Public Online Training Course – Configuration Management June 2023

Configuration Management June 20th to 21st 2023

The first CM training this year is – Configuration Management June 2023 course.

“A great opportunity for small teams, or a couple of new team members to get started with RM and Cradle”

Cradle Online Course based on Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels
Online Course

Businesses that are introducing Cradle and full Requirements Management processes into their operations, can book training for all aspects of the roll-out, from the basics through to specialist administration courses – See here. These courses are tailored and held at your premises / virtually depending on restrictions and requirements and are ideal for getting a team up and running.

Public Configuration Management June 20th to 21st 2023

If, however, you have one or two people new to a project or only have a very small team, this may not be a viable solution. With 3SL’s public online courses, you’ll benefit from all the normal learning, but will have the chance to network and share with other virtual attendees from other industries. This can be a cost effective solution to get you up to speed with Cradle and Requirements Management.

Details:

Date Subject Venue Cost Pre-Requisites Provision
June  20th to 21st 2023 Configuration Management Online learning tutored course.
2 * ½ days.
£310+VAT PC/Laptop – internet browser & Cradle installed ** Soft copy course materials, and printed certificate

If you would like to be kept in touch with the details for this Training Course – Configuration Management June 2023 please send an email to salesdetails@threesl.com.

Buy Now

All courses are available for direct purchase online.

Continue reading “Public Online Training Course – Configuration Management June 2023”

Public Online Training Course – Configuration Management December 2023

Configuration Management December 12th to 13th 2023

The second CM training this year is – Configuration Management December 2023 course.

“A great opportunity for small teams, or a couple of new team members to get started with RM and Cradle”

Cradle Online Course based on Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels
Online Course

Businesses that are introducing Cradle and full Requirements Management processes into their operations, can book training for all aspects of the roll-out, from the basics through to specialist administration courses – See here. These courses are tailored and held at your premises / virtually depending on restrictions and requirements and are ideal for getting a team up and running.

Public Configuration Management December 12th to 13th 2023

If, however, you have one or two people new to a project or only have a very small team, this may not be a viable solution. With 3SL’s public online courses, you’ll benefit from all the normal learning, but will have the chance to network and share with other virtual attendees from other industries. This can be a cost effective solution to get you up to speed with Cradle and Requirements Management.

Details:

Date Subject Venue Cost Pre-Requisites Provision
December  12th to 13th 2023 Configuration Management Online learning tutored course.
2 * ½ days.
£310+VAT PC/Laptop – internet browser & Cradle installed ** Soft copy course materials, and printed certificate

If you would like to be kept in touch with the details for this Training Course – Configuration Management December 2023 please send an email to salesdetails@threesl.com

Buy Now

All courses are available for direct purchase online.

Continue reading “Public Online Training Course – Configuration Management December 2023”

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.

 

 

November 2022 – Newsletter

Welcome to the November 2022 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 problems in your use of Cradle, please do not hesitate to contact 3SL Support here.

Artemis I

Artemis I launch, copyright NASA
Artemis I Launch

Cradle has been an integral part of the Constellation and Artemis programmes for many years, being central to the toolchains in both government and in industry.

We would like to extend our congratulations to NASA’s Exploration Systems Development mission directorate for the successful launch of Artemis I.

Follow the progress of the Artemis I mission through NASA here.

32-Bit vs 64-Bit

For our next major release – Cradle-8.0 – we propose to remove support for:

    • 32-bit Windows
    • 32-bit Microsoft Office
    • 32-bit Linux

We would like to know if this would have adverse effects for any of our current customers and any potential customers.  If you believe that removing 32-bit support from Cradle would affect you or your company, then please send your views and opinions to 3SL Support here.

Cradle-8.0 will not be released until mid 2023 at the earliest.

New User Training Course

We have a new training course available: Cradle User Course. This course is ideal for:

    • Anyone who is new to Cradle and needs an overview
    • Anyone who is joining a team that has been using Cradle for some time
    • Anyone who has not used Cradle for some time and needs to update their skills

For further details, please see here.

New Configuration Management Training Course

We have a new training course available: Configuration and Change Management. This course is ideal for anyone:

    • Who needs to apply specific workflows to the information in your Cradle databases, or
    • Who needs to introduce formal reviews and approvals into a Cradle-based project, or
    • Who needs to understand and use Cradle’s baseline mechanism, or
    • Who needs to apply configuration management, configuration control and formal change to a Cradle project

The course includes:

For further details, please see here.

G-Cloud 13

The UK government provides the G-Cloud procurement framework for its departments and agencies. G-Cloud 13 is the latest instance of that framework, agreement number RM1557.13, and is available between 9th November 2022 and 8th November 2023.

G-Cloud used to be delivered through the Digital Marketplace. In its latest form, G-Cloud is being delivered through the Public Procurement Gateway (PPG) managed by the Crown Commercial Services (CCS). You can find G-Cloud 13 in the PPG here.

3SL is pleased to announce that we have been accepted into G-Cloud 13,Crown Commercial Service Supplier logo and that Cradle is available as a variety of SaaS services through Lot 2 in this framework, and a range of training and consultancy services are available through Lot 3.

