Using a Form for Each Workflow Stage

Example Scenario

Cradle items can contain many frames, categories and other attributes that might not necessarily be relevant or required to be shown at different stages of your workflow. An example of which is shown below:

Item showing stage frames
Item showing stage frames

The example provides frames that should only be shown at the relevant stage in the workflow and the Acceptance Criteria, we decided that we wish to show this information at all stages but displayed read-only at stages 2 and 3.

Defining a Stage Category

To start with, create a category to base the workflow on. This must be set as mandatory and have a default value set.

Setup category values
Setup category values

You can then assign this category to the item type. In this example we have used Requirements:

Assign Category
Assign category to item type

Defining the Workflow

In the Workflow Settings, create a workflow that uses the Stage category to advance to the next stage of the process. In this example, we demonstrate a very simple workflow that advances from Stage 1 to Stage 2 and then Stage 2 to Stage 3. The 3rd level shown here is to then advance to formal review:

Show workflow stages
Show workflow stages

You can then set this as the default workflow for the item type:

Set default workflow
Set default workflow

Note that the Stage Category Form… button becomes active. We will come back to this later as firstly you need to create a form for each stage.

Creating Forms

Using the Form Details dialog, create a form for each stage of the workflow.

Stage 1 Form

The Stage 1 form in this example should show the frame STAGE 1 NOTES but not STAGE 2 NOTES or STAGE 3 NOTES.

Stage 1 form
Stage 1 form

Stage 2 Form

The Stage 2 form in this example should show the frame STAGE 2 NOTES but not STAGE 1 NOTES or STAGE 3 NOTES. You can also set the Acceptance Criteria frame to only be shown read-only as in the example below:

Stage 2 form
Stage 2 form

Stage 3 Form

The Stage 3 form in this example should show the frame STAGE 3 NOTES but not STAGE 1 NOTES or STAGE 2 NOTES. You can also set the Acceptance Criteria frame to only be shown read-only as in the example below.

Stage 3 form
Stage 3 form

Setting the Stage Forms

You can now return to Project Setup and press the Stage Category Form… button:

Project Setup Stage Category Form button
Stage Category Form button in Project Setup

This will allow you to specify the form to be used at each stage of the workflow.

Stage Category Form dialog
Stage Category Form dialog

Advancing the Item

When you first create the item, the Stage category is set to Stage 1 as this is the default value for the item. You can see here that the STAGE 1 NOTES frame is shown and the Acceptance Criteria is read-write:

Advance option
Advance option in ribbon

Pressing the Advance… button closes the item and changes the Stage value to Stage 2 once confirmed in the Advance Operation dialog:

Advance Operation dialog
Advance Operation dialog

When you open the item again, you will see that the Stage category is set to Stage 2 and will use the Stage 2 form that shows the STAGE 2 NOTES frame and the Acceptance Criteria is read-only:

Item showing stage 2
Item in form showing stage 2

Advancing the item again uses the form that has been created for Stage 3 and so on.


WorkBench allows you to create a specific form for each stage of your workflow. This can be particularly useful if the frames, categories or attributes only need to be shown at certain stages of your process. It would simplify the user interface for the users that are modifying the items as they would not be presented with information that might be irrelevant to their task.

User Lists and Alerts

User Lists are a very useful Cradle feature. They provide the ability to specify groups of users that are involved in Configuration Management workflows.

Using User Lists for Alert Recipients

However, did you know that User Lists can also be used to specify groups of users who are to be alert recipients.

Alerts could be invaluable in keeping users automatically informed about important events occurring in the Cradle database, e.g.:

  • Items have been modified or a specific category changed
  • Project Setup has been changed
  • An item has been submitted for review
  • There has been a reply to a discussion that you are involved in
  • An item linked to an item owned by your team has changed
  • etc. etc

Setting up a User List

In Project Setup, you can setup the list of users that you wish to receive the alerts.

Setting up User Lists
Setting up user lists

Then, you can specify this User List as the recipient of the specified alerts:

Choosing user lists for alert recipients
Select User List for Alerts

You can also apply this to item-specific alerts:

Using user lists for alert recipients
Item specific alert user lists

Using this functionality, you can ensure that relevant groups of users are informed of various events without having to send to all users.



November 2022 – Newsletter

Welcome to the November 2022 newsletter from 3SL!

This newsletter contains 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 3SL and Cradle can deliver real and measurable benefits that help you to improve the information flow within, the quality and timeliness of, and the traceability, compliance and governance for, all of your current and future projects.

If you have any problems in your use of Cradle, please do not hesitate to contact 3SL Support here.

Artemis I

Artemis I launch, copyright NASA
Artemis I Launch

Cradle has been an integral part of the Constellation and Artemis programmes for many years, being central to the toolchains in both government and in industry.

We would like to extend our congratulations to NASA’s Exploration Systems Development mission directorate for the successful launch of Artemis I.

Follow the progress of the Artemis I mission through NASA.

