This blog follows on from our previous blog about project integrity checks. Here we discuss a second project integrity tool which concerns the validity of cross references. This can be found in the Project ribbon:
As with the Item Integrity Checker, the user MUST have ACCESS_BYPASS privilege to instigate any changes to the data. It is highly recommended that there are no other active users in the database.
In fact, we would recommend locking a project using Project Manager prior to using these utilities if you cannot be certain that other users would not try to log on during the process of running the utilities.
Also, it is highly recommended to back up your database and/or create a snapshot prior to instigating any changes using these utilities.
For details about snapshots, refer to the following help page.
Cross Reference Integrity Checker
The Cross Reference Integrity Checker consists of several checks that compare the links found in the database with the rules specified in Project Setup. Some of the issues found can be repaired with a single click.
There are some checks that would not be required in normal Cradle usage but could appear as a result of an import. An example of this could be due to the fact that Cradle has the ability to import cross references independently of any item types and specify the from item and the to item. These items referred to in the cross references by their identity attribute, might not exist in the database so this is an example of a dangling cross reference.
Cross Reference Integrity Checks
Other checks are:
Duplicate cross references
Reversed hierarchical cross references – where the from item has an identity that suggests it to be the child of the to item. For example, a cross reference that is from item 1.2.3 to item 1.2. The usual action is to fix the cross references which will reverse them.
Cross references to be reversed – where the link rules specified in Project Setup state that the link between the checked items should be in the opposite direction in order to be valid.
Cross references needing a new link type – where it detects cross references that are invalid according to the current link rules but which become valid if their link type is changed
Invalid cross references
Cross reference cardinality – detects cross references whose cardinality does not match the current link rules
Cross reference attributes – checks the cross reference attributes, e.g., if there was information in a cross reference attribute (e.g. Reason) and was removed in a way other than through the UI, this check will flag the cross reference.
These checks will provide both a report and a summary in the dialog.
In this example, 154 of the cross references that exist in the database would be valid if they were reversed. So clicking the Fix button would repair those links with a single click.
We have addressed some of the checks that can be run on items to confirm the validity of cross references.
Please remember that the user MUSThave ACCESS_BYPASS privilege to instigate any changes to the data. It is highly recommended that there are no other active users in the database.
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.
Cradle Public Training Courses 2024
3SL have provided a number of Cradle public training courses in 2023. We are currently working on our 2024 training course calendar. Once this is available we will share this with you.
We still have courses available in 2023, please see our website for further information.
Critical Software and Software Bill of Material (SBOM)
The contract opportunities issued by the US Government and many US companies now include a requirement that suppliers provide a Software Bill of Material (SBOM) for all critical software – as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – that would be delivered as part of any contract fulfilment of that opportunity. This requirement is pursuant to executive order 14028 issued by the Biden administration in the US.
3SL can advise that Cradle does not fall within the definition of critical software as defined by NIST. The NIST definition and guidance can be found here.
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.
Cradle provides several ways to track changes in your project. One of these is to query 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 thenqueryon ‘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 items that are part of a work breakdown structure linked to a plan, there are some built-in ranges which can be accessed in the Progress tab in the Query Details dialog. For example, you can find all activities / tasks that are underway, those that are due to complete soon, or those that should have already completed. These provide a planning view of where your project stands.
We hope all our customers, suppliers and staff that celebrate Dewali, All Hallows Eve and All Saints day or remembered the defeating of the Gunpowder plot have a happy and safe celebration.
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.
Source Document Analyses
Cradle’s Document Loader tool can be used to parse source documents and capture them into a hierarchy of items, each corresponding to one of the sections, subsections, paragraphs, tables, table rows, table cells in the document. The structure of this hierarchy mirrors the structure of the document. Each item in the hierarchy is linked to its origin in a copy of the source document that is cached in the database. This allows Cradle to perform a variety of operations on source documents:
Capture their contents into items that are typically the needs or user requirements to which other items are linked
Coverage analysis, to show which parts of the document have been captured
Use analysis, to show how parts of the document have been used in the database
Integrity analysis, to confirm that the document has been parsed into multiple items each of which is identical to the original document, or (depending on the process) has been modified only as agreed
Compare versions of source documents to find differences and see which database items were impacted by these differences
Compare a potential new version of a source document against the latest version that has previously been loaded to find the changes and assess the impact of such changes on the database as a means to decide if the new document version will be accepted
Mapping Tables When Capturing Documents
Some source documents use tables for each piece of information. For example, each requirement or test case is contained in its own table and, therefore, a document with 500 requirements will have 500 tables.
When loading such documents, you define a mapping for the first of these tables. In this mapping you specify which cells (each a row and column) will have its contents loaded, and the attribute of the Cradle item that will receive that data. You can then apply this mapping to all other tables in the document with the same structure, and then proceed to capture the document using all of these table mappings.
We have seen a problem whereby Document Loader would fail to map multiple tables. This problem only occurred with one specific document, and only when that document was being processed on a Windows Server 2019 + Office 2016 platform. Any other combination of O/S and Office worked as expected.
We are pleased to advise that a recent Microsoft Update to Office has corrected this problem. Therefore, please ensure that if you are using Office 2016 that you use Version 2310 Build 16924.20124.
For more information about How to Set Table Mappings click here.
The latest technical and related topics in our blog are:
Follow these links to see the latest blog updates and then use the blog’s search to find other topics of interest! With over 500 posts in the blog, we are sure that you will find lots to interest you in the details of Cradle and 3SL!
We would also like to thank all attendees on our Risk Management course which we provided in October.