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.

Solution

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.

Multiple Data Cells – Preserve Line Breaks

Lots of Data in a Small Space

The purpose of Multiple Data Cells in a view is to allow more data to be consolidated in one place. It might me that a reference number is made up from categories storing ‘Part‘, ‘Sub-Part‘ and ‘Version‘. This may need to be formatted in a cell as part:sub-part/version. This can be achieved by setting the format of a multiple data cell in the Cradle view.

This image shows the TEST STATUS:TEST TYPE and Text from the test being combined in one cell.

Showing the difference between preserved and non preserved line breaks
Multiple Cell – Preserve Line Breaks

New Cradle-7.2 View Feature

Initially the cell string was formed by combining the text from single line entries from categories, the group, description and possibly piece of text from a frame. Customers have found the multiple data cell useful and have been combining data from frames with multiple lines.  Whilst the drive is still to show as much data in a combined block, those using, say lists as in the example shown, found that the removal of line breaks in the display altered what was being conveyed. It is now, therefore, possible to select the ‘Preserve line breaks’ option in the ‘Multiple Data Cell Setup’, ‘Edit Attribute’ dialog.

Find and Replace

Database Level Searching

Most people are familiar with a ‘find and replace’ function in a word processor document. However, when you have thousands of items in a database, it’s not very easy to open each one and search through for the replacement term. You could run a query, but then you’d still need to know which attribute of the item the query should match.

Allowing the search to take place at the database level ensures that the items are found that contain the term. Rather than just ‘finding’ in the visible text on the screen.

Shows dialog for find and replace within selected items
Find and Replace in Selected Items

New Cradle-7.2 Find & Replace Feature

If items are visible as the result of running a query, for example, it is possible to select all those items and perform the find and replace within the attributes of those items.

Clicking each item in the left hand column of the dialog will show the attribute in the right hand part of the dialog that matches.

The user can optionally double click the ‘Yes’ in the ‘Replace’ column to prevent this substitution occurring.

Alternatively users can select a query to run to source the items in which replace will occur.  In both cases a report to detail which items were changed can be printed by checking the box at the bottom of the dialog.

Find and replace result report
Find and Replace Results

Skills Based Access of Items

When not everything can be shared

Imagine you have a project and teams of people working on it. You can control who sees what by placing staff in different teams (for information watch this video about collaborative teams). You can provide skills based access to individual frames within the item. However, there maybe one type of item which only certain team members can see, maybe a Finance item. The solution is to set a skill for the item type. Ensure those who are allowed to view the item type have the skill.  For those assigned the required skill, all the other access controls still get applied, (CM status, security clearance and ownership).  For those without the skill, the item type disappears from existence, it is as if the project schema had not defined the item.

Project setup setting skills based item access
Skills Based Item Access
  1. Login to WorkBench as a user who can modify the schema
  2. Start Project Setup from the Project tab, set Options to User Settings and select the Skills tab
  3. Select New and define a new skill
  4. Set Options to Item Definitions and select the Item Types tab
  5. Select the item type to be controlled and choose the new skill from the Required skill: drop-down list
  6. Save the schema and close Project Setup
  7. From the Project tab, select User Setup and for each user who is to be able to see the item type, select that user, select Skills, add the new skill to the user’s user profile and save the profile

RO Skill Based Access Feature

New Cradle-7.2

Now imagine the scenario that you want team members to see an item type but you don’t want them to be able to change any aspect of it. The latest version of Cradle allows you to set Read-only access for these item types.

Skill based access levels for items
Skill Based Access Levels for Items
Related Items

To restrict access to categories alone, this article will help.

https://www.threesl.com/blog/skill-based-access-category-users/

Multiple Value Categories

Categorisation

In the database each item can have a number of categories assigned to it. These are indexes by which you want to sort and retrieve your items. Some values are plainly single, an item’s Customer Approval can’t be Approved and Rejected at the same time. However, Colours could be Red and Blue on the same item. These are multiple value categories. They are used to classify an item when the attribute itself can have multiple non mutually exclusive values.

The values that can be held by the category are defined in the Project Schema. Each value is allocated to a ‘slot’ each item holds a set of flags indicating which slots (values) are ‘selected’ for that item.

When shown in a View or Form, the values for the slots are shown to the user.

Showing selecting a multiple value category
Multiple Category Value Selection

New Cradle-7.2 Project Setup Feature

It’s now even easier to set up multiple value categories in Project Setup.

