July 2019 Newsletter

Headline July 12th:

Chaucer Appointed Clerk of the King’s Works

Old books on shelf Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels .com

OK, this is a 2019 newsletter and the headline is from 1389 (and not from the 3SL newsletter, we may be a long established company but the MD assures me he’s not that old).

What’s Geoffrey Chaucer, the Father of English literature from the middle ages got to do with Requirement’s Management? I hear you ask.

Any wordsmith will strive to create a picture or describe an event in such a way that the reader is able to internally visualise and experience what the author is trying to convey. Whether that be fact or fiction is the main divide between literary and engineering authors. Visions of golden eagles carrying the author high above the earth in Chaucer‘s Hous of Fame, or a depiction of Hiccup, a small Viking, on the back of a Dragon, by our most recent Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, may paint vivid pictures, but are works of fantasy.

Business writing must also convey a visualisation to the reader. However in a very different style. No one would ever suggest writing your requirements in octosyllabic couplets, or even in rhyme. Although it does sounds fun! In the same way that a poet uses rules to create rhymes,  couplets, sonnets or limericks, business writers follow hierarchical, brevity, atomic rules to keep requirements clear, concise and understandable. We’d rather draw you a diagram to illustrate the system than add another thousand words.

Requirements need to have a purpose, a defined theme or product. Unlike the criticised unfinished, wandering Hous of Fame. In his job as the Clerk or works (CoW), Chaucer would have needed to provide clear instruction and detail to the builders. His work as a bureaucrat would also have required clear communication. An uncommon talent to find, skills in both literary and business writing, unless you know different?   Let us know social-customer@threesl.com

What’s In A Name?

Cradle Registered Trade Mark

Quite a bit really. We believe Cradle®From Concept to Creation is synonymous with a product helping organise and manage projects world wide. In that regard we have successfully defended our registered trademark under the “software umbrella” for many years. However, many of you will be familiar with Cradle support, training and business consultancy. You may also be aware Cradle is now also available as a managed service (SaaS).  In recognition of the work we do helping companies set up successful processes, and our service provisions, you’ll now also find Cradle® in classes 41 and 42

G Cloud 11

g-cloud HMGovernment

We’ve been successfully accepted into the UK government’s G-Cloud 11 framework. Thanks to the efforts of all involved.

Social Media


Batelle TweetWe liked the Soapbox challenge that came to Barrow, and enjoyed the longest day this year. We were impressed that Battelle‘s micro engineering could identify you from a hair.


June 2019 Newsletter


Coral Reef from Pexels.com Qesm Al Wahat

The half way month in the Gregorian calendar and here is the June 2019 Newsletter. June is derived from the Anglo-French Juin, from Latin Junius.

The 1st of June is a call for us all to recognise the importance of Reefs in the world’s eco system. The complex interaction of many individual organisms linked by a rock/bone like skeleton, is home to many an animal and plant (It’s a bit like many requirements linked together defining your system in Cradle!) Sorry for the contrived comparison.

On the 14th June it is international bathday, we can hear some of our engineers asking us to clarify if it is REALLY six months since their Christmas dip! On the 21st, here in the North, we’ll be celebrating the longest day of the year with the summer solstice.

In addition, for many potential engineers it’s a celebration of the end of their exams with the prospect of moving on to college, university or finding a job, good luck all.

Cradle 7.5

Cradle 7.5 Logo
Cradle 7.5

3SL are pleased to announce the arrival of Cradle 7.5.

This release is available as a new product, or an upgrade for users with maintenance.  You can download it here, and after that you  will require a new security code to use it.

Features include:

ReqIF Support

Support for ReqIF (Requirements Interchange Format).

This allows Cradle to exchange information with other requirements
management and systems engineering tools that also support ReqIF.
Please note that you need to carefully define a mapping between the
information in your Cradle schema and the schema used in the other

Web Services Interface

Support for Web Services, a new REST-based HTTP API.
This provides both session-based and ‘single-shot’ interaction
with Cradle through a WSI (Web Services Interface) that provides a
range of facilities to query the schema, query the items and links
in the database, and to create or modify items and links.
The WSI uses an API connection licence.

