Cradle Modules – PDM

The Cradle PDM module provides the infrastructure for all other Cradle modules. Its scalability and flexibility create an industrial strength, proven, shared data environment for even the largest projects:

Cradle PDM Module
Cradle PDM Module


Cradle supports any number of databases, each with its own schema, CM system and users. Each database supports many projects. Use the Project Manager tool to organise this environment by user-defined criteria, for example as hierarchies.

Each database stores any number of items, of any number of types (requirements, risks, classes, user stories, functions) defined by a UI. Items have any number of attributes, each of a user-defined type, that manage up to 1 TByte of any type of data, held in Cradle, or referenced in external files, URLs or another tool or environment.


User-defined calculations are supported in all parts of Cradle and can be displayed as graphs, in views and user-defined reports. User-defined rules can be applied to automatically set attribute values or perform calculations, to maintain the integrity within and between items.

Cross References

Items can be cross referenced, with optional user-defined link types and groups. Links have user-defined attributes to justify, parametrise, explain or characterise them. You control which links are used to navigate or report traceability, based on link type or group, direction and link attribute values. Links are both direct and indirect, for full lifecycle traceability, impact and coverage analyses.

Process Tailored Environment

You use start pages and a phase hierarchy to build an environment tailored to your process. End users only need to be trained in your interface, reducing training time and costs:

  • Start pages are text and graphics controls that perform your choice of operations simply and easily
  • The phase hierarchy shows the process as a hierarchy in which an agile or phase activity, task, sprint, report or document is run by a mouse click. Different parts of the phase hierarchy can be shown to each user or stakeholder group.

Traceability and coverage views are available as trees, nested and pivot tables, matrices and Hierarchy Diagrams. Unique transitive links give traceability across the full system lifecycle.

Configuration Management

Items evolve through versions that are managed in baselines and controlled by a built-in CM system, with mechanisms for review, baseline and version control, full change control, and audit trails.

Cradle can track all changes. Edits can be reversed selectively or by group. Items can be compared across edits and in baselines. Edits can raise alerts to users, and mark related items as suspect. All edits are permanently available, for change logs.


Cradle provides adaptations to allow variants of items. This mechanism is ideal for databases that contain a library of standard items and projects that use the library, and contribute to it.

Access Controls

Access controls apply to all items based on user roles, privileges, security clearances and skills. Users can be grouped in a hierarchy of teams, to create any access control scheme, such as for customers, subcontractors and IV&V. The creation and manipulation of links can be controlled, by item or user.

Cradle is multi-user. It locks information at item level, with automatic database commit after an edit. This maximises users’ interaction with the database and guarantees all data s up-to-date.


Cradle’s alert mechanism sends messages by email (SMTP or IMAP), Cradle or both. Alerts can be selectively enabled and disabled. Alerts track events on items, including edit, review and formal change.


The Cradle discussion mechanism allows even read-only users to add comments to items. Four other commenting mechanisms are provided.

Project Planning

Cradle can manage project plans and WBS. User task lists are maintained. WBS structures and progress data can be exchanged bidirectionally with external PM tools. Cradle can generate burn-down and earned-value graphs on any user-defined criterion to monitor progress.


Cradle is open and extensible. It provides multiple import/export formats, an API, a user-definable event-driven command interface, interfaces with other tools and bidirectional interfaces to Microsoft Office.

Query and Report Data

Cradle provides uniquely powerful data query and visualisation facilities. Each user’s environment can be tailored by defining custom queries, views, forms, navigations, matrices, reports and other facilities. All customisations have a scope, to be specific to the end user, or shared with other users of the same type (such as all customers or all managers), the user’s team, the entire project, or all projects.

Any desired compliance, coverage or traceability report can be created quickly/easily using Cradle’s queries, multi-row views/nested table view, and saved for later use.


Cradle has floating, dynamic licensing and low cost read-only users. Open and named user licences are available. Everything described here is free of charge.

Licences, databases and schemas are interchangeable across Linux and Windows 8.1, 10, 11, Server 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019.

Optional support for Oracle and MySQL.

Feature Summary

Feature Summary - PDM
Feature Summary – PDM

Please contact 3SL for further information about Cradle PDM licences.

July Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the July 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.


When we work with information, we need a way to distinguish each piece of information from all other pieces of information so we can be sure we have found what we were searching for. We do this by marking each piece of information in a unique way.

For information in databases, the markings are unique values called keys or identities. A piece of information can have multiple identities, each for a different purpose. For example, although a company’s payroll system is likely to identify each person by a unique Employee ID, each person’s details will also include their governmental tax ID (such as a National Insurance number, a Unique Taxpayer Reference, a Sozialversicherungsnummer or a Social Security Number). This tax ID will also be unique and so could also be used as an identity for that person’s information.

Cradle has two forms of identity, item identities and Project Database Unique IDs (PDUIDs).

