Handwriting Day 2018


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.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

A Picture…

A proverb, a newspaper editor’s comment on journalism, a printer’s marketing spiel, the origin as discussed in Wikipedia and throughout the web is a little muddied. However, we think you’ll agree that a picture can convey very quickly what you would need many paragraphs to say.

There are many uses of images and pictures in capture, design and development. From the customer’s point of view this may be the easiest way to communicate what they want, even if they don’t know the language of the supplier. The designer drawing a picture of how the system operates is creating a model that communicates more than the specifications of each part. Images of anything from an oscilloscope trace to a microscope slide may be used as evidence of meeting a requirement. Photos of the final implementation can be a fabulous selling point.

Pictures in Cradle

Cradle Workbench
Cradle Workbench

Each of these elements can be captured in Cradle throughout the lifecycle of a product.
Here a requirement, capturing a photo of the location for the installation, provides the user with the textual description (Latitude and Longitude) and a clear visualisation of the site.

The model itself, and pictorial annotations within, can illustrate the design. The design model itself is supported through numerous notations including (to name but a few):

  • Holistically viewed with SysML (Systems Modelling Language) notations.

    SysML Disgrams
    SysML Disgrams
  • Behaviourally described along a timeline with eFFBD (Extended Functional Flow Block Diagram)
  • Described in OO (Object-Oriented) methods with Use Case Diagrams describing how the system sits in its environment with CPDs (Component Diagrams) describing the parts
  • Functionally modelled through Yourdon DFDs (Data Flow Diagrams) and STDs (State Transition Diagrams) etc.

    Pictures inserted in a Data Flow Diagram
    Pictures inserted in a Data Flow Diagram

A copy of a test certificate can be stored in a compliance item type, linked back through the design to the requirement. These could then be printed as an HTML report or more formally as figures within a Document Publisher output.

Images included in View, Form and Printed output
Images included in View, Form and Printed output

From concept to creation, you, Cradle and 3SL!

Add an Image Attribute to Items

It is often helpful to be able to store image(s) inside items in a Cradle database.

This is easy to set up. You simply add one or more new image ‘frame’ attribute(s) to the type of item in which you want to store images, such as your test cases, or your System Breakdown Structure (SBS). To do this:

1. Start WorkBench and login to your database as a user with PROJECT privilege so you can change the schema
2. Select ‘Project Setup’ from the ‘Project’ tab to open the schema
3. With ‘Options’ set to ‘Item Definitions’, select the ‘Item’ type (this is the default)
4. Select the item type and select ‘Frames…’
5. Select ‘New…’ and enter the name of the new image attribute, such as: figure
6. Set the new attribute’s frame type to be an image (with no frame type, the frame stores plain text), such as GIF or JPEG (provided with all Cradle systems)
7. Select ‘OK’ to close the schema

Now any/all items of your chosen item type can have a figure frame that can contain an image. When you view the attribute, the image will appear. You can capture images from external documents into the attribute using Document Loader. You can include the images in reports and in documents published by Document Publisher. If you edit the image, then the change history will store the images from before and after each edit.

We hope that this is helpful!

Add an Image Attribute to Items
Article updated 22/10/2018 – Made image bigger