ODBC Support

Support for users who wish to store their data in a third-party RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)  Oracle or MySQL) as opposed to the file-based ISAM database supplied free with Cradle.
This new capability allows you to store each Cradle database in
any of ISAM, Oracle and MySQL. The Cradle Database Server (CDS)
can interact with ISAM and/or Oracle and/or MySQL all at the same
time if necessary.
Note that you need to provide the ODBC driver for the RDBMS and
you need to perform some initial configuration of the RDBMS before
Cradle can interact with it. We provide full details of the steps
needed in the Cradle documentation.
This gives Cradle another unique capability. Cradle is the only
tool which provides a choice of database back-ends to store your


Enhanced Matrix Details dialog,  variable substitutions within navigation attribute values.

Queries on Frame Content

Support sequential testing for frames in queries.

Systems Modelling

Integration between model-based (specifications, data definitions, diagrams) and your project’s requirements and notes (which are not sub divided into models, non-model information). shown in all types of diagram in the FAD (functional, architecture, data) group of notations.
This is a major extension to Cradle’s modelling capabilities. It
allows you to show, in any diagram, how the elements of the model
(functions, processes, equipments, interfaces and so on) are
linked to:
– Information earlier in the lifecycle, such as requirements
– The system structure, such as a SBS
– Information later in the lifecycle, such as test cases
Some SysML notations allow requirements to be shown in a model.
This is helpful. However, the new non-model information symbols
provided by this enhancement offer far more capability than is
offered in SysML.

Project Setup

Firstly, a new DateTime category and frames to help support ReqIF.
Enhanced option for selecting/entering link attributes for cross references.
Additionally, the ability to disable/enable sidebars for a particular user type.

User Setup

New options (skills) when applying a role to a User Profile.

Social Media


JPL Name on Mars Tweet
JPL Name on Mars Tweet

Firstly we hoped you enjoyed Chocolate Chip Cookie Day that would certainly have been one for the Cookie Monster celebrating 50 Years of Sesame Street! Furthermore we debated sending 3SL to Mars, well in name only. (However, we did consider drawing up a short list of some people we would really like to send, for instance …..)

…and Finally

We were proud to announce our ISO 9001 :2015 certification last month. If you want to confirm our certification, enter our certificate number 16926 into the checker here.

May 2019 Newsletter

Let’s Party 9001!

Pizza all round celebrating 3SL gaining ISO9001
ISO9001 Celebration

It been great news for the Barrow HQ of 3SL (Structured Software Systems Limited) we’ve received our ISO9001:2015 certificate in the post.

We celebrated in true engineering style by ordering pizzas for everyone in the office, and reporting it in the May 2019 newsletter.

  • Will dealing with 3SL change?
    • For over 30 years we’ve been providing a great product and in depth support and training. This will not change, we will continue to serve you and your business as before.
  • Will the prices go up?
    • We believe Cradle has always been good value for money, we won’t be using our certification as an excuse to charge more.
  • Will contacting 3SL be a more lengthy process?
    • No, our quality systems are part of our daily operation. We may have tweaked the odd process, but we will still log and deal with your information and requests in the professional manner to which you are accustomed.
  • Does this mean that Cradle will change?
    • No the product will remain the same until the next update and the release of Cradle 7.5
  • 3SL ISOQAR Certificate Number 16926 ISO 9001
    Certificate Number 16926 ISO 9001:2015

    So why did you apply for a certificate?

    • We asked Mark Walker our Managing Director, he replied “ISO9001 is an external recognition that the processes and quality at 3SL and its Cradle products are measurable, traceable and of a consistent standard. This will give our customers an added assurance that when they deal with 3SL they can do so with confidence in our software development and service delivery”


Quality assurance for the business is very closely related to the quality assurance of your products. We have covered, a number of times in various articles, the fact that we need to know what our goals are, measure where  we currently are, and then ensure we head in the right direction. When we finally have a set of clear requirements, we need a way to measure whether what we have achieved meets the original stakeholders’ expectations. This is where requirement confirmation is employed.

the 4 types of requirement confirmation
Verification and Validation in the Systems Lifecycle
  • Inspection
  • Analysis
  • Demonstration
  • Test

Are methods by which we can measure our solutions and compare them with the original requirement. Read more in this article, The 4 Types of Requirement Confirmation

Social Media


Sandia labs told the story of a miniature spectrometer in this Tweet
Sandia labs Spectrometer Tweet

Could your mobile phone camera detect rancid food? It’s an amazing possibility for a miniature spectrometer.