We will publish a series of blog posts about PDUIDs, describing what they are, how to view them, how to use them, and how PDUIDs can be managed when you import information into your databases.

Item Identities

There are several basic item types in Cradle. Each basic item type uses a different combination of attributes to create a unique Item ID for items of that type:

Item identities table

An item is identified by this Item ID and a unique Instance ID, typically a version and draft.

PDUID Structure

Project Database Unique IDs (PDUIDs) are a single, consistent, numbering system for all database information. Each PDUID is a 26 character string that contains a Database ID to identify a Cradle system, a Project ID to identify a project database and a Unique ID:

Cradle PDUID Structure
Structure of PDUIDs

A PDUID references all instances of an item. Therefore the combination of a PDUID and an Instance ID (a version and draft) will identify a specific item. So, this is an alternative to the Item ID and Instance ID and has the advantage of being consistent and a single numbering sequence for all types of item.

Further Details

For further details in this part 1 of a description of PDUIDs, please see the full blog entry here.

Remote Databases

A Cradle system can contain any number of databases. For the best performance, we recommend that databases are stored on disks connected to the machine that runs your Cradle Database Server (CDS). But, this may not be possible.

For example:

  • The local system may not have enough disk space available
  • The information in the database may be classified and must be stored separately

Here each database will be stored on a remote filesystem that must be referenced by a pathname so the CDS can work with it.

Further Details

For further details of remote databases, please see the full blog entry here.

Over Half Way Through the Year

It’s true; the 2nd July marked the halfway point of the calendar year. That went fast didn’t it?

It feels like we only just celebrated the New Year and now we are six months away from doing it all over again.

At this time of year, it is good to reflect on what’s already passed and what is to come this year. Here are some ways that might help if you are looking to refocus and recharge over the summer months.

Check in on Team Goals

  • How are the goals the team set at the beginning of the year going?
  • When was the last time your team reviewed them?

Now is a great time to reflect on any progress. Is your team on track? Is everybody on the same page?

Whatever the progress so far this year, there will be lessons to be learnt from it. It’s time to put an action plan in place for the remainder of the year. Now is a good time to get the team goals back on track:

  • Ask who do you need to help achieve those goals?
  • What’s the best way to communicate with them?
  • Is there an alternative way to achieve them?


Summer can be especially busy; school summer holidays, weekly events, fewer people in the office, and various demands can bring stress to everyone.

With all these additional activities going on, it’s easy for people to get distracted, lost and even burnt out.

Now is a great time to contact your team, employees and other connections. It can be as simple as a chat over a cup of coffee, a walk and talk or a business/working lunch. This will allow you to connect in a more casual way, which in turn, can help strengthen the link between you and your team.

Help your Team Avoid a Summer Decline

It’s no surprise that productivity can fall off a cliff when the sun comes out! Thoughts of ice cream, beer gardens and future holidays can lead our minds to wander off and our focus can end up in the bin.

Ice cream
Ice cream

Now is a good time to prepare your team and business to avoid any slump.

Congratulate your team on their efforts so far this year. One way to keep the momentum going is to set small achievable goals, something that can be done within a week to a month can help. As you complete and reach each one, the team will get a boost.

Having weekly/monthly meetings can allow the team to see those goals that have been achieved. Using metrics, dashboards and graphs can help your team see the progress made each week, month, year or more.

This progress will give reasons to celebrate and that can only be a good thing!

Remember: the team working together will make the dream work!


We continue to receive positive feedback from our customers. We really appreciate ALL feedback, as this helps us to assess and improve both the products and services we provide.

In June, we provided a Cradle training course to one of our customers in Australia. They kindly sent the following feedback:

“Extremely informative classes. We are very appreciative of the customised content tailored for our envisaged use of the tool”

Independence Day (4th July)

4th July was a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence which was ratified by the Second Continental Congress on July 4th 1776, establishing the United States of America.

Social Media

We commemorated #DDay – 79 years ago. “We will remember them“:


Some of our customers, both old and new, attended various shows/exhibitions etc, e.g.:

@SercoGroup announced they have been awarded nine contracts to help the #IRIDE space programme. This programme is led by the Italian government and implemented by the European Space Agency. This is one of the most amibitous Earth Observation programmes in Europe.

With electric vehicles taking over the roads, our customer @Enphase talked about EV chargers.

Looking Back

Last month we discussed:

We would also like to thank all attendees on our Configuration Management course which we provided in June.

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.

Force Directed Graphs

We are curious to know what people think of using force directed graphs as a way to display the relationships between items in Hierarchy Diagrams (HIDs).

At the moment, HIDs are drawn using a fixed algorithm, in which you can control:

  • The orientation (vertical or horizontal)
  • If the HID will pivot (change orientation) and if so, the level at which it pivots.

Force directed graphs are an alternative way to arrange the same boxes (items) and lines (cross references) in a HID.

What do you think?