May 2017 Newsletter

May Already

Since our last newsletter: We sincerely hope that those of you who celebrate Easter had a nice break and are not too full of Easter Eggs!   We’ve also had an Activity Diagram to celebrate St. George’s day and tried to conquer the Universe on Star Wars Day with some Functional Modelling. That aside development continues on Cradle 7.3.

New Voices

We’ve expanded the writing team to include authors from elsewhere in the 3SL team. Because this is a blog, there is more emphasis on people’s personal insights into the Cradle product. This should make the style and tone more varied and hopefully more interesting to read.

As you may have already seen the 3SL-Blog is groaning full of new articles. These are mainly “Hints and Tips” and longer RM/SE articles. Increasingly we’ve found that some of the support questions that arrive here in 3SL towers are very similar. To that end we’re publishing them under the FAQ section.

If you have a burning question and would like to see an article covering a particular topic, drop us a line at social-blog@threesl.com and we’ll see what we can do. On the other hand, if you have a novel use of Cradle that you’re happy to share with us, drop us a line with the article, screen shots and accreditation details and we may feature it.

Non Graphic Interfaces

There is widespread understanding of the WorkBench and even Web Access interaction with Cradle. It is, after all the main way we interact with the data. However, there are many occasions when we want some of the data from Cradle but don’t want to or can’t use a screen to interact. This month we’re highlighting c_table.

c_table

This command line utility can be used to produce Reports, Matrices, Metrics, Graphs or Queries in a tabular form. This can be an HTML, RTF, CSV or SVG output. If every morning you need to go into a meeting, or stand at your ‘toolbox talk’ with a printed report detailing the number of ‘Issues’ with a category of ‘Raised’ you can do this by running one command. Creating a desktop short cut to run the command / batch file you need not start WorkBench just to run the query and publish the result. Even more cunningly a script could be triggered at 8:00am every morning to create the document for you.  Our blog article “Batch File Reporting in Cradle” adds more detail.

CompeteFor

If you are working or bidding on large infrastructure projects,  Cradle is now available through the CompeteFor procurement portal. Whatever the size of your Requirements Management or Systems Engineering task, Cradle is there from Concept to Creation.

Social Media

Twitter

May Day 2017 Madness Giveaway. Thanks to all those who re-Tweeted and followed @threesl, during our Twitter #FreebieFriday giveaway and congratulations to @baguettio, who won a copy of Cradle RM Desktop. It was really great to see re-Tweets from around the globe.

Hints of the Month

Here are some links to helpful topics since our last newsletter, they should improve your Cradle experience:

When working in large teams or over a long period an item’s edit history is very useful. See the LinkedIn discussion Who Changed That? When? Why?

When you have many items to submit all in one go, selecting them on the screen and submitting them is not practical. This article Configuration Management – Submit by Query discusses the alternative.

You can read Hints & Tips in the 3SL Blog.

3SL on Social Media

Keeping In Touch

You can reach 3SL in a number of ways on social media. We want it to be as easy as possible to contact 3SL on social media, so we have a number of ways you can follow and stay up to date with what’s going on. These social media sites compliment the direct contact available through website blog and webinarsemail and phone for direct communication.

LinkedIn

Our company page on Linked in is 3SL. To follow Requirements Mangement and Systems Engineering discussions along with more in depth 3SL or Cradle articles Join the “Cradle -RM/SE Tool from 3SL group.

Screenshot of https://www.linkedin.com/company/3sl
www.linkedin.com/company/3sl

Twitter

Follow @threesl on Twitter for hints tips and daily news.

screenshot of www.twitter.com/threesl
www.twitter.com/@threesl

Facebook

If you want to keep up to date via Facebook, we’re 3slcradle.

screenshot of www.facebook.com/3slcradle/
www.facebook.com/3slcradle/

YouTube

You can view our 3SL Cradle instructional videos on our YouTube Channel.

screenshot of 3SL youtube channel
3SL Cradle YouTube

Google+

If you follow engineering topics in one of the Google+ communities, you can reach us via +3SLCradle.

screenshot of plus.google.com/+3SLCradle
plus.google.com/+3SLCradle

HashTags

Want to chat or mention us? Please use #3SL for the company and #Cradle for product references. Mentioning #MBSE,  #Requirements, #SysML #SystemsEngineering will also help like-minded engineers find your articles. Search for more terms at hashtagify.me

March 2017 Newsletter

New Release – Cradle 7.2

We are pleased to announce the release of Cradle-7.2:

Cradle-7.2 interface

Cradle-7.2 contains a range of new capabilities that are described in its Release Notes.

Customers with active maintenance have been sent an e-mail notification of this release, and details of which enhancement requests and bug reports are in it.

