How do I fix CDS connection errors?

Diagnosing CDS connection Errors

If you receive a CDS connection error when starting a Cradle tool, the following steps will help you diagnose the most common CDS connection errors and show you how to resolve them. These errors are highlighting a communication problem between the client tool (e.g. WorkBench, Document Loader or Document Publisher) and the Cradle Database Server (CDS). There are four main possible causes ;

Error message saying Could not connect to CDS
Can not connect to CDS error dialog

1 – The CDS is not running.

  1. The CDS is on the same machine as the client, (e.g. Single user products or Cytrix installations) . Run Project Manager to see if the CDS is running or look in the process list (Task Manager on Windows, or ps Process List on Linux)  for  crsvr.exe.
  2. The CDS is running on another machine
    1. In the same TCP/IP subnet (e.g. usual client/server Enterprise installation) . Start Project Manager and look for the CDS.
    2. Another subnet. Login to that machine and look for it in the process list or contact the administrator of that other machine.

Solution – Start the CDS on the machine where it is to run,  by starting Project Manager and starting the CDS. Or at a Linux command prompt

c_start start

If the CDS will not start and is not returning any messages then open a command prompt and perform the following dependant on platform


Type the following in a command prompt

cd %CRADLEHOME%\bin\exe\windows


Type the following in a command prompt on Linux 32 bit;

cd $CRADLEHOME/bin/exe/linux-ia32/

Type the following in a command prompt on Linux 64 bit;

cd $CRADLEHOME/bin/exe/linux-x86_64/

2 – CDS is running but the Cradle tool is not communicating with it.

Check the CDS is running on a different PC but your Cradle system is set to standalone.

Look for an environment variable called CRADLE_STANDALONE and if it exists either delete it or set its value to false.

Then look in the startup file for the variable STANDALONE and ensure that it is set to false.

3 – The Cradle tool is trying to communicate with the CDS, but its communications do not reach the CDS.

Check that there is evidence that the Cradle tool’s messages are reaching the CDS. To do this, look at the file cds_access.log on the machine running the CDS. There is one multi-line entry in this file for every connection attempt that the CDS receives. If the Cradle tool’s attempt to connect to the CDS reaches the CDS, it will be in this file. Make a note of the last entry in the file, then close it and attempt  to start the Cradle tool. Look at the cds_access.log file again and see if a new entry has appeared at the bottom of it. If not, then the Cradle client’s attempts to connect to the CDS are not being received by the CDS.

If the CDS runs on a machine in another TCP/IP subnet to the PC where the tool is being run, define an environment variable called CRADLE_CDS_HOST whose value is the TCP/IP address or hostname of the machine running the CDS. Run the tool again and look for an entry appearing at the bottom of the cds_access.log file. If the CDS runs on a machine in the same TCP/IP subnet to the PC where the tool is being run, look for the CRADLE_CDS_HOST environment variable and check that its contents are correct. You can delete the variable if this CDS is the only CDS running in the subnet.

Ensure the correct ports are opened on your firewall, the specific ports can be edited from the ports file.

4 – The Cradle tool can communicate with the CDS, but the CDS is ignoring it.

On the machine running the CDS check the cds_hosts file. This file has to either be empty ( all clients are allowed to be connected to the CDS) or it contains a list of IP address / machine names allowed/disallowed to connect to the CDS.

How do I save my progress in Document Loader?

Saving progress in Document Loader

If you are working on a large document and need to save  your current position, for example if you need to shut-down your PC for any reason. You can save progress in Document Loader by using a session to save a snapshot. You can then return to the same point at a later time and date. You can then continue to finish your capture or just do a little more and re-save the session to continue again later.

A session stores information about the state of Document Loader at a given point, such as:

  • A copy of the current document
  • A copy of the current capture setup definition
  • Which parts of the document have already been captured
  • The state of the Document Explorer tree nodes
  • Any mappings, e.g. table mappings
  • Any changes made in the Options dialog
screenshot showing load session retains previous progress
Load Session in Document Loader

For further information on how to save progress in Document Loader and Save/Load and Delete sessions in Document Loader please read this post.

Article Updated –  28/01/2019 Increased image size

Can I disconnect users and free up their licences?

Disconnect Users and Release Licences

Users can be disconnected and their licences released by another user from Project Manager without the need of restarting the CDS.

This could be useful in the following circumstances:

  • A user has left a login dialog open locking a RW connection
  • A user has locked a licence and cannot manually release it
  • You have locked a project for maintenance and need to remove users while the maintenance is carried out
screenshot of user management screen
Disconnect Users and freeup their Licences.


Disconnect your users through Cradle’s Project Manager. To disconnect a user select User Management… from the System pulldown menu which produces a User Management dialog, from here you can see details of all connections to the CDS, select a user and then choose Log Off. This will kill the connection and free up any licences they had in use.

Cradle Database Server – CDS Status to 3SL Support

How do I provide CDS status to 3SL support?

If you need to provide information about your Cradle Database Server CDS status to 3SL support you can generate a report from within WorkBench.

If asked to provide information about your current client or server installation, this can be obtained through the The Cradle 'about' or extra information icon ‘About’ button. The resulting screen gives a lot of information about the running system. Additional information for the current ‘Resources’ being consumed by the client or ‘CDS status’ are produced with the buttons at the bottom of the dialog.

