Project Administration – Cross Reference Integrity Checks

This blog follows on from our previous blog about project integrity checks. Here we discuss a second project integrity tool which concerns the validity of cross references. This can be found in the Project ribbon:

Project ribbon
Cross Reference Integrity Check option

As with the Item Integrity Checker, the user MUST have ACCESS_BYPASS privilege to instigate any changes to the data. It is highly recommended that there are no other active users in the database.

In fact, we would recommend locking a project using Project Manager prior to using these utilities if you cannot be certain that other users would not try to log on during the process of running the utilities.

Also, it is highly recommended to back up your database and/or create a snapshot prior to instigating any changes using these utilities.

For details about snapshots, refer to the following help page.

Cross Reference Integrity Checker

The Cross Reference Integrity Checker consists of several checks that compare the links found in the database with the rules specified in Project Setup. Some of the issues found can be repaired with a single click.

There are some checks that would not be required in normal Cradle usage but could appear as a result of an import. An example of this could be due to the fact that Cradle has the ability to import cross references independently of any item types and specify the from item and the to item. These items referred to in the cross references by their identity attribute, might not exist in the database so this is an example of a dangling cross reference.

Cross Reference Integrity Checks

Other checks are:

  • Duplicate cross references
  • Reversed hierarchical cross references – where the from item has an identity that suggests it to be the child of the to item. For example, a cross reference that is from item 1.2.3 to item 1.2. The usual action is to fix the cross references which will reverse them.
  • Cross references to be reversed – where the link rules specified in Project Setup state that the link between the checked items should be in the opposite direction in order to be valid.
  • Cross references needing a new link type – where it detects cross references that are invalid according to the current link rules but which become valid if their link type is changed
  • Invalid cross references
  • Cross reference cardinality – detects cross references whose cardinality does not match the current link rules
  • Cross reference attributes – checks the cross reference attributes, e.g., if there was information in a cross reference attribute (e.g. Reason) and was removed in a way other than through the UI, this check will flag the cross reference.
Cross Reference Integrity dialog
Cross Reference Integrity dialog

These checks will provide both a report and a summary in the dialog.

Example Cross Reference Integrity Report
Example Cross Reference Integrity Report
Example Cross Reference Integrity dialog
Example Cross Reference Integrity dialog

In this example, 154 of the cross references that exist in the database would be valid if they were reversed. So clicking the Fix button would repair those links with a single click.


We have addressed some of the checks that can be run on items to confirm the validity of cross references.

Please remember that the user MUST have ACCESS_BYPASS privilege to instigate any changes to the data. It is highly recommended that there are no other active users in the database.

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.

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.

Do I have to retype my password if I have many projects?

Using Project Manager with Multiple Projects and Passwords

In an environment where you have numerous projects that you switch between, using Project Manager to Login can save retyping your Cradle password.

If you have many projects that you need to switch between and don’t have a limitless desktop to open multiple copies of Cradle or don’t want to lock multiple licences, use Project Manager to look after switching.

Once you Login  to a project through Project Manager your Cradle password is cached for that session. You can then access the project through WorkBench, Web Access, or the Toolsuite applications; Document Loader, Document Publisher or Spell Checker. When you exit a tool, you can open another project through Project Manager as you work through your day. When  you need to re-enter any previous projects, you’ll only need to use the Open command as your login details will be cached.

If you need to clear the cache (for security reasons) then simply use the Clear User Cache option. Alternatively close Project Manager.

Using Project Manager to login
Project Manager Login

LDAP Lightweight Directory Access Protocol

For an alternative way to manage your logins and passwords, see Cradle help LDAP Authentication.

Switch User

Another option to change to a different user is to use the “Switch Identity” option, this can be enabled in the “User Setup” A User Profile’s switch identity can only be set if you have read-write access to the User Profile. If you have no access to a User Profile, you cannot see any part of it, including the switch identity. If you have read-only access to a User Profile, the switch identity is disguised in the same manner as the User Profile’s password.

Article Updated 04/02/2019 – Added swith user

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.


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.

Can I See, Who is Using What and Where?

Report on Who and Where.

It is easy to see who, using what, where from the Users report in Project Manager.  This details the host system user name, their Cradle login name and the project they are connected to.

Why is there an Executing Client and Display Client shown?

These would show different values if your system is set to have the executable running on one machine with the UI redirected to another. For example a Windows® user may remotely log on to a Linux® machine, and start WorkBench, viewing the output on a Windows X terminal emulation.  The machine running the Cradle Database Server may be a third machine.

User report from Project Manager showing users and licences
User Report

Additional brief information detailing which module licences they currently have in use is also given. For full details on the licence usage users would run the Licence Usage report.

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.


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

Managing Projects

Managing Projects in Cradle

When you have a large number of projects and users it can get difficult to track them all. Project Manager, part of the Cradle suite, provides a method to hierarchically organise, categorise and sort your projects.

Project Manager showing projects in folder organisation.
Organise projects in Project Manager

Classification / Categorisation

A Project may belong to more than one sub category, “Mechanical Department” and “Current Project”, you can place a link to the project in each of these folders. In the future the link may be in the “Mechanical Department” and “Completed” folders, its up to you. Project manager can also add a host of user defined categorisations and references. This will help identify a project and its associated contracts or references,  now and in years to come.


You can set attributes for each project. These can provide extra details about the project’s purpose, status, dates and so on. Project Manager ships with nine default attributes, however, you can add your own or change those supplied.

  • Alias  ‘Alias ID for the project, such as an alternative project ID number’
  • Division ‘General Description such as the company division doing the project’
  • Branch ‘General description such as the company branch doing the project’
  • Customer ‘General description such as the name of the customer for the project’
  • Reference ‘General Description such as the RFP or ITT reference number’
  • ‘Inception Date’ ‘General description such as the start date of the project’
  • Purpose ‘General project description, used in any manner found to be useful’
  • Summary ‘General project description, used in any manner found to be useful’
  • Description ‘General project description, used in any manner found to be useful’
Showing the range of Project Attributes that can be set for a project

    Setting Project Attributes

Continue reading “Managing Projects”