achieve a thermal conductivity of  0.033W/mK or lower
  4. The insulation shall pass BS EN11925-2 BL
  5. No component material shall be classed as hazardous to health under COSHH regulations 2002
  6. The wholesale price point shall be 20p / m or lower

On a ‘shall‘ count the first project seems easiest just two requirements. But seriously!  would you accept a customer level requirement like this, and price up the work and expect a happy customer?
Have a Ford Transit, job done.
Then you find the customer wants to crane the load on.  Secondly you find they need a tailgate lift to unload it. Additionally you find the product needs weather protection during transit and so on.

The second project has SMART requirements
S pecific
M easurable
A ttainable
R ealisable
T raceable
Count the shalls here, and the measure may be a little more meaningful.

Shoulds and Mays

Can you afford to ignore ‘shoulds‘ and ‘mays‘ ? Contractually you could argue they don’t matter, but in forming a meaningful customer relationship, they are still important. “The insulation should be a mute colour” could contractually be met with vivid red foam, but you’re unlikely to get repeat business.

When the customer has an idea of the implementation (OK, requirements purists, don’t have a coronary) then they are guiding you as to the options they see as most appropriate.  “The vehicle shall have a mechanism to remove the load at a customer site” could be met with a separate fork lift truck being supplied. However “The vehicle may have a powered tailgate lift, or a body mounted mini crane” suggests the customer is seeing these as preferred solutions. In costing a bid these should certainly be considered. However, if your vehicles come with built in vehicle body to floor conveyors, this could still be a viable solution for the customer. After discussion your system requirement, linked to your customer requirement may become “The vehicle shall be fitted with a 800Kg NWL body/floor conveyor ” Of course this requirement would also have extra data within or linked to it minuting the discussion with the customer where they agreed this would meet their requirement.

Solutions

example of the types of language that should be evaluated automatically
Conformance Checker Settings

There are definitely merits  for someone or something to ‘count the shalls’. If you have 1678 requirements in your project and 1698 ‘shalls‘ you obviously have some non atomic requirements.  Running a Conformance Checker can validate the semantics, across your whole requirement set. What automated tools can’t do is look at the logic and complexity of the requirement. In these cases breaking your customer requirement into a number of domain specific system requirements ensures the level of the requirements against which you bid, design and build are truly SMART. Whilst unsurprisingly we advocate the use of a tool to manage your requirements, to link the User Requirements to the derived or system requirements, we don’t claim a tool will solve the problem of poor specification;  For that you need good, competent engineers, whose job is made easier by using the correct tools.