3SL Cradle Cloud Services

Our Cradle “cloud” services (SaaS – Software as a Service) provide access to 3SL’s Requirements Management and Systems Engineering tool – Cradle using remote servers. This means there is no need to install the software on your company systems.

Cradle SaaS
Cradle Cloud Service

They are also a cost effective way to get up and running with Cradle.

3SL offers a choice of Cradle-Enterprise systems delivered as Cradle cloud services from a choice of servers, in a range of fixed term subscriptions, each accessed by your choice of concurrent users.

The Cradle service provides Cradle directly to the users from a remote environment managed by 3SL:

  • In a matter of days from order
  • With no software installations
  • Needing no, or little, work from your IT

What is the Cradle Service?

The Cradle service:

  • Is a self-contained set of Cradle and third party software tools
  • Is integrated with your filesystems and printers
  • Is secure and resilient
  • Needs no administration by your organisation
  • If you wish, is linked to your corporate email
  • If you wish, is run on servers exclusive to you

The Cradle service delivers the latest version of Cradle, and related applications directly to user’s desktops. Cradle and the other tools appear in windows like any other application that a user runs locally. But Cradle, and your databases, all run on remote servers inside the Cradle service.

You can have any number of databases. They, and the data inside them, are private to you. 3SL will manage the service so you can be assured that it is always available.

You can choose a lower cost shared service or a dedicated service. In the shared service, you share servers at 3SL in the UK with other subscribers, keeping privacy of your data and databases. In a dedicated service, 3SL creates a virtual private cloud (VPC) of servers using a third party hosting provider that are exclusive to you and located in any geographic area that you choose.

All databases are backed up automatically with a 3 hour RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and an 8 hour RPO ( Recovery Point Objective). Backups are held for 8 months.

Cradle Subscriptions

The Cradle system types available as a subscription are:

  • Cradle Enterprise-RM Basic – requirements management including the ability to generate metrics and dashboards
  • Cradle Enterprise-RM Pro – requirements management including the ability to generate metrics, dashboards and produce quality documentation
  • Cradle Enterprise-SE Basic – systems engineering including systems modelling and the ability to generate metrics and dashboards
  • Cradle Enterprise-SE Pro – systems engineering including system modelling and the ability to generate metrics, dashboards and produce quality documentation

The Cradle subscriptions can be packaged into simple fixed term durations ranging from one month to sixty months. This allows you to budget and ensure cover for a whole host of proejcts. You will be free to finish or renew as your project needs at the end of the term.

Cradle SaaS in a Nutshell

  • Choose from a range of Cradle Enterprise systems to provide the capabilities you need
  • Choose a shared or dedicated host environment
  • Specify the number of users that you need to have access to the environment
  • Specify how long you want the service for
  • Work in any number of databases
  • Upload and download data and results easily from your local IT systems
  • Print directly to your local devices if needed
  • On-boarding service to help you get started
  • Off-boarding service to preserve your work before your subscription ends
  • Add extra terms and change who can access the service at any time

For pricing of the Cradle subscriptions please visit our website.


Customising the Quick Access Bar

WorkBench provides a Quick Access Bar that allows you to launch queries by item type from the bottom of the WorkBench main screen. It’s intended to provide quick and easy access to all of the relevant types of information in your Cradle database.

Default Queries

By default, WorkBench is initialised to show a standard (Automatic) set of queries each ordered by the Identity attribute

  • All – Lists all items that you can access.
  • Bottom-Level – Lists all bottom-level items that you can access. Bottom-level items are items that do not have any cross references from them to other items of the same type. For example,  they have no children.
  • Document – Lists the latest instance of items that you can access and displays them as a document. For example in Document style.
  • Document (Simple) – A simplified version of the Document query.
  • History – Lists the latest instance of items that you can access and displays them in a view showing change histories.
  • Latest – Lists the latest instance of all items that you can access. There can be many instances of each item, such as many versions of the item.
  • Recoverable – Lists all items that are in a recoverable state.
  • Suspect – Lists all items that are deemed suspect.
  • Top-Level – Lists all top-level items that you can access. Top-level items are items that do not have any cross references to them to other items of the same type. For example, they have no parents.
  • Unlinked – Lists all items that you can access that don’t have cross references to or from them from any other items.
  • Yours – Lists all items that you own.
Query options from Quick Access Bar
Quick Access Bar query options

These queries may be useful as a starter set of queries. However, it is likely that you will want to tailor the queries shown in the Quick Access Bar to meet your own project needs and use the Project queries and views to display the data.

Note that all automatic queries are ordered by Identity. You might wish to order your Quick Access Bar queries by Key, especially when working with hierarchies of items.

Adding Project Queries to the Quick Access Bar

In Project Setup, you can select the item type that you wish to tailor and press the Quick Access Bar button. In this example, we will use Requirements:

Quick Access Bar option in Project Setup
Project Setup – Quick Access Bar option

This presents you with a dialog that allows you to add up to 10 Project or System defined queries to your Quick Access Bar.