32-Bit vs 64-Bit

For our next major release – Cradle-8.0 – we propose to remove support for:

    • 32-bit Windows
    • 32-bit Microsoft Office
    • 32-bit Linux

We would like to know if this would have adverse effects for any of our current customers and any potential customers.  If you believe that removing 32-bit support from Cradle would affect you or your company, then please send your views and opinions to 3SL Support here.

Cradle-8.0 will not be released until mid 2023 at the earliest.

New User Training Course

We have a new training course available: Cradle User Course. This course is ideal for:

    • Anyone who is new to Cradle and needs an overview
    • Anyone who is joining a team that has been using Cradle for some time
    • Anyone who has not used Cradle for some time and needs to update their skills

For further details, please see here.

New Configuration Management Training Course

We have a new training course available: Configuration and Change Management. This course is ideal for anyone:

    • Who needs to apply specific workflows to the information in your Cradle databases, or
    • Who needs to introduce formal reviews and approvals into a Cradle-based project, or
    • Who needs to understand and use Cradle’s baseline mechanism, or
    • Who needs to apply configuration management, configuration control and formal change to a Cradle project

The course includes:

For further details, please see here.

G-Cloud 13

The UK government provides the G-Cloud procurement framework for its departments and agencies. G-Cloud 13 is the latest instance of that framework, agreement number RM1557.13, and is available between 9th November 2022 and 8th November 2023.

G-Cloud used to be delivered through the Digital Marketplace. In its latest form, G-Cloud is being delivered through the Public Procurement Gateway (PPG) managed by the Crown Commercial Services (CCS). You can find G-Cloud 13 in the PPG here.

3SL is pleased to announce that we have been accepted into G-Cloud 13,Crown Commercial Service Supplier logo and that Cradle is available as a variety of SaaS services through Lot 2 in this framework, and a range of training and consultancy services are available through Lot 3.

Cradle SaaS Services

A wide range of SaaS services are available through G-Cloud 13 Lot 2. For a summary of this Lot, please see here.

Each service includes Cradle licences, a user-configurable schema, and a comprehensive support package. The SaaS can be delivered for both UNCLASSIFIED (IL0) and OFFICIAL (certified IL3) deployments. The services are:

    • Agile Collaboration
    • Agile Software Development
    • Agile Software Management
    • Application Lifecycle Development
    • Application Lifecycle 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

The PPG infrastructure is still in development. CCS have advised that direct links to individual services in the G-Cloud Lots will be available at the end of this year. 3SL will post an update when such links become available.

In the meantime, please contact 3SL here to discuss acquiring a Cradle SaaS through G-Cloud.

Cradle Training/Consultancy

A range of configurable services are available to support a Cradle deployment through G-Cloud 13 Lot 3. For a summary of this Lot, please see here.

These services are:

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

The PPG infrastructure is still in development. CCS have advised that direct links to individual services in the G-Cloud Lots will be available at the end of this year. 3SL will post an update when such links become available.

In the meantime, please contact 3SL here to discuss Cradle training and consultancy services through G-Cloud.

Social Media

Over the past month we have discussed:

Thank You

3SL would also like to thank all of our customers, evaluators and potential customers who have found the time to send feedback on our services, such as evaluations, training courses, Cradle support and so on.

We understand how busy you are.

Your responses are essentialto help us both monitor and seek to improve the services we provide to you.

Thank you!

Thank You

Lifecycle Workflows

Item Progression

Lifecycle workflows allow users to progress items through a defined lifecycle.  This process can set the item’s owner or an attribute in the item to a specific value. A workflow is a defined set of steps through which an item can progress. The stages could describe an items design, production or any other flow that matches your process.


The lifecycle of an item is described by the combination of stage steps and review steps. The review step specifies the review’s composition, its rules for making a decision, and the actions to be performed if the review approves item(s) or rejects item(s). The stage step will progress the item through the set of stages that represent its lifecycle. You can set the item’s stage to any of the values in the workflow’s stage category. The category must:

  • Be a single value picklist
  • Have a picklist of values defined
  • Have a default value defined
  • Be mandatory
    example implementation steps found in item lifecycle workflows

    Workflows are part of the project schema and managed through Project Setup


Whist review steps are triggered as an item reaches different stages in the review process (submitted, reviewed, registered and so on) stage steps are triggered by a User issuing an Advance command. This is available on the toolbar or the Configuration Management option on the context menu.


Advance operations for items can be displayed in different forms making available different attributes that are related to the particular phases of their lifecycle.

Lifecycle workflows were introduced in Cradle 7.4, if you’ve not yet upgraded, download now!

Custom Workflow for Configuration Management

Complex Configuration Management ?

If you find the defaults give you too many reviewers for your  Configuration Management Process, then create a new custom Workflow in Cradle.

The number of reviewers, the steps on accept or reject, steps based on the owner can all be altered in the Project Schema. Each item type can have a different process flow or they can follow the built in defaults.

Configuration Management Workflow Setup
Workflow Setup