Filtering Cross References in a Query

Filtering cross references in a query is easy within Cradle.

Showing Cross References in a Query within Cradle

In this example we will create a query that shows links between all system requirements linked to all verifications.

  1. Create a query that shows all system requirements
  2. Then create a nested view which shows links to verification items
View Details dialog filtering cross references
View Details Dialog

This will display as shown below:

Query showing linked items
Query showing linked items

In this example 97 items are returned.

Show only Items that have a Linked Item

To only show items that are linked to one or more verification item, edit the Query Details dialog:

Query Details filtering cross references
Query Details dialog showing Links

which displays as follows:

Query showing linked items
Query showing only items that are linked

As you can see the list of items has now reduced to 43.

Show Items where Linked Item has a Category set

To only show items where the verification has a PASS value set in a category, a query is created.

  1. Create a query that only shows verifications that have a Pass value set:
Query Details showing category set
Query Details dialog showing Category set to Pass
Query showing passed items
Query showing passed items

Refer to this query in the Links tab of the Query Details dialog. Note that instead of using To Items set to Of Type, we have chosen Matching Query:

Query Details filtering cross references
Query Details showing Matching Query

You can now see the list has reduced to 28 items. These being the system requirements that have a Pass for one or more of the linked verifications.

Query showing passed linked items
Query showing passed linked items

September 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest newsletter from 3SL that provides 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 we, and Cradle, can deliver real and measurable benefits to all of the exciting development projects that we see every day through your regular contacts with our support team. If you have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact 3SL support here.

Showing Cell Titles in Views

Sometimes when displaying a nested view the cell titles take up a lot of space on the screen.

Displaying Cell Titles
Displaying Cell Titles

Within the View Details dialog you have the option to choose whether you want to display the cell titles:

Show cell titles option
Displaying cell titles in views

As you can see you can choose to either:

  • Show the cell titles
  • Hide the cell titles
  • Show the cell titles only when the view is top-level

You can change the visibility of any of the component views that are being used to show linked items. In practice, most people either hide everything or show everything.

For further information on views please see our online help page.

Help with Cradle-7.7

Following on from our recent Cradle-7.7 release, if you are not already a customer and would like more information about Cradle, you can download the software and a free evaluation licence. You can find this on our website, or  you can request a webinar. If you are a customer and would like to upgrade, please contact 3SL for a Security Code and for any assistance you may require with the upgrade.

Upcoming Training Courses

We still have places available on our September Risk Management course. Learn how to identify, analyse, evaluate, treat and monitor the risks associated with activities or events within your business. This course is designed for project team leaders or managers who administer and manage risks.

To book a place on one of our online courses please click here!

G-Cloud 13

Cradle on G-Cloud-12
G-Cloud 12

The UK government Digital Market Place Cloud Software applications offer a wide range of software aimed at fulfilment of central and regional government contracts, government agencies’ work and local authority use. This ranges from Schools, education and libraries to Fault management, monitoring and alerting  or Marketing. 3SL (Structured Software Systems Ltd.) continue our presence in G-Cloud 12 but are proud  to announce that Cradle has been successful on G-Cloud 13 and will be available as SaaS through G-Cloud 13 for agile and phase-based projects under the Information and communications technology (ICT) services when it goes live in November.

Services

Cradle offers two packages Cradle Software as SaaS and Cradle Training and Consultancy.

Software

The software package includes Cradle licences, a pre-defined schema and a comprehensive support package. This can be used in  both unclassified (IL0) and OFFICIAL (certified IL3) deployments and covers the following elements:

  • Agile Collaboration
  • Application Lifecycle Development
  • Application Lifecycle Management
  • Agile Software Development
  • Agile Software Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Business Process Modelling
  • Defect Tracking
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Integrated Risk Management
  • Integrated Test Management
  • Lifecycle Management
  • MBE Model Based Engineering
  • MBSE Model Based Software Engineering
  • MBSE Model Based Systems Engineering
  • Requirements and Testing
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Requirements Management
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Compliance
  • Risk Management
  • SysML Modelling
  • Systems Engineering
  • Test Execution
  • Test Management
  • Test Planning
  • UML Modelling

Cradle Training/Consultancy

  • Consultancy
  • Administration Training
  • Fundamentals Training
  • Advanced Lifecycle Training

Prices start from as little as £50.00 per user per month. Including email and phone support and full documentation included. Optional onsite support and training is available. This can be supplied on Windows® or Linux®.