You can still show the Automatic queries by selecting the Append automatic queries checkbox:

Quick Access Bar Setup dialog
Quick Access Bar Setup dialog

Once applied, all users in the project will see the changes to the Quick Access Bar:

Quick Access Bar showing additional queries
Additional Queries in Quick Access Bar

These additional queries will use the view as defined in the Query Details dialog.

Quick Access Bar - Query Details
Quick Access Bar – Query Details

Personalising the Quick Access Bar

You may wish to personalise the Quick Access Bar for your own use to only show the item types that are relevant to you in the order that you wish them to be displayed. You can achieve this in the Preferences:

Preferences - QAB Option
Quick Access Bar options in Preferences

If you select the Append remaining item types checkbox, all other item types are still shown on the Quick Access Bar after the ones you have selected:

Quick Access Bar with highlighted
Quick Access Bar with highlighted item types

For further information on the Quick Access Bar functionality, refer to the help page https://www.threesl.com/cradle/help/7.7/#workbench/other/wrk_qab.htm.

Renumbering a Sequence of Incorrect Key Values


You have captured a number of items into Cradle. However, the KEY attribute that defines the hierarchy has incorrect values. Do you have to open each item individually to correct this numbering?

For example, the items below should have a sequence of 1.1.1 to 1.1.8:

Numbering of items in a hierarchy
Incorrect hierarchical numbering


No, you can actually define the key sequence by selecting all of the items to be changed and pressing Properties:

Properties option
Properties option

In the Item Properties dialog, you will see that the Key attribute is listed with the value As Is. This is due to the items having different values:

Item Properties dialog showing Key As Is
Item Properties dialog

In this field you can add the value sequence within chevrons <<#=>>. In this case, you could enter the value 1.1.<<1+>>:

Item Properties dialog showing Key
Item Properties dialog showing Key

The result of this operation is shown below in which the Keys are now numbered sequentially as required:

Correct hierarchy numbering
Correct hierarchy numbering

Any changes to the items will be stored in the items’ histories.

February Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the February 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 questions about your use of Cradle, please do not hesitate to contact 3SL Support here.

Happy Chinese New Year!

3SL 祝愿我们的所有客户,合作伙伴和供应商2023吉祥如意!

The Chinese New Year holiday reached its climax with the Lantern Festival, celebrated on February 5th, 2023.

What are your Requirements for Valentines Day?

February is the month of Saint Valentine.

3SL Heart based on Photo by SHAHBAZ AKRAM from Pexels
Love Cradle

We want to share the love of engineering through Requirements Management and integrated MBSE. Rather than roses, we will use Cradle!

So if you need more Cradle licences for a bigger project or you want to upgrade your single user product to Cradle 7.7, then contact 3SL for further information.

Happy Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)

We hope you have a great pancake day (February 21st) whatever your process flow may be!

Shows a pancake in a process flow
Pancake Flow Diagram (PFD) !

A PFD (Process Flow Diagram), rather than Pancake Flow Diagram shows a particular task or process that the system can perform. This is termed a flow. Systems may have many flows, each of which may have concurrent or optional elements.

Modelling the flow before you take action can ensure you have thought about, and documented, the expected behaviour(s). It can be clear which parts of the system are operating in parallel and which could be bottlenecks awaiting the outcome of previous operations. However, modelling Shrove Tuesday’s pancakes may be a bit excessive ….

Looking Back!

Last month we discussed:

Still to Come this Month

    • Requirements Management online course – February 20th to 23rd

To book your place on the course please see here.

Specifying Custom Number Format in Free Text Categories

In a project, you may wish to enter a supporting reference number for an item of data. For example, an Equipment Number. This number might require a given format.


Project Code –  4 alpha characters
Equipment Code – 5 numerical characters

Supporting Reference Number
Supporting Reference Number for a Project

You can achieve this by creating a user-defined category with no category values defined and include a Category Verification Test using a Regular Expression.

Example Category Verification Test for Reference Number category
Example Category Verification Test

In this example, the regular expression ^[A-Z]{4}(?:-[0-9]{5})?$ can be broken down into:

Regular ExpressionDescription
^The beginning of the string
[A-Z]{4}The project code must be 4 alpha characters long in uppercase
?:-A hyphen separator
[0-9]{5}The equipment code must be 5 numeric characters
$The end of the string

Applying Category to the Item

Once you have defined the category, you can assign this to an item type:

Assigning Categories
Assign Category to Item Type

Creating/Editing an Item

If you now create or modify an item of data, Cradle will present you with an error message on saving if the category value does not match what you have specified in the Category Verification Test.

Reference Number
Reference Number in Categories
Invalid Category Value dialog
Invalid Category Value dialog

Here the validation test would fail because you have not included a hyphen separator.

Validation Test result
Validation Test result

You will also receive an error if the incorrect case is used. E.g. demo-12345.

Invalid Validation Test
Invalid Validation Test

However, if you enter a value such as DEMO-12345, this would save without any warning or error message.

Example saved category
Example saved category


Regular expressions can be used in many areas of the tool. Using this functionality to enforce an input in free text categories can be a very useful feature.

For further information about regular expressions (regexes) please refer to the page https://www.threesl.com/cradle/help/7.7/#general/regularexpressions.htm.