Project setup of multiple value category
Multiple Value Category Setup

The new options are:

  • Clear – Clears the value from the list but leaves the slot blank
  • Copy – Copies the selected value
  • Paste – Pastes the copied value into the selected slot
  • Delete – Deletes the value and all values below this value are moved up
  • Insert – Inserts a slot so you can add a value, all values below this slot are moved down
  • Up – Exchanges the currently selected slot with the one above it
  • Down – Exchanges the currently selected slot with the one below it

There is consequence on existing items in the database for all of the operations above so a warning message will be shown when attempting one of these operations.

If slots 1, 2, 3 are Red, Blue and Green and item AA1 has flags set for 1, 2 it will be seen as Red and Blue. If a subsequent change is made to the schema (after items exist as drafts or baseline items), making slot 1, 2, 3 Red, Orange, Blue and Green, will result in item AA1 being defines as Red and Orange. This is because the flags tally with the slot. Users should query on existing data to see which items will be affected and subsequently update those they wish to change individually, or using “Item Properties”.

Item Integrity – “Fix” Option

Schema Changed?

In an ideal world we would design the project schema first and then run our project from that point on. However, that’s not always how real life pans out, changes post ‘work starting’ can create questionable item integrity.

Cradle’s WorkBench Item Integrity checker allows an authorised user to check the status of items in the database. The thorough check ensures each item’s attributes are consistent with the schema and valid. It highlights areas that need the database administrator’s attention.

These issues may have been created in a number of normal operational ways.

  • Altering the schema after these items have been created and saved.
  • Importing items whilst overriding data validation. (In order to get items in to the database, so that they can be edited it is quite logical to want the old value to remain. The user then has a chance to view and edit and save with the new parameters).
  • Creating, say, a hierarchy of items and subsequently not editing them to fill in all required category fields or filling mandatory frames with content. (It would be most laborious to be forced to fill each one at the time of creation. It is better allowing a hierarchy to be created and then subsequently edited)

Item Integrity Checker dialog

Item Integrity Checker

New Cradle-7.2 Item Integrity Fix Feature

A Fix button has been added to the Item Checks section of the Item Integrity Checker. This button only apply to certain checks. These checks are shown below with details of what happens when the Fix button is pressed:

Check Fix Operation
Category values are defined in project schema Clear the category values.
Category values match data type in project schema If it has a default value, set it to this value, otherwise don’t do anything, i.e. this cannot be fixed using the Fix button.
Categories are not empty when predefined values exist If it has a default value, set it to this value, otherwise don’t do anything, i.e. this cannot be fixed using the Fix button.
All mandatory categories have values If it has a default value, set it to this value, otherwise don’t do anything, i.e. this cannot be fixed using the Fix button.

March 2017 Newsletter

New Release – Cradle 7.2

We are pleased to announce the release of Cradle-7.2:

Cradle-7.2 interface

Cradle-7.2 contains a range of new capabilities that are described in its Release Notes.

Customers with active maintenance have been sent an e-mail notification of this release, and details of which enhancement requests and bug reports are in it.

Some of the highlights are:

  • Full support for IPv6 networking
  • Availability of 64-bit Cradle for Linux, use of the latest Windows .NET and improved support of Office 2016
  • Locking projects and disconnecting users through Project Manager
  • Improvements in custom web UI components, and the as-supplied Basic web UI
  • Dashboards as dials in WorkBench and in web UIs
  • More flexibility with Change Tasks in the CM system
  • Extended quality checks in the Conformance Checker and for SysML in the Consistency Checker
  • Find and replace
  • Extensions to queries and views
  • New functional modelling options with PADs and IDEF0

Download and Installation

Login and download Cradle-7.2 from our website here: www.threesl.com/downloads/software.php

You need a new Security Code for Cradle-7.2, other Security Codes cannot be used. If you have not received a new code and are under maintenance, please contact support@threesl.com. If you would like to discuss upgrading an out of date system, please contact salesdetails@threesl.com. If you have a single user version you can purchase the latest revision at the 3SL shop.

There is a database conversion from 7.1 to 7.2. The converter which will run automatically if you install Cradle-7.2, over the top of, in the same directory as, the earlier version of Cradle from which you are upgrading.

You must upgrade all of your Cradle installation to 7.2. (clients and server) as mixed versions, e.g. Cradle-7.1 clients / Cradle-7.2 server, and vice-versa are not supported.

I have a Cunning Plan…..

OK it does not have to be cunning, it just has to be clear. Cradle provides a bi-directional integration with Microsoft Project® that allows a Cradle project to be associated with multiple Project schedules and bidirectional updates with Project. By linking activities in each schedule to become a WBS hierarchy in Cradle the loop is closed and the plan and the Cradle requirements and models are all linked.