Customisation

A wide range of user customisation is available including:

  • Items’ (attributes, links and properties)
  • Display of chosen data and layout through queries, views, forms,
  • Processing data to give graphs, reports, documents, metrics, KPIs/dashboards, process
  • CM (Configuration Management) system workflows
  • UI (User Interface) layout and content
  • Authentication and access control

Details

For details, see here:

  • Software
  • Training/Consultancy

or search for 3SL Cradle.  For an overview of Cradle, see our video here:  We look forward to helping you achieve success on your future projects, or migrating existing ‘manual’ or disparate works into a fully encompassed solution.

Showing Filtered “Transitive” Links in Tables

Problem

We have created some links between Cradle items but we only want to see a filtered set of these links in our table.

Rationale

Cradle has a unique ability to follow cross references transitively. This means that although an item might not be directly cross referenced from it’s source, it might be linked indirectly through another item/item type.

Cradle also has the ability to name cross references referred to as link types and even group sets of link types together referred to as link groups.

Combining these features can allow flexibility for the output of items that have some relationship to the source which will reduce the number of direct cross references required.

For example, we would like to show dependencies between item type A and item type C but ONLY those that have a yellow and blue link type.

Model showing defined Links Between Item Types
Defined Links Between Item Types

We can see in the screenshot below that only A-6 and A-11 are transitively linked to items of item type C with both a blue and a yellow link:

Showing Direct Links in a Nested Table
Direct Links in a Nested Table

Setting Link Groups

We can define a link group in Project Setup in which we can select from the available link types.

Screenshot showing how to define a link group
Defining Link Groups

This defined link group can be used in navigations.

Defining Navigations

Navigations allow us to specify how we would like to follow the links that have been created between items. This is a very powerful feature as we can also specify that we would like to follow links transitively:

Defining a Navigation to follow Cross References transitively in the Navigation Details Window
Defining Navigations to Follow Cross References Transitively

Using the Navigation in Views

We can now use the navigation to specify that we want to show links between item type A and item type C that are followed transitively but we ONLY want to show the group of links YELLOW AND BLUE. Remember that there are NO DIRECT links between these two item types. The cross references are from item type A to item type B and also from item type B to item type C:

Defining a View to allow links to be shown transitively between item
Using the Transitive Navigation in Views

Applying this view, we can see that only the YELLOW AND BLUE links are shown in the table. The remainder appear blank:

Output of a table that shows links that are transitive when they exist
View Showing Transitive Cross References

Using the Navigation in Queries

We might wish to only show items in our table that have these links in preference to showing all items and just appearing blank where the transitive link does not exist. We can achieve this in the Query Details dialog:

Using the Query Details Window to filter items that do not have any indirect transitive links
Filtering Items Non-Linked Items in a Query

This will now filter out of the list any items that do not match the navigation criteria:

Screenshot showing the resulting table that only shows items where a transitive link exists
Link Table Only Showing Items Where Transitive Link Exists

Showing Path in a Tree Style

If we followed the path in a tree style showing downward links, we can see that item type A (A-6 and A-11) are not directly linked to item type C (C-1). They go through item type B (B-2):

Screenshot showing the direct links between items in a tree style to prove that the items are not directy linked
Links shown in Tree Style

Summary

Cradle provides a unique ability to allow cross references to be followed transitively (through other items).

Transitive navigations can be applied to views and queries. This provides a very powerful filtering mechanism that allows us to show non-direct dependencies between items.

Tree Style

You can find items in a Cradle database by running a query. For example, you can use the pre-defined queries in the Quick Access Bar at the bottom of the UI. Once the query has run, the results are shown in a display style. Tree style is one of the four styles available:

A view is used to specify which parts (attributes) of the items will be shown. A display style controls how these attributes will be displayed, and the facilities that are available to you.

Tree Style

This is the second most frequently-used of the display styles after table style. It displays each item as a node in a tree, with a set of columns for the other attributes:

display items using tree style in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Items Shown in Tree Style

There are two views used to display trees:

  • A view that specifies the contents of the node shown in the tree. You specify this view in the schema for the item type.
  • A view that specifies the attributes shown in columns to the right of the tree

To have items displayed in this style:

  • Specify it in the query to be run:
choose tree style in a query in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Specify Tree Style in a Query
  • Also, select it from the Context group in the Home tab:
choose tree style in the UI in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Choose Tree Style in the UI Ribbon
  • Or, right click and choose Style -> Tree from the context-sensitive menu
  • Finally, press <CTRL> and 4

