June Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the June 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.

Configuration Management

All projects need configuration management, even if only to create protected copies of the items being worked on in one or more baselines. Cradle Configuration Management System (CMS) is a flexible, customisable framework. You can use the CMS to adapt Cradle to your process and the needs of your project.

The CMS contains a variety of features and capabilities. You can use these to configure the CMS to be a simple change manager. You can also configure the CMS to be extremely rigorous in all stages in the evolution of your project information from initial creation through to formal acceptance.


The CMS provides four basic mechanisms:

The scope and effect of these mechanisms are controlled by privileges and also by workflows.

Simple Process

A simple CM process is typically a series of stages that items will pass through on their way to a baseline. There are typically no formal reviews in this sequence.

The steps to create a simple process are:

  1. Decide on the stages in your process and what each stage means
  2. Create a category code with these stages as its possible values
  3. Assign this category code to the item type(s) that are to follow the process
  4. Create a workflow that references your category code and define the sequence of stages, each step in the workflow will set items’ status to be one of the values in your category code
  5. Assign the workflow to the item type(s)

It is easy to use this workflow. You and your colleagues create items. You change items and link them to other items in the database. At the end of each step, you use the Advance operation to move the items to the next step in the workflow. When items reach the stage of being baselined, someone will need to open a baseline before you can Advance items into it. When everything has been moved into the baseline, it can be closed.

Review Process

A more complex workflow can be for a process that includes reviews. Any number of the steps in a workflow can be a review. You can specify the characteristics of each review. These include:

  1. Which users will be involved in the review?
  2. How many of these users must contribute to the review?
  3. How will an approve result be determined from reviewers’ responses?
  4. How will a reject result be determined from reviewers’ responses?
  5. What actions are to be performed for items that are rejected by the review?
  6. What actions are to be performed for items that are approved by the review?
  7. Is the rework mechanism to be used and if so, how?

The process to implement a review process is the same as for a simple process except that some of the workflow steps require the configuration of reviews.

Managing Changes to Items

You can review items into project baselines and make formal changes to these items. Use of the CMS is therefore fundamentally about progressing items through one or more reviews into baselines, and then subsequently making formal changes to these items, which culminate in new versions of the changed items appearing in new baselines.

The CMS is not concerned with the details of how changes to items occur. It is not concerned with whether 1 or N edits have occurred to effect a change to an item. It is not concerned with recording the before and after values of the attributes that are affected by each edit, but is simply concerned with the high-level process of agreeing that a change is needed (a change request), initiating consequential changes to one or more items (managed in one or more change tasks), recording the formal reviews of the changed items, and ultimately storing the amended items in a new baseline.

Audit Trail / Configuration Log

For many projects, the automatically and transparently recorded audit trail, and the formalism of the use of change requests (CHRs), change tasks (CHTs), formal reviews and formal baselines, is sufficient. For other projects, more detailed records are required.

Public Training

3SL are running a public CM course in June. If you want to learn more about CM in Cradle, book your place now.


Project Database Unique IDs are an alternate method for identifying items in a Cradle database. PDUIDs are particularly useful for users of the Cradle Application Programming Interface (API) and Web Services Interface (WSI) because they have the same format for all types of information.

We will provide a series of short articles on PDUIDs over the coming weeks. We hope that these will be helpful.

Integrity of 3SL’s SSL Certificates

All of 3SL’s web-based services use HTTPS, the secure form of HTTP.  Wherever possible, all of our Internet-based services also use secure protocols. So this means we need a certificate to confirm our identity that your web browser and other tools check when you visit our website and other services.

We have a certificate for:


This includes our website, mail server, shared SaaS and other portals. Certificates have a fixed lifespan and so on 9th June we refreshed our certificate. Our current certificate is issued by Sectigo RSA Domain Validation Secure Server CA. It is valid until 23:59:59 UTC Tuesday, 9th July 2024.

You can check the integrity of a website certificate using Qualys here. You can check 3SL’s website here. Our site is rated A+:

SSL Certificates
Qualys report for 3SL

The King’s Official Birthday (17th June 2023)

Celebrations of the monarch’s official birthday are held in June across the Commonwealth, including the Trooping of the Colour. The date not necessarily correspond to the date of the monarch’s actual birth.

The sovereign’s birthday was first officially marked in the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1748, for King George II. Since then the date of the king or queen’s birthday has been determined by:

  • Royal proclamations issued by the sovereign or viceroy, or
  • Statute laws passed by the local parliament

We will individually mark the King’s birthday and invite others to do so in respect to the Crown.

Social Media

We congratulated @WeAreHII on their record first quarter 2023 revenues and @Siemens on their outstanding performance.

We also congratulated @KBRincorporated on the award of the contract by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. This is to implement supercritical solvent deasphalting technology.

Our customer @MIRAEngineering were exhibiting at the Future Mobility Asia Exhibition & Summit. Did you visit stand ME18?

Looking Back

Last month we discussed:

We would also like to thank all attendees on our Test Execution course which we provided in May.

Still to Come this Month

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.

Handwriting Day 2018


The art of a carefully crafted sentence with beautiful ink on a crisp page is becoming a rarity. Handwriting day serves to remind us of that skill.

These days we can even create ‘handwriting’ in our electronic documents with cursive fonts. We can Digitally sign documents using a pass-phrase. However, there is still room for a quick hand written posty note, a card or a signature on a document as a stamp of authority.

Storing Handwriting in Cradle

There are a few ways that you could store hand written information  in Cradle.

