Cradle Modules – WEBA

 Cradle WEBA Module

The Cradle WEBA module provides the means to create custom web UIs that allow users to access Cradle databases from web browsers in a manner that is appropriate to their needs and use cases.

Web Access
Web Access

Cradle provides WorkBench as the means to access databases and provides many choices to create a customised environment, including start pages and the phase hierarchy. However, WorkBench is not suitable for all users:

  • Users may not want to install Cradle
  • Users may be remote from the Cradle system and WorkBench may not provide acceptable performance (despite server-side processing)
  • Users may not allow Cradle to communicate through their firewall
  • WorkBench provides more functionality than needed and, therefore, appears too complex

Why use Web UIs?

So there are at least three reasons why a project may wish to create web UIs:

  • IT restrictions in the use of WorkBench
  • Performance needs of remote users
  • Provide simple UIs tailored to the needs of specific user groups

Cradle allows web UIs to create, manipulate or view database information. Each web UI is created to meet the needs of a group of users, either to offer a wide range of UI controls to provide a flexible and powerful UI so users can perform many tasks, or a simple UI that allows users to perform perhaps one or two tasks very quickly and easily.

All web UIs are zero thickness, with no client-side code. There are no browser add-ins or plug-ins needed.

Creating Web UIs

Any number of web UIs can be created. Each is associated with a project-specific user type. Each Cradle login account is also associated with a user type. When a user connects to the Cradle Web Server (CWS) and logs in, the CWS serves the web UI defined for the user’s user type, or a default web UI.

Therefore, the CWS can serve many, potentially very different, web UIs to its users, based on their user types.

Users login to a web UI with the same username and password used with non-web tools. Web-based users have the same access rights to items and Cradle operations as users of non-web tools such as WorkBench and utilities.

Web UIs are created from templates and building blocks provided in the Cradle WEBA module. The module also includes two example web UIs:

  • A web UI using all blocks to offer a powerful and flexible environment for engineers
  • A basic UI providing controls over page layout, item creation, viewing and reporting

Using the Cradle WEBA Module

In the example web UIs, users can create, view, edit and delete items and they can manipulate and follow cross references:

Users can navigate through the database using the phase hierarchy, the master tree, or using a table-based browse mechanism,

Items edited in web UIs are locked in the same way as non-web UIs and the API, to prevent simultaneous update by other web or non-web users.

Tables of items shown in web UIs will load into Word and Excel as hyperlinked documents.

Web users can create and use the same queries as non-web UI users. All query processing is server-side in the CWS to optimise the performance for each user.

Views created in WorkBench can be used in web UIs. Items can be edited in table views. Items can be shown in user-defined forms. Binary data can be modified and uploaded in a web UI. Rich text can be shown in web UIs.

Diagrams are shown in SVG. Diagrams can be zoomed and panned. Hyperlinks in each diagram symbol allow users to navigate to child diagrams and from symbols to their descriptions in data definitions and specifications.

Change histories are also fully supported, together with all collaboration facilities, including discussions and alerts.

Authentication to web UIs can use LDAP and support single sign-on. Access to web UIs can be limited to specific proxy servers, network interfaces and remote hosts.

Cradle provides cradle:// protocol URLs that allow direct access to items and query results by external tools.

Feature Summary

Feature Summary - WEBA
Feature Summary – WEBA

Please contact 3SL for further information about adding a Cradle WEBA module to your existing system.

Cradle Modules – Overview

Cradle Modules

Cradle is an integrated requirements management and systems engineering environment with the features, flexibility and scalability for the full lifecycle of today’s complex agile and phase-based projects.

Overview of Cradle Modules
Overview of Cradle Modules

From concept to creation, from Cradle to grave.

Cradle is unique. It provides the tools and features to create and manage all your data, at all stages in your systems development, and at all levels. By managing all the data in one place, only Cradle can provide traceability across the entire lifecycle in one tool. Without Cradle, you have to assemble many products from many vendors, and you will still not have the full traceability that Cradle can provide.

What does Cradle Provide?

Cradle provides full requirements management, analysis, design, architecture and performance modelling, test, risk and interface management and metrics in one product. You can use all of these facilities, or combine Cradle with tools from other vendors. If you have such tools then Cradle will link to them, extending their scope from a part of the system lifecycle to all of it.

Cradle is multi-user, multi-project, distributed, open and extensible. It links to your existing desktop tools to create a tailored environment to suit your process.

Cradle provides built-in issue, risk and interface management. It supports comparative trade studies and analyses. Cradle provides a built-in  configuration management and control system with baselines, version control, change histories and formal change control. It bidirectionally links a WBS and progress reporting to your project planning tool. With these capabilities,  Cradle removes the need for you to try to connect risk, CM or change tracking tools to your systems engineering. Cradle provides everything you need, integrated and ready to use.