We shouted about a new review site in our tweet @AlternativeTo

We re-visited a discussion on whether a baseline is the end of the road or a stepping stone in Configuration Management.

…and Finally.

St George was a Dragon slayer,
Dragons were slayed by George,
If you’ve never seen a Dragon to-date………..
Can that be used as conclusive proof that he was a 100% effective solution???
Your thoughts on this and any other blog topics you would like to raise send to  social-customer@threesl.com


April 2019 Newsletter

Spring Has Sprung

Spring flowers on Barrow's roundabouts
Spring Bulbs

With Easter upon us, its a time of renewal and new life. We love that just outside our offices we can see the signs of new leaves on the trees, beautifully planted Barrow Borough Council roundabouts and hanging baskets, and playful businesses selling their wares on the street.

For those of you used to reading the 3SL newsletter, you’ll see that there is a new broom sweeps clean, spring is the time to start afresh parable style link coming, so here goes….

Spring trees on Barrow high street
Spring Leaves

“Spring, the cycle will goes on  new shoots will grow from the old and the plant will expand. However, as any gardener knows,  pruning an old herbaceous plant, will result in more vigorous new life.”

Here it comes…..

“Whilst you may have systems in place, that sprout an odd shoot,  really vigorous process improvement will not occur on old gnarled wood.

Spring on Barrow high street
Spring Fun

Look hard at your processes give them a good hard prune, and reap the rewards. As a gardener needs sharp secateurs, good software tools help you manage your business, design and implementation processes. #Cradle from 3SL”

Beta Testing

We’re implementing the last tweaks to Cradle 7.5. Thanks for those who provided feedback. Look out for ReqIF import, Cradle Web Services, and alternative database storage.

G Cloud

g-cloud HMGovernment

We’re busy in the process of ensuring Cradle is available on the forthcoming  G-Cloud 11

Social Media


Skyways drone
Skyways drone

We trust no one fell for the April Fool, but we did like the thought of superfast fibre installation!

We wondered if #Airbus’ Skyways drone could be a way to ensure the martini is delivered shaken and not stirred to our luxury yacht. (mmmmm, we’ll have to buy one of those first).

And we revisited our functional / non-functional requirements post.

March 2019 Newsletter


Julius Caesar statue from Pexels.com
Julius Caesar

We made it through the Ides of March without any problems. However, it’s never good news if you leave your project to visions of a ‘Seer’. Whilst it would be nice to be able to have certainty over the outcome of a project, the truth is all we can do is be as prepared as we can and plan for those things we know. We also have to plan for the things that ‘might’ happen.


The things that we can’t predict for certainty are risks to the project or the business. Using a ‘Risk’ item type in Cradle is one way of recording the thoughts likelihood and severity of a risk. These risks could be cross-referenced to any of your project items. You could then add a ‘Mitigation’ item type  and cross reference it to the risk. Add a few categories to hold risk re-evaluation dates and your more or less done. A query showing these linked items gives you a printable risk register.

Risk register in Cradle - Don't leave it to a Seer
Risk Register – “Beware the Ides of March”
Risk Rule Set set-up
Risk Rule Set

With your choice of category values for the severity and likelihood and your choice of overall result, it is possible to set up a Cradle Ruleset to calculate the ‘result’ for your risk. We suggest you also add a further severity and likelihood column with values you perceive post mitigation in place. This will ensure you always believe the risk has been reduced following the application of your risk plan.

Beta Testing

Thank you to all the distributors and advanced customer currently testing the Cradle 7.5 software. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Social Media


Tweet about @renishawplc from @JumpstartRandD
@JumpstartRandD tweet @renishawplc

We had tasty chocolate Crêpe in the office for Shrove Tuesday. Can you Draw a Pancake Flow Diagram?

