Handwriting Day 2018

Handwriting

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.

Update frame types in your projects

Want to update your existing frame types?

Do you want to update your existing frame types which were originally supplied by 3SL or add any newly supplied frame types from 3SL, to your project?

Has your project been running for a long time, if so does your project support the latest types of files used by third party programs for example Microsoft®’s .vxdx extension files. No need to worry, 3SL supply a range of popular frame types and give you the option to easily update your existing projects to include these.

In project setup under frames types there is an update button which when clicked will bring up a “Update Frame Types” dialog that shows:

  1. All supplied frame types
  2. Whether the frame type already exists in your project
Update frames types dialog
Update frames types dialog

If you click OK the frames which are missing will be added to your project schema but your existing frames will remain untouched.

You also have the option to tick the “Overwrite existing frame types” which, as well as adding the missing frames, will update all the existing frame types with the latest settings supplied by 3SL.

For further information on frame types please refer to the Cradle online help.

 

Describe Your Schema to Help Your Users

Schema

The structure of each Cradle database is defined by it’s schema. This contains many parts, but the most fundamental are the ‘item types‘ for the types of information that Cradle will manage and the category and frame attributes of these item types.

Item Types, Categories and Frames

When you define the schema, you can specify a ‘description‘ for all of these parts, including:

  • Item types
  • Category codes
  • Each value in a category code that is a pick-list of value(s)
  • All frames
Setting schema descriptions in Cradle for categories and their values
Schema Descriptions

Setting Schema Descriptions

These descriptions are very useful to end users, because Cradle will display them as tooltips in the UI (User Interface). For example, when the user moves to set a category value, Cradle will display:

showing descriptions within tooltips for categories, their values and frames
Category and Frame Tooltips
  • The description of the category
  • The description of the current category value

When a user moves into the heading for a frame, the UI will display the description of that frame as a tooltip.

Link Rules

A comment as to the purpose of the link rule can be added to the schema. This is a useful aide-mémoire to those editing the rules. However, if a certain action is prohibited by the rules, then the user is shown why.

In this example two rules have been set up, one to allow user Alan to modify sub-part to component links and another to prevent all users modifying the same link. Because of the top-down sequence of rule matching this has the effect of allowing only Alan to modify cross references of this type. The example shows Dewi trying to modify the link attributes between the Pump parent component and the Pump housing linked as a sub-component. The warning shows why this alteration was prevented. The text from the schema is shown in the dialog.

documenting the link rule purpose in the schema allows the user to be shown the reason an action was rejected
Link Rule Documentation

Groups

Within Cradle item types can have a number of different categories. Some item types may share the same categories, others may use unique values.

The Group field is available across the whole project. When the schema contains a number of entries for the Group field, these can be applied to any item type. If the project defines values for the Group, selection is only from the defined list. If no pick-list is defined, it is simply a free-form text field, to use as the user wishes.

Showing the setup of group descriptions in the schema and tooltips in a form
Group Descriptions

This example shows three types of assets, Capital, Inventory and Liquid. Some item types may only fall into one group, in this example a physical bedroom is going to be a capital asset, the guest supplies are liquid assets. However, when it comes to fittings, the light is being grouped with the Capital assets and the bed and so on in the Inventory group.

However you choose to use this cross item categorisation, the descriptions given to the group show as tooltips when hovering over the group field in a form.

Article updated 17/09/2018 – Cleaned up post