The main reasons to control things this way is to ensure there is no inconsistency between the management planning and the project engineering. To ensure that each engineering activity is planned for and each element of the plan has some actual work assigned to it, avoiding incompleteness. A plan linked to Cradle communicates the holistic view of progress and items all in one place.

To read more on this topic, our whitepaper “Integrated Project Management from Cradle” can be read here.

Social Media

Facebook Twitter Link

Our Facebook Logo Facebook account is connected to our Twitter Logo Twitter feed, so if you can’t follow us on Twitter (@threesl), you can still get the hints and tips via your Facebook timeline, see the (3SLCradle) page.

YouTube Learning

Our popular YouTube Logo YouTube channel has a number of ‘How to’ style videos to help you with particular aspects of Cradle, requirements management or systems engineering. We know that some of our customers may find a particular aspect complex, and although there is comprehensive online help documentation and articles provided, having a video take you through the steps can make a real difference. Of course 3SL can also offer full training, giving you broad coverage or highly tailored content as you require, contact us to discuss further.

Remembering the old adage “Tell me and I forget, Show me and I remember, Involve me and I understand” seems very appropriate. But what aspects are most appropriate to you our customer?

In this article 3SL’s managing director Mark Walker, asks for your feedback to guide 3SL’s video output.

“But the customer has sent it as an mp4!”

  • Your boss wants you to record the evidence of the test to provide full traceability
  • The testing house has sent a video of the compression strength test
  • You’re ‘stuck’ with all your requirements and tests in Cradle and now you have a video…

Don’t worry it’s not a problem. Although Cradle may not be able to play videos, it can store all sorts of information in its database, or by reference to external files. We provide a large list of files pre-defined, but Cradle can easily cope with new file types.

In this case you would add a binary frame to store video, you may have a directory alongside the Cradle database where these files reside, so an ‘As File’ frame would make sense, or if it is also to be controlled through the Cradle CMS (Configuration Management System) it could be “In PDB” (Project Database). You would choose our favourite app to view them in, then you would assign a frame of this type to your, say, TEST item type. Now you have the traceability you need with the test evidence referenced from the TEST item and links to the SYSTEM_REQUIREMENT through to the original customer Requirement.

In our LinkedIn discussion we describe adding a Document to an item.

Hints of the Month

Here are some links to helpful topics since our last newsletter, they should improve your Cradle experience:

A bright ‘Red’ box in the middle of the table screams Urgent/Highest/Action, when running a query you may wish to Highlight Important Values with Colour as described in this article.

Have you ever wondered what makes up the Content of a Cradle Database? Read the link for a simple overview.

No-one wants to lose their hard crafted work, our tips on Safeguarding Against Unintended Data Loss could ensure that if something does go wrong, you can limit its impact to your project and business.

Reproduce a document’s internal links as Cradle xrefs

New Cradle-7.2 Document Loader Feature

If your Word document contains cross-reference hyperlinks  to other document sections then Document Loader can capture this link as a cross reference in your project database. Typically, a hyperlink might be a reference to a heading, figure or table, implying a loose association between two items. If any hyperlinks are found in your document then this option is enabled by default. Untick this checkbox if you do not want to create such cross references. Use the Link Type dropdown to select a specific link type. It makes sense not to use the same links as you are using for the document hierarchy

Word document with internal cross-reference and Document Loader with Link Type to represent
Recreate Word internal links as Cradle cross references

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Check You Have IPv6 Running

New Cradle-7.2 Feature

If you need to check your new installation is running IPv6, then you can use Project Manager, or the Help->About screen in WorkBench, Document Publisher etc.

There’s a whole host of other information on these screens which will tell you; how your client found the CDS (Cradle Database Server), which language variant is active and which licences you are currently using.

Showing WorkBench and Project Manager IPv6 connection status
IPv6 Connection Display

Locking Projects

New Cradle-7.2 Feature

Why would you want to lock a project?

If you need to ensure no-one  can log into your project,  in order that you can:

  • Back-up the hard disk while no data can change
  • Perform maintenance on Cradle items assured that none can be locked by others
  • Prevent users you are adding to a project can’t start until an official go-live point

Then locking the project to a selected user can ensure a data manager has the appropriate control.

Solution

Lock your projects to a selected user through Cradle’s Project Manager. Only MANAGER and the optional named user can login to the project. They are also the only users who can unlock the project once again.

Shows a project being locked
Lock a project to a selected user.

 

Article updated 05/12/2018 – Fixed typo