Cradle SaaS Services

A wide range of SaaS services are available through G-Cloud 13 Lot 2. For a summary of this Lot, please see here.

Each service includes Cradle licences, a user-configurable schema, and a comprehensive support package. The SaaS can be delivered for both UNCLASSIFIED (IL0) and OFFICIAL (certified IL3) deployments. The services are:

    • Agile Collaboration
    • Agile Software Development
    • Agile Software Management
    • Application Lifecycle Development
    • Application Lifecycle Management
    • Business Analysis
    • Business Process Modelling
    • Defect Tracking
    • Enterprise Architecture
    • Integrated Risk Management
    • Integrated Test Management
    • Lifecycle Management
    • MBE Model Based Engineering
    • MBSE Model Based Software Engineering
    • MBSE Model Based Systems Engineering
    • Requirements and Testing
    • Requirements Engineering
    • Requirements Management
    • Risk Assessment
    • Risk Compliance
    • Risk Management
    • SysML Modelling
    • Systems Engineering
    • Test Execution
    • Test Management
    • Test Planning
    • UML Modelling

The PPG infrastructure is still in development. CCS have advised that direct links to individual services in the G-Cloud Lots will be available at the end of this year. 3SL will post an update when such links become available.

In the meantime, please contact 3SL here to discuss acquiring a Cradle SaaS through G-Cloud.

Cradle Training/Consultancy

A range of configurable services are available to support a Cradle deployment through G-Cloud 13 Lot 3. For a summary of this Lot, please see here.

These services are:

    • Consultancy
    • Administration Training
    • Fundamentals Training
    • Advanced Lifecycle Training

The PPG infrastructure is still in development. CCS have advised that direct links to individual services in the G-Cloud Lots will be available at the end of this year. 3SL will post an update when such links become available.

In the meantime, please contact 3SL here to discuss Cradle training and consultancy services through G-Cloud.

Social Media

Over the past month we have discussed:

Thank You

3SL would also like to thank all of our customers, evaluators and potential customers who have found the time to send feedback on our services, such as evaluations, training courses, Cradle support and so on.

We understand how busy you are.

Your responses are essentialto help us both monitor and seek to improve the services we provide to you.

Thank you!

Thank You

Additional Frames for Change Requests and Change Tasks

Additional frames for Change Requests and Change Tasks can be defined within WorkBench Project Setup.

The Configuration Management System provides a formal mechanism to make changes to items in baselines. The formal change mechanism is based on:

  • Change Requests (CHRs) which are concerned with general statements of the issue to be addressed, or the problem to be solved, or the defect to be corrected
  • Change Tasks (CHTs) which are concerned with the mechanics of implementing and effecting the change(s) required by one or more CHRs

Both CHRs and CHTs are distinct types of items in the Cradle database and can contain any number of frames. As with standard item types, CHRs and CHTs are provided with some default frames to populate when raising either the CHR or CHT. These are TEXT and NOTES where TEXT is a mandatory frame as this provides the detail.

However, you can also specify in Project Setup whether these item types have any additional frames defined. This can be:

  • Text
  • Graphic
  • Word
  • PDF

or any other format defined as a frame type:

Project Setup
Project Setup showing Item Types tab

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frame Setup dialog
Frame Setup dialog for Change Requests

 

You can also specify the frames to be mandatory so that the CHR or CHT cannot be raised until those frames are populated. As you can see in the example above the Mandatory checkbox is selected for the JUSTIFICATION frame.

This allows you to ensure that all information is provided for your formal changes.

Cross References in a Baseline

Cross References in a Baseline

The easiest description of a baseline is, a holding area for information owned by the project, i.e. how the database/items were at a particular point in time. There are both items and cross references in a baseline. The more cross references you have the larger the files will be. This means that if you do have many Baselines, you could find significant space being used on the server.

Are Baselines Taking Up a Lot of Server Space?

In our latest release of Cradle 7.4, cross references are separated from the other files when a baseline is closed. The cross references in each one are now placed in separate uniquely identified folders. Each folder has an alphanumerical identity, dependent on the length of the name for the baseline. This is twice the length of the baseline name.

The Baseline Folders
The Baseline Folders containing the Cross Reference folders.

Inside each of these folders are 4 files containing the cross references and their attributes. The files will be different sizes depending on the number of cross references that existed at the time the baseline was taken.

Baselines Cross Reference Folders
Baselines Cross Reference Folders

Folder Maintenance.

As these are individual baselines, a user can then zip these folders and remove them from the Baseline folder. Taking the four older folders, they total approximately 232KB on disk. If a user zips each folder it comes to 3KB each. If zipped into 1 file it comes to 9KB and so a saving of over 220KB.

Baselined Cross Reference Folder Zipped
Baselined Cross Reference Folders after zipping

Most databases are much later than this and so the space saving could be much larger. The user could also move the zipped files to a different server if required and so saving more space.

The only downside to doing this, is that if a user wishes to use Baseline Mode to see the cross references in a baseline, they will not instantly be there. Therefore, should the cross references be required in the future, just unzip the file into the original folder. Once the file is unzipped, a user can set the Baseline Mode and they will see the old cross references.