Access Control and Authentication

Cradle has customisable, hierarchical, access control facilities and integrates with your authentication, access control and security mechanisms including firewalls, LDAP and SSL. Cradle provides user-definable views of project data, tailored to each stakeholder group. With customisable navigation, review and entry tools and tailored web UIs, Cradle shows each user the data that they want to see, in the way that they want to see it.

Cradle Databases

Projects use user-defined, arbitrarily extensible databases, linked to external files, URL resources and data in external repositories. Each database is configuration controlled, with change histories, baselines, versions and variants, managed by configurable change requests and change tasks.

Cradle Access

Cradle supports off-line and remote access from geographically separate groups. Internet and VPN access is provided, with full support for project and company firewalls and DMZs.

It connects dispersed teams together, with tailorable discussions, alerts and e-mail.

Cradle Modules Overview

Cradle is modular, using floating licences to share resources dynamically across the project. The Cradle modules overview is:

  • Cradle-PDM provides a project infrastructure, from access control and user accounts, through a user-defined schema, phase hierarchy, team hierarchy and access controls to configuration management and open external interfaces.
  • Cradle-REQ provides requirements management from external source documents to baselined, engineered requirements linked to the rest of the system lifecycle. It allows you to define and manage user stories, validations, test cases, and any other types of information for all of your process.
  • Cradle-MET provides user-definable metrics to gather and analyse statistics from project data.
  • Cradle-SYS is a flexible analysis and design modelling environment. It allows any number of models to be built and grouped into model hierarchies in distinct analysis and design domains. Models are fully cross referenced to requirements and all other information. SysML is also supported.
  • Cradle-DASH provides user-definable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) calculated from live project data in user-defined dashboards shown as tables or dials.
  • Cradle-PERF provides performance assessment, budget apportionment and data aggregation facilities for design models at any level in a system development.
  • Cradle-SWE provides code generation and reverse engineering for C, Ada and Pascal, to synchronise design and source code.
  • Cradle-DOC provides user-defined project document generation and a formal document register of project deliverables.
  • Cradle-WEBP provides web publishing of project data to static, hyperlinked, websites for external stakeholders.
  • Cradle-WEBA allows read-only and read-write access to project data through multiple, user-defined, web UIs that are tailored to each stakeholder group. It also provides external access to Cradle items through URLs.
  • Cradle-RISK provides ability to open and edit items of the mapped item type for risks. Also allows you to create and open risk profile graphs.
  • Cradle-TEST provides ability to execute test plans and create/edit test information, e.g. test cases, test results and test runs.

Feature Summary

Feature Summary - Overview
Feature Summary – Overview

Please contact 3SL for further information about adding any of the Cradle modules to your existing system.

Can I create an item in Cradle remotely?

Web Access can be used from around the Globe.

Provided you have set access to the web server, if you can connect a browser you can certainly create an item in Cradle remotely.

This video shows how simple it is.

  1. click the New Item icon
  2. fill in the details
  3. add additional information in the item opened in a form
  4. see the item in the database query.

Many tasks can be performed through Cradle’s Web Access.

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

Configuration Management in Web Access

Performing CM Tasks in Web Access

Most Configuration Management tasks are achieved using WorkBench but Configuration Management in Web Access is also available. For instance you can submit and review information in Web Access as well as unsubmitting items. These CM tasks are available in the Web AccessConfiguration Management” sidebar:

CM Sidebar in Web Access
Configuration Management in Web Access

You can submit items by query or you can submit them individually. Providing there are reviewers for the information, any user can submit information for approval.

Items can also be unsubmitted which cancels their review. This does depend on:

  • The ownership of the items
  • The current user’s privileges
  • The status of the item in the database
  • Whether any reviewers have started to review the item

Once items have been submitted for review, they can also be reviewed in Web Access.

If you have the TEAM_APPROVE privilege you can review information on behalf of a team member, therefore preventing reviews being held up due to team absences,

Configuration Management in Web Access
Review Dialog

In conclusion, if you are remotely working, with access to Cradle only via a browser,  it is possible to review and approve or reject items. This can have great benefits to time-scales, it alleviates waiting for reviews to complete and negates having to manage an email ping-pong.

A Reviewer Specific UI in Web Access

Continue reading “Configuration Management in Web Access”

Using Parametric Queries

Parametric Queries in WorkBench and Web Access

Parametric queries prompt you at runtime for values for certain parameters prior to the query being run. They are supported for Identity, Name, Key, Level and free-format categories (including picklists).

You are prompted for values when the query is run from the following places:

  • Query Details dialog
  • Definitions sidebar
  • Phase tree
  • As part of a report
  • When performing an export by query
  • A start page

From the Query dialog press the arrow button next to the field you want to set the prompt for and select “Choose at Runtime“. This produces the “Runtime Parameter Definition” dialog where you can setup the parametric query prompt:

Screenshot to show prompt when running parametric queries
Prompt shown when running parametric queries

You can also specify more than one parametric in the query dialog. This can prove very useful in simplifying the interaction in not having to use the full query details window.