Facilities

  • Use the left mouse button to select individual items
  • You can select a groups of items by selecting the first and then pressing <SHIFT> and the left mouse button to select the end of the group
  • Press <CTRL> and the left mouse button to select or de-select individual items
  • You can shrink and widen the display columns. Move your cursor to the edge of a column heading and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to change the column’s width.
  • You can follow cross references by expanding the tree node for the item. Cradle will find all cross references to and from the item, select which cross references to use, and display the items at the other end of these cross references as new nodes in the tree.
  • Use drag-and-drop items between trees to create cross references between the items
  • Drag-and-drop items inside a hierarchy of the same type of items to reorder that hierarchy and automatically rebuild the hierarchical numbering within it

You can expand a tree node by:

  • Click its + button
  • Select the text of the tree node and press: +
  • Select the text of the tree node, right click, and choose Expand from the menu
  • Double click on the text of the tree node

You can collapse a tree node by:

  • Click its button
  • Double-click on the text of the tree node
  • Select the text of the tree node and press:
  • Select the text of the tree node, right click, and choose Collapse from the menu

Advantages

The advantages of tree style are that it is:

  • The simplest way to explore items and their relationships
  • A convenient method to create cross references
  • The easiest way to reorganise a hierarchy of items

If you want to do anything with cross references between items, or to work in a hierarchy of items, then this is the best display style to use.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of tree style are that:

  • It provides a limited ability to display information
  • You cannot edit information directly

Summary

Tree style is the most convenient method to work with cross references within a set of items and between one set of items and other sets of information.

Therefore, we recommend this style whenever you need to work with cross references between items and inside hierarchies.

Document Style

You can find items in a Cradle database by running a query. For example, you can use the pre-defined queries in the Quick Access Bar at the bottom of the UI. Once the query has run, the results are shown in a display style. Document style is one of the four styles available:

A view is used to specify which parts (attributes) of the items will be shown. A display style controls how these attributes will be displayed, and the facilities that are available to you.

Document Style

This is the second most flexible of all the display styles. It displays each item as a set of one or more rows and one or more columns (as controlled by the view), with invisible borders around each of the cells. You can edit items directly in this display style.

display items using document style in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Items Shown in Document Style

This display style is similar to table style, except that:

  • The height of each item’s row is set by the information to be shown. So some rows are shallow and other rows are deep. If an attribute contains no data, its height will be close to zero.
  • Different sized fonts are used to display the first row in the view. The size of the font is based on the level of the item being shown. This level is based on the number of dots (periods) in the first attribute shown in the row. This is typically the Key, or whatever attribute you may have specified to hold the item’s hierarchical number.
  • The borders around the rows and columns are invisible

For document style, you should use views that show attributes in successive rows, rather than successive columns. For example:

view to items using document style in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Arrangement of Attributes in a View for Document Style

The result is that items are displayed in a style that looks like a document, with large font for section headings and smaller fonts used for subsection headings.

To have items displayed in this style:

  • Specify it in the query to be run:
choose document style in a query in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Specify Document Style in a Query
  • Also, select it from the Context group in the Home tab:
choose document style in the UI in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Choose Document Style in the UI Ribbon
  • Or, right click and choose Style -> Document from the context-sensitive menu
  • Finally, press CTRL and 3

Facilities

Document style provides a wide range of faciltiies.

Selecting Items

  • Use the left mouse button to select individual items
  • You can select a groups of items by selecting the first and then pressing SHIFT and the left mouse button to select the end of the group
  • Press <CTRL> and the left mouse button to select or de-select individual items

Changing the Display

  • You can shrink and widen the display columns. Move your cursor to the edge of a column heading and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to change the column’s width.
  • You can move any row or column in the view. Move your cursor onto any cell border and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to move that border.
  • By default, all rows are displayed with different heights, you can increase or decrease the height of any row
  • You can sort the data in any column. Click the column heading and choose a sort order, either ascending or descending, in either a case-sensitive or case-insensitve manner (this only applies to languages that have upper-case and lower-case characters)
  • Tooltips are displayed for each column. Move your cursor into a column heading and after a second, a description of that attribute will be shown. You can enter these descriptions in the schema.
  • You can see tooltips for some attribute values. Move your cursor into a cell that displays a category with a pick-list of possible values. A tooltip appears containing a description of that category and category value. You can enter these descriptions in the schema.

Exploring Data

  • You can expand rows to follow cross references. Double-click the heading for an item’s row and that row will expand to show one new row for each item linked to the original item. Repeat this as many times as you like.
  • You will see the level of any expanded row as the number of dots in its row heading
  • You can collapse rows by double-clicking the row heading.

Editing Data

  • You can edit items directly Click inside any cell. If you have RW access to the item, Cradle locks the item so you can edit it.

