Create a New Database Based upon a Previous Database

The Problem

I want to create a new database that is a copy of a pre-existing database minus the actual data.

Cradle Project Environment

The environment for the Cradle project will contain:

  • Project Setup
  • Supporting definition files (views, forms, queries, documents etc.)
  • Users*

*If you will have the same users in the new project that are in the existing project.

The Solution

To avoid the Personal and/or User definition files being part of this import, we would suggest the following:

  1. Log in to the existing project as MANAGER
  2. Select Project > Export
  3. In the Export dialog set Owner to  Everything and Info Type to Project Schema and User Profiles (if users are required, see comment above)

Screenshot showing export of project schema and user profiles

  1. Press Export to create the export file and close the Export Status dialog but do NOT close the Export Information dialog:Screenshot showing Export Status
  2. In the Export Information dialog, change the Info Type to ONLY show Definition Files:
    Screenshot showing Export Definition Files
  3. You will see that some new options appear – Definition Type and Location:
    Screenshot showing Info Type Definitions filter in Export
  4. The Definition Type option allows you to specify the types of definition file to be included in the export. For this example, we will leave this as All:
    Screenshot showing Definition Types in Export
  5. The Location option defines which location you are exporting the definition files from.
    Users may have created Personal or User definition files that might not be relevant to the new project.
    Personal and/or User definitions might only have been useful to an individual person rather than the project so could be omitted.
    In this case, we would only need to select Team*, User Type* and Project

    * It may only be necessary to select Project

    Screenshot showing Location of definitions in Export

  6. Press the Export button again. This will present you with the option to Overwrite, Append or Cancel. Select Append:
    Screenshot showing Overwrite or Append
  7. In Project Manager, create your new project with an EMPTY schema:
    Screenshot showing Create New Empty Project
  8. Log into the new project as MANAGER
  9. Select Project > Import and set Owner to As in File and Overwrite to On:
    Screenshot showing Import Information
  10. You will see that your new project contains:
  • Users
  • All the Project Setup information including the phase hierarchy and all supporting definition files

Summary Note

If you had NOT chosen to append the definition files, it is highly likely that the phase hierarchy from the existing project would not work in the new project and would produce errors.

These definition files are important to define the WorkBench environment.

Also, if you had chosen to export all the definition files, this may have resulted in numerous views, forms, queries, documents etc., that are not particularly relevant or accepted into project definitions.

Managing your Cradle Environment

A Fully Customisable Systems Engineering Environment

We use definition files to define your Cradle environment to your project’s needs.

  • Queries – how we filter items in the database
  • Views – how we view the lists of filtered items
  • Forms – how we see individual items
  • Matrices – how we view results of queries and linked items in rows and columns
  • Metrics – how we can see the numbers of items meeting a criteria
  • Reports – how we output exported tables containing a set of query results formatted according to a particular view and table style.
  • Dashboards – management summary that can define KPIs
  • Navigations – how we filter cross references
  • Startpages – how we provide a range of selectable actions, each of which either displays a PDF file, opens a specific page in the Cradle help, opens a particular dialog or runs a query, report or similar. The start page is displayed in the main working area of the WorkBench UI and is fully customisable
  • Sessions – store information about your required WorkBench environment such as window dimensions, current project, opened queries, reports etc. to be loaded upon login
  • Graphical Print Settings – how we print diagrams
  • Hierarchy Diagram Properties – style in which we show items
  • Capture Setups – how we are to capture items in Document Loader
  • Report Styles – styles available for reports which include font, alignment, underline, etc.
  • Graph Styles -styles available for graphs which include fonts, grid size, axes size, etc.
  • Export Formats – settings of exports to reuse at a later time
  • Import Formats – settings of imports to reuse at a later time

All of the above are available in WorkBench and subsets are available in other tools, e.g. you can run queries in WebAccess or use Import Formats with c_io

For more information on how to setup these definition file please see definitions section of our online help.

These definitions are stored in one of several areas:

  • Project – visible to all members of the Cradle project (PROJECT privilege is required)
  • User Type – visible to all users with your user type in this project
  • Team – visible to all members of your current team in this project
  • User – visible only to you when logged in as this Cradle username in this project
  • Personal – visible to a specific machine login username, across all projects to which  he/she has accesses
  • Automatic – visible to all members of this Cradle project (you cannot save definitions with this scope). Automatic definitions are created as a starter set when an item type is defined. They are a good starting candidate for editing and then using ‘Save As
  • System – you cannot save definitions with this scope

Managing Definitions

WorkBench provides the ability to manage your Cradle environments via:

  1. Definitions Sidebar
  2. Definitions Manager
Managing definitions scrrenshot
Managing definitions

These allow you to copy, move or delete definition files through the WorkBench interface.

Using these methods to manage your definitions enables you to reduce the number of stored definitions within a project by allowing users to share definitions at the team-level as opposed to users having their own copies of the same definitions.

Redundant Definitions

To reduce the amount of redundant definitions, it is possible for the user to create a User Definition opposed to creating a Project definition if it is for personal use. It is also possible to delete previous Definitions if they are no longer required.


A user could:

  • Move definitions from a user to that user’s team, or to the project, for everyone to use
  • Copy definitions from one team to another team or a member of another team
  • Move definitions from a user to become accessible by all users of a specific user type
Updated Article 04/02/2019 – Added info on Redundant Definitions

Contents of a Cradle database

Each Cradle database contains different sets of information. These can be imagined as layers, where each layer uses the data in the layers below it. For example, cross references cannot exist until the items exist whose relationships are shown by the cross reference. These layers are, highest to lowest:

1. Cross references – the links between the data
2. Items – the data
3. Definitions – how to find, view and report the data
4. User profiles – who can own and access the data
5. Schema – the structure of the data
Cradle database layers
You can export/import each layer individually, or in any combination, or all layers. You should only import a layer of information if the lower layers already exist in the database (unless you know that it is safe).

To initialise a new database from an existing database, you need as a minimum:

– The schema
– Definitions

User profiles are needed to use a database and may be needed for some parts of the schema (such as workflows and alerts) and definitions (user and personal scopes).