When you run a parametric query the prompt will be shown. An example is shown below:

Prompt shown when running a parametric query
Parametric Query Prompt

Parametric queries are supported in both WorkBench and Web Access.

For further information please see the Cradle online help.

Article Updated 04/02/2019 –  Added further details

Configuration Management – Submit by Query

Too Many Items to Select and Submit?

At some points in a project’s lifecycle, a large number of items need to be submitted. These may be too numerous to ‘select‘ and ‘Submit‘, Cradle offers ‘Submit by Query‘ option. This allows submission of all the items (subject to access rights) that match a query to be moved to the review stage in the configuration management system.

Highlighting methods of submitting items for review
Submit Items

Check Before Submission

Using the ‘Show Items’ button allows the user to run a report that will detail which items the current settings will submit. In this way users can ensure that the correct items are going to be processed before creating all the approval records and changing the status of the items being submitted to that of ‘Under Review‘. For further information see the article  How to Submit Items for Review Based on a Query. Also see further information on Cradle’s Configuration Management System in this article.. Configuration Management features are also available in Web Access.


Depicts showing items that will be submitted by a query
Submit by Query – Show Items

Item’s Edit History

Who Changed That? When? Why?

When working in large teams or over a long period an item’s edit history is very useful.

Each item type can have history turned on in the Project Schema via the Project Setup dialog. Users can choose what stage to enable history, Never, Always, Changing draft items that have a baselined instance, Named category matches specified value.

Right clicking on the item and selecting the History -> View Item History. The resulting dialog shows who changed the item on what date and what time. It also displays a comment (This can be made mandatory) entered at the time of editing. If an entry is selected in this list, full details are shown in the lower half of the dialog. If there are a large number of changes, the filter at the top of the dialog can aid finding a relevant change.

Dialog showing an item's edit history
Item’s Edit History

Item History in a Web Browser

Web Access allows you to see an item’s history too. This functionality is in our shipped web UIs. It can be added to your own custom UIs, see the ‘history’ template information.

Web Access showing an item's history
Item History in Web Access

URL to Launch WorkBench/Web Access Open Item/Query

Can You Specify a URL For a Cradle Item?

If you need to create a text ‘link’ or ‘URL’ to enable directly starting Cradle WorkBench or WebAccess and opening a particular item you can. The link shared, say by being pasted into an email or a Microsoft® Word document.

Creating the Uniform Resource Locator

This can be done from the item itself within WorkBench. Use the ‘Cradle URL’ button on the Tools menu on the ribbon, or on the command line with the c_url utility.

Dialog for Cradle URL creation
Cradle URL

You have an option to create a URL to open in WorkBench or Web Access.  You can optionally include the username that you want to use to connect.

A URI scheme defines the structure of  your Uniform Resource Locator.


This gives a few more options on how the link will behave. For an item you can specify the ‘Form’ for a Query you can specify the ‘View’

Open your URL

Copying and pasting the created link into a browser, will launch the appropriate application. If opening a WorkBench URL you may need to ‘Allow’ your browser to open it. If given the option you may need to select the file ? rather than the search ? option. Then enter your login details.

Et Voilà!

Cradle WorkBench or WebAccess will be displaying your query or item.

Dashboard Dials – In Style

Traditional KPIs in a Dashboard

Cradle has supported KPIs being shown in the sidebar of WorkBench or Web Access for a number of years. This gives a quick overview of the health of the project. It’s giving a rating for each of the measurements and coloured highlighting to draw attention to those areas that need further input.

Showing the KPIs in a traditional dashboard table in sidebar
Traditional Dashboard

Due to its compactness, this table style allows many KPIs to be shown in a small space. However, one of the limitations with this approach is that the scale of the measurement and the relative position of the current value are not immediately obvious.

Bring on the Dials

A dial on the other-hand can display the full range, and the relative position. This allows a much faster assimilation of the data being shown to the user.

showing different sizes for dashboard dials
Dashboard Dial Sizes

New Cradle 7.2 Dashboard Dials Feature

Cradle’s dashboard dials are available in a number of sizes, thus allowing more important dials to be clearly seen. The size is set per dial as:

  • Large
  • Medium
  • Small
  • Minimal

There are also a number of styles available for the dashboard as a whole:

  • Round 270°
  • Round 180°
  • Round 140°
  • Text

These can be displayed with the following pointer types:

  • None
  • Triangle
  • Stick
  • Needle
  • Coloured
showing the different dial and pointer styles
Dashboard Styles

It’s also possible to print these dials to the standard Cradle outputs:

  • SVG (for display in a browser),
  • RTF (for display in Microsoft® Word and similar),
  • PostScript®
  • PowerPoint®
  • EPS
  • FrameMaker®
  • HPGL
Showing an rtf version of the dashboard dials
Dashboard RTF Output