Related Articles

For a longer more in depth description of Baselines and Configuration Management click here.

 

Lifecycle Workflows

Item Progression

Lifecycle workflows allow users to progress items through a defined lifecycle.  This process can set the item’s owner or an attribute in the item to a specific value. A workflow is a defined set of steps through which an item can progress. The stages could describe an items design, production or any other flow that matches your process.

Definition

The lifecycle of an item is described by the combination of stage steps and review steps. The review step specifies the review’s composition, its rules for making a decision, and the actions to be performed if the review approves item(s) or rejects item(s). The stage step will progress the item through the set of stages that represent its lifecycle. You can set the item’s stage to any of the values in the workflow’s stage category. The category must:

  • Be a single value picklist
  • Have a picklist of values defined
  • Have a default value defined
  • Be mandatory
    example implementation steps found in item lifecycle workflows
    Advancement

    Workflows are part of the project schema and managed through Project Setup

Operation

Whist review steps are triggered as an item reaches different stages in the review process (submitted, reviewed, registered and so on) stage steps are triggered by a User issuing an Advance command. This is available on the toolbar or the Configuration Management option on the context menu.

Display

Advance operations for items can be displayed in different forms making available different attributes that are related to the particular phases of their lifecycle.

Lifecycle workflows were introduced in Cradle 7.4, if you’ve not yet upgraded, download now!

Why do I get a ‘Item Not Completed’ message?

Item Stuck in a Change Task

When using the Cradle Configuration Management System (CMS) you may come across the ‘Item Not Completed‘ message.

Item Not Completed Dialog
Item Not Completed Dialog

This happens when a Draft item associated with a Change Task gets deleted. As a result, the lack of the deleted Draft item, means the Change Task cannot be completed and the item cannot be added to a new baseline.

If you have an item stuck in a Change Task, fear not, there is a solution!

Resolving the ‘Item Not Completed’ Warning

To resolve the issue where an item is ‘stuck’ in a Change Task, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Project Setup and make sure the ‘Disable copying of baseline items‘ option is unchecked.

    Image of Project Setup with Disable Copying of Baselined Items Option Highlighted
    Disable Copying of Baselined Items in Project Setup
  2. In a query select the item shown in the ‘Item Not Completed‘ dialog. From the right-click context menu select ‘Copy‘ and create a new Draft of the ‘stuck’ item.
  3. Submit, Review, Register the newly created Draft item as necessary until it is in a Baseline, then close the Baseline.
  4. The ‘Item Not Completed‘ message should no longer show and it should now be possible to Complete the Change Task.
  5. If required, re-enable the ‘Disable copying of baseline items‘ option in Project Setup which was disabled in step 1.

 

Configuration Management in Web Access

Performing CM Tasks in Web Access

Most Configuration Management tasks are achieved using WorkBench but Configuration Management in Web Access is also available. For instance you can submit and review information in Web Access as well as unsubmitting items. These CM tasks are available in the Web AccessConfiguration Management” sidebar:

CM Sidebar in Web Access
Configuration Management in Web Access

You can submit items by query or you can submit them individually. Providing there are reviewers for the information, any user can submit information for approval.

Items can also be unsubmitted which cancels their review. This does depend on:

  • The ownership of the items
  • The current user’s privileges
  • The status of the item in the database
  • Whether any reviewers have started to review the item

Once items have been submitted for review, they can also be reviewed in Web Access.

If you have the TEAM_APPROVE privilege you can review information on behalf of a team member, therefore preventing reviews being held up due to team absences,

Configuration Management in Web Access
Review Dialog

In conclusion, if you are remotely working, with access to Cradle only via a browser,  it is possible to review and approve or reject items. This can have great benefits to time-scales, it alleviates waiting for reviews to complete and negates having to manage an email ping-pong.

A Reviewer Specific UI in Web Access

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Show Me the Item to Review

Opening a Review Item

When you have items to review in Cradle you are presented with a list. Your review process is meant to be more than just a tick box exercise. You’ll want to see the item to review. Selecting an item from the list will give a summary of the current review status in the bottom of the dialog. Clicking the ‘View’ button will open the item in a form so its full details can be seen.

Shows how to open an item to review from a list of items
Open a Review Item

Approve or Reject

The next stage is to Approve or Reject the item. When the ‘Approve’ or ‘Reject’ buttons are pressed users are given an option to add a review comment. Your project can also be set to enforce comments, see Mandatory Comments in the project Miscellaneous section. If there are a number of reviewers, and possibly a review acceptance meeting, it is possible to change this decision up to the point that the item is Registered. That means there is no problem if you initially reject something, but after clarification need to alter your decision to approve, or visa-versa.

More Detailed Comments

Whilst each Cradle item is ideally fairly atomic, a requirement that  says ‘shall do this and this and this’, is much harder to verify or alter,  some can be quite complex. A single comment as a reason to reject an item may not be enough, it may also be that you would welcome further debate from the other reviewers. Discussions can be used to add annotations to an item and can build a conversation trail.

Using discussions to add complex review comments
Complex Review Comments as Discussions