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, for example:

Configuration management

Configuration Management in Web Access

Viewing Item History

Item’s Edit History

and you can make the display as simple or complex as you like

Simple Web

‘Basic’ Web Access UI

 

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 or our article

LDAP Authentication Within Cradle

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.

Switching Between Cradle Login Accounts

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.

cradle:[username][:password][;AUTH=authentication]@project[:access][?action&params…]

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

Images in Web Access Views

New Cradle-7.2 Web Access Feature.

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.

Screen shot showing Images in Web Access Views
Images in Web Access Views

 

‘Basic’ Web Access UI

New Cradle 7.2 Web Access Feature

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.

Showing selection of the 'Basic' Web Access UI
‘Basic’ Web UI for Web Access