Advantages

The advantages of document style are that it is:

  • Flexible. You can adjust the display and sort information.
  • Navigable. You can explore the database by expanding rows to follow cross references.
  • Editable. You can edit information through the display style.
  • Readable. All items are shown with a display height to display their entire contents.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of document style are that:

  • It takes much longer to display than list style or tree style
  • The rows displaying information are of different heights, so you may not see many items at the same time. You may need to scroll more than in other display styles.

Summary

Document style is the second most flexible of Cradle’s four display styles, after table style. It is not the quickest style to generate, but it does provide a familiar document-like view of information and a lot of capability.

Therefore, we recommend document style whenever you want to display items in a document format. This can be very helpful for users who are more familiar with using documents, rather than data-orientated tools.

Table Style

You can find items in a Cradle database by running a query. For example, you can use the pre-defined queries in the Quick Access Bar at the bottom of the UI. Once the query has run, the results are shown in a display style. Table style is one of the four styles available:

A view is used to specify which parts (attributes) of the items will be shown. A display style controls how these attributes will be displayed, and the facilities that are available to you.

Table Style

This is the most flexible of all the display styles. It displays each item as a set of one or more rows and one or more columns (as controlled by the view), with borders around each of the cells. You can edit items directly in this display style.

display items using table style in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Items Shown in Table Style

To have items displayed in this style:

  • Specify it in the query to be run:
choose table style in a query in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Specify Table Style in a Query
  • Also, select it from the Context group in the Home tab:
choose table style in the UI in 3SL Cradle RM SE Tool
Choose Table Style in the UI Ribbon
  • Or, right click and choose Style -> Table from the context-sensitive menu
  • Finally, press <CTRL> and 2

Facilities

Table style provides a wide range of facilities.

Selecting Items

  • Use the left mouse button to select individual items
  • You can select a groups of items by selecting the first and then pressing SHIFT and the left mouse button to select the end of the group
  • Press <CTRL> and the left mouse button to select or de-select individual items

Changing the Display

  • You can shrink and widen the display columns. Move your cursor to the edge of a column heading and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to change the column’s width.
  • You can move any row or column in the view. Move your cursor onto any cell border and the cursor will become a pair of arrows. Press, drag and release the left mouse button to move that border.
  • By default, all rows are displayed the same height, but you can increase the height of any row
  • You can sort the data in any column. Click the column heading and choose a sort order, either ascending or descending, in either a case-sensitive or case-insensitve manner (this only applies to languages that have upper-case and lower-case characters)
  • Tooltips are displayed for each column. Move your cursor into a column heading and after a second, a description of that attribute will be shown. You can enter these descriptions in the schema.
  • You can see tooltips for some attribute values. Move your cursor into a cell that displays a category with a pick-list of possible values. A tooltip appears containing a description of that category and category value. You can enter these descriptions in the schema.

Exploring Data

  • You can expand rows to follow cross references. Double-click the heading for an item’s row and that row will expand to show one new row for each item linked to the original item. Repeat this as many times as you like.
  • You will see the level of any expanded row as the number of dots in its row heading
  • You can collapse rows by double-clicking the row heading.

Editing Data

  • You can edit items in a table. Click inside any cell in the table. If you have RW access to the item, Cradle locks the item so you can edit it.

Advantages

The advantages of table style are that it is:

  • Flexible. You can adjust the display and sort information.
  • Navigable. You can explore the database by expanding rows to follow cross references.
  • Editable. You can edit information through the display style.
  • Compact. All items are shown with the same display height.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of table style are that:

  • It takes longer to display than list style or tree style
  • The rows displaying information are all the same height, so you may have to click in a cell or expand a row border to see all of the information in some attributes

Summary

Table style is the most flexible of Cradle’s four display styles. It is not the quickest to generate, but it provides the most capability.

Therefore, we recommend table style as the best general purpose display style in Cradle. Unless you need something provided by a different display style, use table style.

Controlling Your Initial View

Query with a View

Each query can have an initial View associated with it. Each time this query is run, it will apply the view. This is the best way of controlling your initial view for a particular query.

Shown in the screen shot below the project viewresults‘ has been set in the queryMy Results‘ each time this query is run the columns specified in the View Details are shown. There’s nothing to stop a user selecting a different view in the ribbon later.

showing the query, view setup and results
Initial View Settings

Remember that View

WorkBench is designed to remember the last view you used for a particular item type.  It’s likely that next time you run a query for the same item type, you’ll want the same view. Even if you close all your tabs, within the same session you are controlling your initial view of each query by the last choice you selected.