We were amazed at a direct brain injection method for drugs to possibly reverse Parkinson’s disease.

Don’t forget you can always @ include @threesl on any of your engineering tweets, and we may re-tweet them.

…and Finally.

circus tent - based on unsplash.com photo

Last month 3SL again donated to  Circus Starr “The Circus with a Purpose” ‘A touring circus boasting world-class, professional artists from across the globe. It was first founded in 1987 and provides free seats for thousands of disadvantaged, disabled or vulnerable children, whilst helping to raise much needed funds for local charities.’

It’s nice to put a smile onto someone’s face.

February 2019 Newsletter


Chinese year of the pig 2019
Year of the pig 2019

Welcome to the shortest Gregorian month of the year. Or 新年快乐!3SL 祝愿我们的所有客户,合作伙伴和供应商 2019 吉祥如意!to our Chinese customers  and friends.

However, just because it is a short month, there’s no excuse not to achieve quality work. Whether that be using the ancient Chinese elements of  metal, water, wood, fire, and earth, or modern applications of finance,  medicine, or software, good data management is key.

Same Data Different Views

Using Start Page to simplify
Start Page – Simplification

Managing your project and having everyone using singly centred data makes sure you have control over the project. Too many times we hear that projects have failed because one department or section have been working on one part of a project and have not realised their requirements or data is out of sync with another.  Being smarter with your data in 2019 is a great goal. As a customer you probably already have projects set up in Cradle. However, you may not have all the data related to your project in the central store. There are often a number of reasons that data ends up in disparate pots. Here, we try to offer solutions in some of those scenarios.


Scenario Solution
Some staff shouldn’t alter anything in an item, but do need to see the information. Ownership, Teams / Team hierarchies and Baselines are all used as part of the standard access control to items. Privileges control who can see what.
Not all staff are permitted to see the data associated with an item. Use skills to restrict access to individual frames of information, or whole item types.
Some staff shouldn’t alter categories of an item. Use skills to make appropriate categories Read Only in the UI
The stages of the project are complex. It’s difficult to know where to find what. Building  Project Phases recognises the steps, queries, reports, matrices, actions and so forth that are associated with different periods of the project. Knowing that you are in the development stage and having all the appropriate queries grouped together in the Phase tree makes it easy to find the current work items.
Cradle screens are too complicated for some users who just need to see one aspect of the product. Adding a Start Page which only presents the actions pertinent to a particular user / group of users, can vastly simplify the choices available to the user.
Some users just perform a limited number of tasks against an item. They don’t want huge menu choices. View Commands allow customised menu options for actions on items shown in a query. (combine with a start page for an efficient led guide through your process minimising complexity)
Different tasks require different aspects of an item to be viewed. Whilst Cradle offers many automated views and forms to get you up and running, they are all fully customisable. Try opening the view or form closest to your needs, modifying it and then saving it. These can be saved in ‘folders’ relevant to the user, type of user or for the whole project.
We’re not all in the office but still need to see project information. Web Access  allows worldwide connection to your Cradle project without the need for an installation. Just fire up a browser to gain access.

Social Media


Buzz Aldrin 85th Birthday
Happy Birthday Buzz tweet

We were pleased to see what was achieved by engineers 40 years ago landing on the moon. Happy 85th Buzz. What do you think we will achieve this year, that will still be talked about 40 years hence? Let us know on social-customer@threesl.com


alternative use of SysML
SysML Use Tweet

We mused at snow falling on 3SL towers, and pondered over the unusual uses of SysML and cheered at #CumbriaDay

January 2019 Newsletter

January – Looking into 2019

To the Romans ‘Janus’, for which this month is a special celebration, was the guardian god of portals, and gates, the patron of beginnings and endings.

The word appears to have derived from c. 1500, from the  Latin Ianus, meaning “gate, arched passageway,”

The deity is said to have two heads one looking to the past and one looking to the future.