  • As an image
  • As part of a PDF / Word Document /RTF document.
  • As part of some other user defined binary frame

Coupled with ‘Skills’  restricting access to the frame storing the signature, Cradle can also protect access to say a signature  of authorisation.

screenshot showing an image containing handwriting stored in Cradle
Handwriting in Cradle

Whether it is a handwritten requirement / letter / alteration  from your customer or an authorisation signature, you can store them in Cradle. As part of Change Management you may wish to record a picture of a whiteboard discussion, a snapshot of the back of that envelope or even a scan of the letter sent by a customer.

In this month’s newsletter we asked you to email us when you last “hand wrote  a date”. There’s still time to drop us a line and get a mention  next month. Or if you really want to practice your writing for handwriting day 2018, drop us a letter.

Requirements Management for Windows and Doors?

Requirements Management Isn’t Just For The Big Players.

Your boss says “Don’t be ridiculous you don’t need, requirements management for windows and doors!”…

Your client has asked that the new Town-Lodge is fitted with UPVC doors, windows and fascias throughout. All fire regulations for a medium occupancy building must be adhered to. Locks must have master key and single key access. Glass must meet the company’s privacy specification.  And so on….. Whether you are building a spacecraft with millions of parts with hundreds of engineers, or you’re a firm of three fitters running a building service, you have requirements to manage. The HID (Hierarchy Diagram below) shows that a large number of interdependencies, even for the supply of simple items, quickly builds. Consequently the complexity of managing those requirements becomes more of a task. The requirements for windows and doors to a 20 room Town-Lodge involves glass specifications and safety constraints. These may differ depending on the location and size of the window/door. Planning, using a tool can simplify the traceability of any job.

HID showing how complex even a requirement for a few windows and doors can be complex
Even Windows and Doors Can Benefit from Requirements Management

Managing Change

The quotation has been accepted by the Town-Lodge. However, you were careful enough to note that the price was ‘subject to regulatory change’. When Ref 125-ere-2008 comes up for review and an amendment is raised, it is easy to trace what this impacts. Running a query on the Safety Regulations and showing the linked items, furthermore,  it can be seen these refer to the Emergency Access Windows. The trace shows these are linked to Customer Requirement CR6 and CR8. Finally it is a simple case of writing the email to the Town-Lodge and explaining regulatory change requires thicker glass and this will change the price for these two windows. Then await their approval. Therefore, in answer to your boss, “I can see the future for a tool to give us requirements management for windows and doors – can we buy a copy of Cradle ?”

Running a query to find the impact of a change, requirements management for windows and doors is necessary
Finding the Impact of a Change

Validation and Acceptance

The Lodge has agreed that they will pay when the work has been completed satisfactorily. Prior to starting work you have agreed a set of acceptance criteria. There could be endless tweaks or subjective “I don’t think that’s finished” conversations unless clear acceptance criteria and associated validation techniques have been agreed. Imagine you have a noise reduction requirement, “The noise reduction between the window open and window closed shall be 6dB”. Record the pre-agreed acceptance method as a Cradle item, and link this to each of the requirements with noise acceptance criteria. (This requirement in turn is linked to the rooms that it affects)

  • Noise Reduction Measurement. A white noise generator shall be sited at 1m from the window. The position will be adjusted until a measurement of 80db or more is detected inside the room with the window open at a distance of 1m inside the room. A second reading shall be taken with the window shut and this shall be subtracted from the first reading.

Running a query against the noise test will find all the rooms that this applies to. Now you can make your measurements and record your findings. You now have full traceability for each aspect of the product being delivered to The Lodge. “Dear Boss, Submit the invoice, Cradle aided demonstration to The Lodge site manager that all our acceptance criteria had been met. I think we’ve proved a use for requirements management for windows and doors.”

Item’s Associated Change Tasks

New 7.2 Configuration Management Feature

An item often has a number of Change Requests raised against it. These may result in new Change Tasks being raised. Multiple Change Requests may be covered by one Change Task. Since there are many influences on a project the timing of these requests can not be predicted. For either timing or operational reasons it may be better to keep the changes in separate tasks, baselining the reviewed alteration between each.  This can result in a number of Change Tasks being associated with an item. Selecting the item and using the “Show Associated Change Tasks” option will produce a report detailing the CHTs linked to it.

Depiction of the associated Change Task report
Show Associated Change Tasks

How to Produce a Change Log

Projects with Large Amounts of Data

Ensuring that the recently created data isn’t too difficult to find can be very important for businesses. Especially when trying to review projects. But how would you be able to find this relevant data without having to scroll through endless amounts of information?

Most projects need to review what has changed over a period of time, often the past month. These reports are typically called change logs.

Using a change log enables you to set up some instructions to only find data within a set period of time. You can;

– Run a query that finds all items whose last modification date is between the start of last month and the end of last month
– Display the results using a view that displays the change history, shown either as a summary or in full detail

To find the modified items, use the ‘Dates’ tab in the query definition and set the start and end dates. There are several choices

– Today
– Start of this week
– Start or end of last week
– Start or end of last month
– Start or end of 2 months ago
– Start or end of 3 months ago
– A specified date

To view the modified items, you can design a view, or use the Automatic scope view ‘XXX – History’ created by Cradle. Here XXX is your item type, so for an item type called issue, Cradle will have created the view ISSUE – History. This view shows the items’ identity, name, key and full details of the changes.

Running the query with this view produces the change log, as shown in the figure. By using relative dates (such as ‘Start of last month’) you will never need to change the query, it will work correctly every month.

You could combine the query and view into a report, and then add a shortcut to this report into your phase hierarchy or into a start page. Remember to save the query and report as Project scope, so that they are available to everyone in your project!

Change Log
Querying on item(s) modified last month

Article Updated 30/01/2019 – Added introduction