Initial Influence

You can control the initial view selected for a query in a project by associating a view with an item type in the project’s schema. Open Project Setup and select the item type and an appropriate view. When starting Cradle, this will be the view selected for this item type, the first time it it is queried. Thereafter, WorkBench will switch to  “Remember that View”.

setting an initial view in the schema
Initial View – Schema

QAB Queries and Views

The Quick Access Bar at the bottom of WorkBench as some auto generated queries and auto generated views for speed. If one of these is selected then the the view that is ‘remembered’ will be the last one of the Automatic views.

X-Ray Day 2017

 X-Ray Day 8th November 2017

X-Rays  are a form of electromagnetic radiation or “ray” for short.

When first discovered, these mysterious rays were nothing like anything that had been described before, hence the ‘X’ name has stuck.

X-rays have a wavelength less than 10 nanometres, that is, they are shorter than those of UV, and longer than those of gamma rays.  It was a German scientist Wilhelm Röntgen often credited with their discovery.

Looking Inside Cradle

Thankfully there is no need to use X-Rays to look inside your Cradle project.

Information once stored can be recalled by Queries and presented in Views or Forms. Output can be directed to HTML or RTF tables, shown graphically as a Hierarchy diagram, explored by clicking links. Formal publishing to Microsoft® Word documents can be achieved through Document Publisher.

In short there is no mystery to your data once inside Cradle unlike our bones, welded joints or airport suitcases you can easily see your data.

Celebrate on X-Ray Day 2017

Celebrate the genius of a very useful tool in the x-ray machine. Whilst we don’t advise you have an x-ray for fun, you could download another useful tool here!

Column Sorting in WorkBench

Column Sorting

WorkBench can perform column sorting in Table and Document view styles. This can easily be performed by clicking on a column heading.

Sort Options

Selecting a column heading will display four sort options. When one of these options is chosen the items will be sorted and then displayed based on that selection.

The sort options available when a column heading is selected.
WorkBench Column Sorting

Sort ascending – Case insensitive

The first sort option will sort the items from A to Z, based on the item’s value for the selected column. This is done regardless of whether the characters are upper-case or lower-case.

Sort Ascending - Case Insensitive
Sort Ascending – Case Insensitive

Sort descending – Case insensitive

For the second sort option the items are returned from Z to A, based on the item’s value for the selected column. Again, as this option is case insensitive the returned items can be upper-case or lower-case.

Sort Descending - Case Insensitive
Sort Descending – Case Insensitive

Sort ascending – Case sensitive

The third sort option will sort the items from A to Z; but this time all upper-case items are returned first:

 Sort Ascending - Case Sensitive
Sort Ascending – Case Sensitive

Once there are no more upper-case items the remaining items are then displayed a to z:

Sort Ascending - Case Sensitive
Sort Ascending – Case Sensitive

Sort descending – Case sensitive

The final sort option will sort the items from z to a; meaning all lower-case items are shown first:

Sort Descending - Case Sensitive
Sort Descending – Case Sensitive

Once there are no more lower-case items the remaining items are displayed Z – A:

Sort Descending - Case Sensitive
Sort Descending – Case Sensitive

Note:

This sorting only re-arranges the current data brought back in the current query. It does not retrieve new data from the database. In order to retrieve data from the database in a particular order, then one of the database key fields must be selected in the Sort by: field of the query. However, because the sorting occurs on the data in the table it does have the advantage of being able to order the table by frame content or other non key fields.

 

 

Copying Text from Multiple Data Cells

What are Multiple Data Cells?

Multiple data cells are a useful way to combine a number of attributes in a single view cell. However, unlike other cells,  the contents of Multiple Data cells can’t be copied in the same way. However, copying text from Multiple Data cells is still possible.

Scrrenshot of the View details dialog and Multiple Data Cell Setup
Multiple Data Cell Setup

Read information on creating Multiple Data Cells   in the online help.

Copying Text from Multiple Data Cells

Usually, when in the Table or Document view styles, to copy the text contained in a cell you can simply click the cell to make it editable, select the text and use a keyboard shortcut (<ctrl> + C) to copy.

A Multiple Data Cell can use data from different sources. This means all cells of this type are uneditable from within a View. For this reason the method used to copy the contents of the cell is different from a standard Text Frame or Category, for example.

To copy the text contained within a multiple data cell, select the item which has the text you wish to copy and right-click to open the context menu. Once the context menu is open, select More -> Copy Item Text -> Multiple. The contents of the multiple data cell for the selected item will now be in your copy/paste buffer.

How to copy text from a multiple data cell in Cradle
Copying text from a multiple data cell in WorkBench
Article Updated 04/02/2019 – Added an image showing the setup of a multiple data cell