Triggering the cds status report
CDS status report

Cradle the Requirements Management and Systems Engineering tool of choice provides full support* to all our Enterprise customers under their maintenance agreement.

Other support options include a large collection of online resources or search the blog’s hints and tips or faq sections.

To contact support, find your local distributor or contact 3SL UK

*Installation support is provided for all our single user configurations. Out of maintenance support must be discussed with our sales team.

Can I customise UI to show my most used commands?

Easy Customisation Using Cradle Start-Pages

Yes you can customise the front end UI shown to users.  The simplest way to  customise most used commands, is add them to a Start Page. The example below places a company logo, and the three most used queries on the start page. These are considered the most used actions by the company and therefore, they want them easily accessible when the tool starts. The links are customised to run the specific queries needed most.

Additionally an “Admin” section has been added to get at the User Preferences and Project Schema Setup. This could normally be shown collapsed or ‘rolled up’ as this is less frequently used.

Screen shot of a Cradle-RM Desktop edition with customised start page
Customised Start Page

This is the most basic of examples, set so everyone in the project sees the same page when they start up. However, in large teams, start pages can be customised to the Cradle user, personal, team or user type. The selection of page is set in the User Preferences.

Project Phases

In an enterprise environment the company process may be more tightly defined. Customisation of the flow through the project lifecycle would be better represented as groups of actions in the Phase sidebar.

Cradle 7.4 Start Page Enhancement

It is now possible to copy panels and entries and to refresh your list of queries.

When you insert an entry into a start page, the newly created entry is created beneath the selected one, rather than at the bottom of the list. You also have the option to copy start page panels and start page entries.

When creating start pages, it is possible to add queries. If you found there was a query missing that you needed, and you or a colleague created it, it is not automatically added to the cached list in the start page setup. Clicking the  Refresh icon will now relist all the available queries.

Start Page query refresh
Query list refresh button

For more information on Start Pages click here

Updated 09/08/2018 – Cradle 7.4 Enhancement

Can I See, Who is Using What and Where?

Report on Who and Where.

It is easy to see who, using what, where from the Users report in Project Manager.  This details the host system user name, their Cradle login name and the project they are connected to.

Why is there an Executing Client and Display Client shown?

These would show different values if your system is set to have the executable running on one machine with the UI redirected to another. For example a Windows® user may remotely log on to a Linux® machine, and start WorkBench, viewing the output on a Windows X terminal emulation.  The machine running the Cradle Database Server may be a third machine.

User report from Project Manager showing users and licences
User Report

Additional brief information detailing which module licences they currently have in use is also given. For full details on the licence usage users would run the Licence Usage report.

Installation Issue With Office 2016 / 365 / ClickToRun

Recently several customers who use Office 2016 / 365 / ClickToRun have reported an installation issue with the Cradle Toolsuite for Microsoft Office. Its installer did not detect that Office 2016 / 365 / ClickToRun is installed.

Registry Solution

The problem is due to a recent Windows/Office update (we are not certain which one) which damages the default key in one of both of the registry folders:


The solution to the problem is to fix the Default key value, as shown in the figure using regedit. After fixing this key, our installer will detect that Office 2016 / 365 / ClickToRun is installed, and it will correctly install the Toolsuite.

Please be careful when you edit the registry as damage to the registry can prevent Windows working. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this issue, which is outside our control

Further Help

Check the registery entries are set correctly as show. If you  still have a problem, contact

Office Registery settings
Office Registery settings

Can you export individual baselines?

We are sometimes asked if it is possible to export the contents of individual baselines. Most commonly for baselines that have been closed in the past. The short answer is yes, and here’s how:

  1. Select the Review tab, then ‘Set Mode’ and choose the baseline to be exported
  2. Select the Project tab, then  ‘Export’ and specify the type(s) of information to export and set the owner to ‘Project’
  3. Specify an output filename and any other options needed, and select ‘Export’

Note: You should NOT try to import information into old baselines. This is because:

  • You could easily create inconsistencies in baseline histories that could also prevent the Configuration Management System (CMS) from working correctly
  • It breaks the principles of good CM and your formal CM process
Exporting Baselines
Exporting Baselines

For more information on exporting information from Cradle, this help article may help you.

Installation Issue With Windows C Runtime

During installation, some customers see messages that the Visual Studio 2015 C++ Runtime cannot be installed, or cannot be found, or they cannot install their Security Code, or none of the Cradle servers or tools will start. All of these issues mean that the Windows C runtime is not installed and runnable. All parts of Cradle use this library. The library will only install and run if all the necessary Windows updates are installed. However, the library does not ‘tell Windows’ which updates it needs.


To fix these issues, you must install Windows updates. Since updates may allow other updates to install, you repeatedly install all Windows updates until no more will install. See the figure. Your installation may not display exactly as shown. You may have multiple versions of the library installed.

You can view your Windows updates. If you want a list of updates, start PowerShell as Administrator and paste this code:

Get-WmiObject -Class “win32_quickfixengineering” | Export-Csv c:\temp\updates.csv
Select-Object -Property “Description”, “HotfixID”,
@{Name=”InstalledOn”; Expression={([DateTime]($_.InstalledOn)).ToLocalTime()}}

which creates a list of all Windows updates in the file: c:\temp\updates.csv

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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