Cradle Modules – PDM

The Cradle PDM module provides the infrastructure for all other Cradle modules. Its scalability and flexibility create an industrial strength, proven, shared data environment for even the largest projects:

Cradle PDM Module
Cradle PDM Module


Cradle supports any number of databases, each with its own schema, CM system and users. Each database supports many projects. Use the Project Manager tool to organise this environment by user-defined criteria, for example as hierarchies.

Each database stores any number of items, of any number of types (requirements, risks, classes, user stories, functions) defined by a UI. Items have any number of attributes, each of a user-defined type, that manage up to 1 TByte of any type of data, held in Cradle, or referenced in external files, URLs or another tool or environment.


User-defined calculations are supported in all parts of Cradle and can be displayed as graphs, in views and user-defined reports. User-defined rules can be applied to automatically set attribute values or perform calculations, to maintain the integrity within and between items.

Cross References

Items can be cross referenced, with optional user-defined link types and groups. Links have user-defined attributes to justify, parametrise, explain or characterise them. You control which links are used to navigate or report traceability, based on link type or group, direction and link attribute values. Links are both direct and indirect, for full lifecycle traceability, impact and coverage analyses.

Process Tailored Environment

You use start pages and a phase hierarchy to build an environment tailored to your process. End users only need to be trained in your interface, reducing training time and costs:

  • Start pages are text and graphics controls that perform your choice of operations simply and easily
  • The phase hierarchy shows the process as a hierarchy in which an agile or phase activity, task, sprint, report or document is run by a mouse click. Different parts of the phase hierarchy can be shown to each user or stakeholder group.

Traceability and coverage views are available as trees, nested and pivot tables, matrices and Hierarchy Diagrams. Unique transitive links give traceability across the full system lifecycle.

Configuration Management

Items evolve through versions that are managed in baselines and controlled by a built-in CM system, with mechanisms for review, baseline and version control, full change control, and audit trails.

Cradle can track all changes. Edits can be reversed selectively or by group. Items can be compared across edits and in baselines. Edits can raise alerts to users, and mark related items as suspect. All edits are permanently available, for change logs.


Cradle provides adaptations to allow variants of items. This mechanism is ideal for databases that contain a library of standard items and projects that use the library, and contribute to it.

Access Controls

Access controls apply to all items based on user roles, privileges, security clearances and skills. Users can be grouped in a hierarchy of teams, to create any access control scheme, such as for customers, subcontractors and IV&V. The creation and manipulation of links can be controlled, by item or user.

Cradle is multi-user. It locks information at item level, with automatic database commit after an edit. This maximises users’ interaction with the database and guarantees all data s up-to-date.


Cradle’s alert mechanism sends messages by email (SMTP or IMAP), Cradle or both. Alerts can be selectively enabled and disabled. Alerts track events on items, including edit, review and formal change.


The Cradle discussion mechanism allows even read-only users to add comments to items. Four other commenting mechanisms are provided.

Project Planning

Cradle can manage project plans and WBS. User task lists are maintained. WBS structures and progress data can be exchanged bidirectionally with external PM tools. Cradle can generate burn-down and earned-value graphs on any user-defined criterion to monitor progress.


Cradle is open and extensible. It provides multiple import/export formats, an API, a user-definable event-driven command interface, interfaces with other tools and bidirectional interfaces to Microsoft Office.

Query and Report Data

Cradle provides uniquely powerful data query and visualisation facilities. Each user’s environment can be tailored by defining custom queries, views, forms, navigations, matrices, reports and other facilities. All customisations have a scope, to be specific to the end user, or shared with other users of the same type (such as all customers or all managers), the user’s team, the entire project, or all projects.

Any desired compliance, coverage or traceability report can be created quickly/easily using Cradle’s queries, multi-row views/nested table view, and saved for later use.


Cradle has floating, dynamic licensing and low cost read-only users. Open and named user licences are available. Everything described here is free of charge.

Licences, databases and schemas are interchangeable across Linux and Windows 8.1, 10, 11, Server 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019.