Janus - Looking back - Looking Forward

So why not make a new year’s resolution to ensure you modernise those remaining projects in your company? Take control and ditch the old, unlinked, discord of separate tools and repositories and ensure all the data is linked and traced in Cradle. From project beginnings to successful endings, from concept to creation and through your product’s life – look forward not backwards with Cradle.

Looking Forward

We’re hard at work implementing features for Cradle 7.5 giving you more ways to get your data in and out of Cradle. Follow our newsletters, blogposts and twitter, facebook and linkedIn pages to stay abreast of the updates coming in 2019.

Cradle Release

If you didn’t get a chance before the Christmas break, make sure you go into the new year with the latest version of Cradle – 7.4.2. This will ensure you have the latest features and the bug tweaks in place.  To answer a common question that support are asked, “Yes you can have the new features included in a 7.4.n release for free if you have a 7.4 code.”

All Spent Up?

Cradle Software As A Service
Cradle SAAS subscription product

Don’t forget if you need a cost effective way to bring Cradle on line for 2019 and have little capital budget left in your 2018/2019 pot…..

Cradle Subscriptions option is a SaaS (Software as a Service) product which is a cost effective way to get up and running with 3SL’s requirements management and systems engineering tool.

There are also different hosting options, for further information see the product announcement.

Social Media


Tweet about future of aviation
@AtkinsGlobal tweet

What are the predictions for the future? We liked this tweet from @AtkinsGlobal highlighting the International Air Transport Association @IATA ‘s   vision for the future.

We highlighted how you can have many categories in one field.


December 2018 Newsletter

It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like….

3SL Snowflake bauble
Christmas 2018
  • Cross bullet pointThere should have been some acceptance tests associated with these requirements.
  • Cross bullet pointThe customer’s changes might be what they want for Christmas, but we’re unsure of the impact
  • Cross bullet pointThere might not be enough time to finish this project by the end of the year.
  • Cross bullet pointWe’ll forget the designs in our heads after a few party sherries and not know what to do in January.
  • Tick bullet point It’s time to relax and enjoy the festive period, our project is in Cradle.

Whilst we’re sure our customers align with the last point, its worth noting these seasonal holiday reminders.

Discussions dialog showing multiple comments
Discussions Dialog in WorkBench

Cradle Subscriptions

Mini Poll

Results of the SaaS verses traditional ownership poll
SaaS ‘v’ Traditional Ownership Poll

We asked you about subscription products. You answered our Mini Poll, and said that ‘horses for courses’ is the rule of thumb when selecting SaaS or conventional ownership. We’re happy to say Cradle is available in whichever guise suits your business.

Cradle Release

showing the setting up of matrix variables in a navigation
Navigation with MATRIX variables

The latest release of Cradle 7.4.2 contains a new Matrix feature. A matrix allows items linked items to be shown as a set of rows and columns with the cells representing the links between them. It is also possible to show the items in the rows linked to the items in the columns via a third item type represented in the cell. For example, rows representing requirements, columns representing results and the items in the cells representing the tests between the two. The new feature lets users filter the items shown in the matrix cells based on the value of a column or row item appearing in the cross reference attribute. This is set up as part of the navigation that is followed between items.

We have also upgraded our OpenSSL to use version 1.3 TLS.

There are a number of small bug fixes including diagram drawings, workflows, importing with overwrite.

As usual anyone with a current 7.4 code is entitled to download the latest release. Anyone with current maintenance is entitled to upgrade any previous version to this latest release.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday

Well done if you managed to take advantage of our £50 per licence/product deal.



We had a great time at INCOSE EMEASEC 2018 conference in Berlin and enjoyed meeting all those who visited us.
Missed the conference or our stand? Don’t forget you can still download an evaluation copy of Cradle

Social Media


clever engineering loo on the moveWe love keeping an eye on what’s new in the field of engineering. Did you realise how much the humble loo on the move has changed? #WorldToiletDay

We celebrated Saint Andrew’s Day  by constructing a COD (Collaboration diagram) showing how the Picts and Scots faced the Angles.


November 2018 Newsletter

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 offers a number of ways you can track your project one of which is querying 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 work breakdown items there are some built-in ranges which can be accessed on the Progress tab of query. This gives a planning view of where your project stands.