Some of the highlights are:

  • Full support for IPv6 networking
  • Availability of 64-bit Cradle for Linux, use of the latest Windows .NET and improved support of Office 2016
  • Locking projects and disconnecting users through Project Manager
  • Improvements in custom web UI components, and the as-supplied Basic web UI
  • Dashboards as dials in WorkBench and in web UIs
  • More flexibility with Change Tasks in the CM system
  • Extended quality checks in the Conformance Checker and for SysML in the Consistency Checker
  • Find and replace
  • Extensions to queries and views
  • New functional modelling options with PADs and IDEF0

Download and Installation

Login and download Cradle-7.2 from our website here: www.threesl.com/downloads/software.php

You need a new Security Code for Cradle-7.2, other Security Codes cannot be used. If you have not received a new code and are under maintenance, please contact support@threesl.com. If you would like to discuss upgrading an out of date system, please contact salesdetails@threesl.com. If you have a single user version you can purchase the latest revision at the 3SL shop.

There is a database conversion from 7.1 to 7.2. The converter which will run automatically if you install Cradle-7.2, over the top of, in the same directory as, the earlier version of Cradle from which you are upgrading.

You must upgrade all of your Cradle installation to 7.2. (clients and server) as mixed versions, e.g. Cradle-7.1 clients / Cradle-7.2 server, and vice-versa are not supported.

I have a Cunning Plan…..

OK it does not have to be cunning, it just has to be clear. Cradle provides a bi-directional integration with Microsoft Project® that allows a Cradle project to be associated with multiple Project schedules and bidirectional updates with Project. By linking activities in each schedule to become a WBS hierarchy in Cradle the loop is closed and the plan and the Cradle requirements and models are all linked.

The main reasons to control things this way is to ensure there is no inconsistency between the management planning and the project engineering. To ensure that each engineering activity is planned for and each element of the plan has some actual work assigned to it, avoiding incompleteness. A plan linked to Cradle communicates the holistic view of progress and items all in one place.

To read more on this topic, our whitepaper “Integrated Project Management from Cradle” can be read here.

Social Media

Facebook Twitter Link

Our Facebook Logo Facebook account is connected to our Twitter Logo Twitter feed, so if you can’t follow us on Twitter (@threesl), you can still get the hints and tips via your Facebook timeline, see the (3SLCradle) page.

YouTube Learning

Our popular YouTube Logo YouTube channel has a number of ‘How to’ style videos to help you with particular aspects of Cradle, requirements management or systems engineering. We know that some of our customers may find a particular aspect complex, and although there is comprehensive online help documentation and articles provided, having a video take you through the steps can make a real difference. Of course 3SL can also offer full training, giving you broad coverage or highly tailored content as you require, contact us to discuss further.

Remembering the old adage “Tell me and I forget, Show me and I remember, Involve me and I understand” seems very appropriate. But what aspects are most appropriate to you our customer?

In this article 3SL’s managing director Mark Walker, asks for your feedback to guide 3SL’s video output.

“But the customer has sent it as an mp4!”

  • Your boss wants you to record the evidence of the test to provide full traceability
  • The testing house has sent a video of the compression strength test
  • You’re ‘stuck’ with all your requirements and tests in Cradle and now you have a video…

Don’t worry it’s not a problem. Although Cradle may not be able to play videos, it can store all sorts of information in its database, or by reference to external files. We provide a large list of files pre-defined, but Cradle can easily cope with new file types.

In this case you would add a binary frame to store video, you may have a directory alongside the Cradle database where these files reside, so an ‘As File’ frame would make sense, or if it is also to be controlled through the Cradle CMS (Configuration Management System) it could be “In PDB” (Project Database). You would choose our favourite app to view them in, then you would assign a frame of this type to your, say, TEST item type. Now you have the traceability you need with the test evidence referenced from the TEST item and links to the SYSTEM_REQUIREMENT through to the original customer Requirement.

In our LinkedIn discussion we describe adding a Document to an item.

Hints of the Month

Here are some links to helpful topics since our last newsletter, they should improve your Cradle experience:

A bright ‘Red’ box in the middle of the table screams Urgent/Highest/Action, when running a query you may wish to Highlight Important Values with Colour as described in this article.

Have you ever wondered what makes up the Content of a Cradle Database? Read the link for a simple overview.

No-one wants to lose their hard crafted work, our tips on Safeguarding Against Unintended Data Loss could ensure that if something does go wrong, you can limit its impact to your project and business.

February 2017 Newsletter

Happy Chinese New Year

新年快乐!
3SL 祝愿我们的所有客户,合作伙伴和供应商2017吉祥如意!

Regulation, Compliance and Traceability from Cradle

Discovery, Implementation, Demonstration, is this really what making a product is all about?

From a product development point of view, Elicitation, Analysis, Specification and Validation may be terms an engineer is more familiar with. However, we work in a world where regulation and compliance are hugely important factors in a product’s lifecycle.

As developers and producers we must discover the sets of codes, regulations and standards that form the non functional requirements of our product. We must the implement the changes to our product design to ensure the end product is compliant. Before delivery we must be able to trace our designs and decisions to demonstrate how we comply.

For further discussion on the parallel paths that a product lifecyle must comply, please read one of the 3SL’s whitepapers here.

Twitter Tips

Thanks to those extra follows from January, don’t forget to retweet whenever you find a tip helpful and keep using those #3SL and #Cradle tags.

