The Web Access module (WEBA) allows users access to Cradle databases by directing their web browsers to a Cradle Web Server (CWS). This allows the user to gain access from anywhere on the LAN, WAN or across the Internet.
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.
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.
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 Access “Configuration Management” sidebar:
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,
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.
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
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:
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:
Parametric queries are supported in both WorkBench and Web Access.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cradle WorkBench or WebAccess will be displaying your query or item.
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.
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.
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:
There are also a number of styles available for the dashboard as a whole:
These can be displayed with the following pointer types:
It’s also possible to print these dials to the standard Cradle outputs:
In the latest version of Cradle’s Web Access it is possible to show images in a View. In previous versions of Cradle it was only possible to show an item’s images in a Form.
This small but significant enhancement moves the remote Web Access client’s capabilities nearer the WorkBench rich desktop client’s functionality. Therefore, wherever you are located you can get detailed access to your data.
We now ship a ‘Basic’ Web Access user interface is now shipped (in the Program Files\Cradle\www\pdb\demo folder). The simple uncluttered format helps by guiding users to operations akin to the WorkBench start page.
Sometimes new or infrequent users are outfaced by a complex UI, especially when they don’t need all the features presented. The new ‘basic UI’ is designed to highlight common tasks making it easier for new users to get straight to their area of work.
The provided demo UI will give basic functionality. Also in the folder are a few examples of customised forms and views, which can be used as a starting point for your own projects.