November Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the November 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.

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.

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 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 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 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:

  1. Capture their contents into items that are typically the needs or user requirements to which other items are linked
  2. Coverage analysis, to show which parts of the document have been captured
  3. Use analysis, to show how parts of the document have been used in the database
  4. 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
  5. Compare versions of source documents to find differences and see which database items were impacted by these differences
  6. 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.

Latest Updates

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.

Social Media

Still to Come this Month

This course is a 1 day course split over 2 half days. It provides the following modules:

  • Introduction to Test Execution
  • Setting up Supporting Item Types
  • Test Planning
  • Test Execution and Recording

Your Highlights

If you have any company news or achievements that you would like 3SL to share in any of our newsletters then please let us know.