Baseline Past and Present

Whenever a project reaches a defining moment it is advisable for the project to be baselined. A line in the sand to say ‘we are at this point’, a point from which further development and changes can stem.

However, sometimes we want to return to and extract a particular baseline, say to use as the starting point for a new project variant. See how to export this information in our linked in article

Cradle is Citrix Ready

Large or complex deployment, centrally managed? A number of our customers use Cradle deployed in a Citrix environment.

Cradle 7.1 has been certified for Citrix XenApp 7.6 and can be accessed through the Citrix Ready Marketplace

False Positives

Any software developers out there? We’re gathering experiences, encountered while developing and distributing software, of the eternal battle between virus protection, legitimate development and malware hackers. Please join the discussion here on LinkedIn or see it in the ‘Cradle – RM/SE Tool from 3SL’ group.

Many Roles

Do you sit as a person with many hats? Today you are Engineer, tomorrow you are QA Manager? In smaller organisations many people find they wear a number of hats, but like to keep their operations separate. Whether this is from an administration and traceability point of view, or just to prevent a change being made to data accidentally by a role with an elevated privilege (think sudo in Linux). It may also be the case that you want all these roles to exist in the future, but while the embryonic project is being set up and developed there is only a small team working on it. These roles are later handed over to new colleagues.

Cradle allows you to set up all the users individually and then provide a common alias or in Cradle terms a ‘Switch Identity’. The user can then switch between the various roles without the more time consuming logout – remember different password – login loop.

This is further illustrated in our LinkedIn discussion.

MBSE Buzz!

Model Based System Engineering is all the rage at the likes of the NASA / JPL symposium 25th – 27th Jan. Why not have a look at Cradle’s New MBSE Reference in our improved 3SL website.

Hints of the Month

Here are some links to helpful topics since our last newsletter, they should improve your Cradle experience:

Need to estimate your hardware requirements over the life of a project see the Database Size Calculator.

Want to show every user a special message before they start? Use the Login Messages and User Acknowledgement facility.

Happy about installing, IT want to know everything is OK, drop in at VirusTotal – see Check Cradle Files are Free From Viruses.

New to managing documents and statements you can Avoid Problems Opening Source Documents and Statements here.

Seeing an odd Word error ? Read all about it Word Error – Ambiguous name detected: TmpDDE.

Don’t worry if you computer raises a False Positive from Symantec and Trend Micro Office Scan.  AV Products will explain why.

The world still revolves round documents (paper or electronic) it’s an easy way for humans to deal with data, from Cradle you can Publish a Formal Document.

Installation issues? A few of articles that may help Installation Issues With .NET Framework, Installation Issue With Windows C Runtime, Installation Issue With Office 2016 / 365 / ClickToRun

January 2017 Newsletter

Happy New Year

3SL would like to wish all our customers, partners and suppliers a happy and fruitful 2017.

We hope you are all back to work and busy using Cradle-7.1.2 for your design, requirements management. If you’ve not got the latest version for the start of the year head over to www.threesl.com, login to your account and download it from the Software part of the Resources area in our website here.

If you install Cradle-7.1.2 clients don’t forget to update the server too and visa versa!

Role for RM and SE Tools

We obviously love the fact that Cradle is used on such a diverse set of projects within a huge range of companies. Some customers have fully embraced integrated thinking and manage every aspect of their project with appropriate tools. However, we also know there are pockets of Cradle being used in isolation in engineering departments and disparate projects dotted around our customers’ sites, where unfortunately the wider organisation, their suppliers and customers are just not as tuned into well balanced control and design.

If you find yourself in that situation you may like to use the details in our set of white papers dealing with the uses of information systems in engineering. A paper dealing with the role of RM and SE tool scan be seen here.

Agile Controls

3SL in Australia is distributed by our new partners at Agile Controls.

We are thrilled to announce they have recently signed up their first major customer, we wish them continued success in 2017 and look forward to supporting Cradle’s ‘down under’.

They can be contacted at:

Agile Controls,
108A Tregarthen Road,
Ashton
australia@threesl.com
+61 427 975 674

Twitter Tips

Sometimes you don’t have time to digest all the information in a newsletter. 3SL often tweet simple usage tips that can make a difference when learning all the capabilities of Cradle.

For example:

Confused about which symbol is which? Hover to see a tool tip or select Draw button from Tools ribbon.
Twitter Tips

tweetClick to view this post or followfollow @threesl if you want to chat about #Cradle or #3SL don’t forget to use an appropriate #tag

Sharing With Others – Web Publisher

When you need a static intranet version of your project, a version you can place on a CD or pen-drive and ship then consider Cradle’s Web Publisher. This allows you to publish your project to a linked set of html pages that can be packaged up and sent to anyone with a browser. You could of course publish parts as a paper report, or as a more complete document with Document Publisher. However, the simplicity of being click a symbol on a diagram and be taken to the specification behind it provides a simple way to share your data with other parties. Of course if you are able to enlighten your customer or supplier, then 3SL will happily demonstrate the full benefits of Cradle and then you can share exports or a common project database.

Sharing Data