The Fallen


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. There is a special poignance this year, the 100th anniversary since the signing of the armistice treaty between first world war allies and Central Powers.

Cradle Subscriptions

Cradle Software As A Service
Cradle SAAS subscription product

Last month saw the launch of an addition to the Cradle family.

Cradle Subscriptions option is a SaaS (Software as a Service) product that provides access to 3SL’s requirements management and systems engineering tool Cradle using remote servers.  This means there is no need to install software on your own company systems.


There are a number of bundles covering the most frequently requested configurations of Cradle. The choices reflect whether you are performing both Systems Engineering and RM, or just Requirements Management.

There are also different hosting options depending on the size/loads and locations of the servers. Choose between shared 3SL hosted or dedicated cloud environments. For further information see the product announcement.

Mini Poll

Please answer our Mini Poll, whether you prefer the:ownership, control and flexibility of software purchase,

    • simplified, outsourced benefits of a managed service.
    • don’t really mind, I just use it
    • there’s room for both…..


We’re at the INCOSE EMEASEC 2018 conference in Berlin Nov 05, 2018 – Nov 08, 2018. Come and say ‘Hello’ to us at booth 20.

Social Media


Tweet by www.shropshirestar.com
British Engineering

We love keeping an eye on what’s new in the field of engineering. The shropshirestar.com brought British engineering into the spotlight

Widget of the Week

We won Howden Power’s #WidgetOfTheWeek with our hierarchy diagram drawing tool

September 2018 Newsletter

Budget Thoughts

based on image from Pexels.com, costs are both project and capital / infastructure based
Budget Thoughts

As we head towards Q4, both businesses and governments will be looking at their costs to date and their costs for next year. As we mentioned in last September’s newsletter, one way of controlling your project costs is to use Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) with costings associated with each element. Those costs are for the actual implementation of the elements of the project, materials or labour. However, every business has base running costs associated staff, buildings, machines and software.

Running Costs

How do you plan your yearly costs? What does your jurisdiction count as capital investment and what as running costs? Need a fixed price for a fixed period of your project? Do you have an IT department that is more wrapped up in red tape than a red billiard ball in a tin of red paint within a red (reusable of course) red carrier bag? Don’t like the installation cost of keeping up to date with the latest versions of software.

If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above, then SaaS could be the way to go.  3SL is hard at work putting our hosted software service provision together. Watch out for further announcements.

Mini Poll

Please answer our Mini Poll, whether you prefer the:

  • ownership, control and flexibility of software purchase,
  • simplified, outsourced benefits of a managed service.

Cradle Latest Version

The latest version has all the latest 7.4 patches. If you’ve not downloaded and installed it, please consider doing so to ensure you have the best Cradle experience. Anyone with a 7.4 licence code is entitled to this update.

Fixes include;

  • An issue setting names for requirements and notes in the Item Properties dialog.
  • A glitch showing some RTF frames.
  • Exact match query not returning all versions.
  • An issue with historic blank alerts, and item ownership changes.
  • Opening parent diagram or deleting symbol could hang.
  • Document Publisher failed when checking for existing processes.
  • Web Access bug with LOGIN_UI_SHOW parameter.
  • Improvement in queries on RTF frames now supporting <null> and !<null> searches.
  • Better detection for Microsoft® Office 365 during installation.


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

We have a special “Secret (not!) Birthday Discount” offer of £30 off single user prices and licences.

However, those buying Cradle Enterprise licences can choose to donate £30 per licence bought to a charity of their choice. Ts&Cs apply

Social Media


tweet by B1M regarding hyperloop
Hyper Loop

We love keeping an eye on what’s new in the field of engineering. The prospect of an airline speed train caught our eye.
The vacuum in here is neither hand-held, vortex, bagged nor available at any supermarket / electrical retailer! However it will be required to shift vast quantities of air.

illustration of the use of pictures within modelling environemtn in MBSE Cradle tool
Cat in Cradle

And on a lighter note we mused at International Cat Day placing a cat in the #Cradle as an illustration in the use of images in diagrams as part of the MBSE (Model Based Systems Engineering) representation of a system.