Optional support for Oracle and MySQL.

Feature Summary

Feature Summary - PDM
Feature Summary – PDM

Please contact 3SL for further information about Cradle PDM licences.

User Lists and Alerts

User Lists are a very useful Cradle feature. They provide the ability to specify groups of users that are involved in Configuration Management workflows.

Using User Lists for Alert Recipients

However, did you know that User Lists can also be used to specify groups of users who are to be alert recipients.

Alerts could be invaluable in keeping users automatically informed about important events occurring in the Cradle database, e.g.:

  • Items have been modified or a specific category changed
  • Project Setup has been changed
  • An item has been submitted for review
  • There has been a reply to a discussion that you are involved in
  • An item linked to an item owned by your team has changed
  • etc. etc

Setting up a User List

In Project Setup, you can setup the list of users that you wish to receive the alerts.

Setting up User Lists
Setting up user lists

Then, you can specify this User List as the recipient of the specified alerts:

Choosing user lists for alert recipients
Select User List for Alerts

You can also apply this to item-specific alerts:

Using user lists for alert recipients
Item specific alert user lists

Using this functionality, you can ensure that relevant groups of users are informed of various events without having to send to all users.



How do I receive alerts via email?

Can I set Cradle so that I can receive alerts via email?

To be certain not to miss a modification or change to the project without even having to open Cradle to check, you can have alerts sent by email. This can be especially important when a user is ‘away from base’ or is in a role that doesn’t warrant them logging into Cradle daily.

Setting up alerts to be sent via email

When setting up alerts in project setup you have three choices on how you and users will send/receive user and system alerts:

  1. Cradle messageAlerts are dispatched as Cradle alerts and appear in users’ lists of alerts.
  2. Email or messageAlerts are dispatched as emails (if available) to users, and as Cradle alerts if not.
  3. Both – Each alert is dispatched both as a Cradle alert and an email.

Email dispatch to a user is only possible if the user has an e-mail address in their User Profile.

On Linux emails are dispatched using the contents of the E-mail command attribute that is set in User Preferences

On Windows®,  emails are despatched by calling an extended MAPI client. If an extended MAPI client doesn’t exist, e-mails will be despatched using a MAPI compliant e-mail client on the machine where the alert is being generated. If a MAPI compliant mail client doesn’t exist, or cannot be launched, then e-mail despatch will fail.

Follow these three simple steps to set this up

  1. In Project Setup set alert delivery to be either “Email or message” or “Both

    Alert Delivery option
    Alert Delivery option on Project Setup
  2. Ensure that users in your project have email addresses set in their User Profile so that Cradle knows where to send the email

    Setting email address in user profile
    Set mail address in Users Profile
  3. Have a valid mail program and account setup on the client machine which is using Cradle.

It’s as simple as that, your users will now receive Cradle alerts via email.

Alerts being recieved via email
Alerts being received via email

To read more on alerts please refer to this previous post.


Alerts in Cradle WorkBench

All Change – Tell me now!

Keep abreast of what changes are going on in a project by setting alerts. These can reflect system level changes such as a schema change, or can be set for individual items.


You can control who gets the alert by selecting the recipient to be:

  • The default distribution
  • A particular user or
  • User list

Additionally item level alerts can be controlled by setting a category value containing the user name of the recipient, (We advise this category is set to ‘mandatory’ to ensure users fill it in, as the fallback will be to all in the project).


You can eve enter an alert directly from the using the “New…” button if you need to communicate to other users.

Setting alerts
Alerts and Settings

Priority Settings

You can choose the priority setting for alerts in the Project schema. They can be set as Urgent, High, Normal or Low

setting alert priorities and viewing the results
Alert Priorities

When the alerts are shown in the user’s Alerts dialog, they are coloured appropriately, until they have been read and then they are marked in black. An additional “Sort by”  allow the user to order by Priority, Type, Date or Status making it easier to keep up to date with what’ and when things are changing in a project.

Article Updated 13/07/2018 – Cradle 7.4 Priority settings for Alerts