Cradle Product Range

Cradle Product Range Overview

Integrated Systems Engineering from the Desktop to the Enterprise

Manage all information for the entire lifecycle with full traceability, metrics, quality checks  and performance indicators, all linked to your project schedules.

  • Supports the full systems development lifecycle at system, subsystem and lower levels
  • Integrates in one product features normally spread across separate tools from different vendors
  • Completely user-definable and user-extensible with point-and-click UIs
  • Manage any information, including requirements, models, risks, interfaces, tests and verifications
  • Built-in CM, baselines, formal change control and user-defined workflows
  • Scalable to millions of items of information
  • Scalable from one to thousands of users
  • Web and desktop applications, user-definable UIs
  • Rapid deployment facilities
  • Embed process in tool UIs, minimised user training

Cradle is a complete multi-user solution to manage, trace and document all data in your agile, and phase-based projects.

Capture information from external documents and tools, and track changes. You can build new sets of requirements, analysis, architecture and design models, tests or verifications, and link them to the source data and to each other. Check the consistency and quality of this information, and prove the integrity of the models and other data with bi-directional coverage and traceability analyses.

Customers’ confidence can be raised with proof that your work satisfies its sources and constraints, and will meet their needs.

Easily track progress with metrics and KPIs and link to your WBS and actual progress to your project planning tools.

Manage users’ work with user-defined CM, workflows and access controls, and multi-team collaboration and discussions.

Cradle is a complete product range, from single-user requirements management to enterprise scale, multi-user collaborative environments. All are fully compatible with each other, sharing their architecture, database and I/O formats. You can start with a single-user tool and migrate to the multi-user Cradle Enterprise product, seamlessly and easily.

What does Cradle Include and Support?

All Cradle systems include:

  • Introductory overview
  • Tutorial, to teach the UI
  • Start Page of shortcuts in the UI for new users
  • A guide for creating and working in a new project
  • Example configurations suitable for many different processes, each with its own process guide
  • A range of user guides
  • Fully indexed, searchable help

Cradle supports all variants of Windows and Linux. Different platforms can be mixed in a Cradle deployment. Cradle servers are designed to run 24×7, unattended, and need no administration. No routine upkeep is needed.

Virtual servers and clients are supported. Supports IPv4 and IPv6. Cradle may be served as SaaS using all popular web and non-web remote deployment tools. Can be served through firewalls and from DMZs.

Includes access, security and licence usage logs, and a range of management reporting tools.

Supported Platforms

Supported Platforms
Supported Platforms


Cradle systems are installed on your computers. Cradle is also available as SaaS in a subscription where you choose the features required, the number of users to be supported, and how long you want to use Cradle.

Product Characteristics and Features

The characteristics and features of all Cradle products are shown below:

Product Range Overview - Characteristics and Features
Product Characteristics and Features

Product Range Highlights

  • Applies to agile and phase projects
  • Application lifecycle management
  • Requirements management
  • Modelling / MBSE / SysML / UML
  • Test Execution / Risk Management
  • Full lifecycle integration
  • V&V
  • Reporting / document publishing
  • Metrics
  • Dashboards
  • Project plans
  • User-defined UIs
  • Custom web UIs
  • Configuration management
  • Single user and multi-user

June Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the June 2023 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 questions about your use of Cradle, please do not hesitate to contact 3SL Support.

Configuration Management

All projects need configuration management, even if only to create protected copies of the items being worked on in one or more baselines. Cradle Configuration Management System (CMS) is a flexible, customisable framework. You can use the CMS to adapt Cradle to your process and the needs of your project.

The CMS contains a variety of features and capabilities. You can use these to configure the CMS to be a simple change manager. You can also configure the CMS to be extremely rigorous in all stages in the evolution of your project information from initial creation through to formal acceptance.


The CMS provides four basic mechanisms:

The scope and effect of these mechanisms are controlled by privileges and also by workflows.

Simple Process

A simple CM process is typically a series of stages that items will pass through on their way to a baseline. There are typically no formal reviews in this sequence.

The steps to create a simple process are:

  1. Decide on the stages in your process and what each stage means
  2. Create a category code with these stages as its possible values
  3. Assign this category code to the item type(s) that are to follow the process
  4. Create a workflow that references your category code and define the sequence of stages, each step in the workflow will set items’ status to be one of the values in your category code
  5. Assign the workflow to the item type(s)

It is easy to use this workflow. You and your colleagues create items. You change items and link them to other items in the database. At the end of each step, you use the Advance operation to move the items to the next step in the workflow. When items reach the stage of being baselined, someone will need to open a baseline before you can Advance items into it. When everything has been moved into the baseline, it can be closed.

Review Process

A more complex workflow can be for a process that includes reviews. Any number of the steps in a workflow can be a review. You can specify the characteristics of each review. These include:

  1. Which users will be involved in the review?
  2. How many of these users must contribute to the review?
  3. How will an approve result be determined from reviewers’ responses?
  4. How will a reject result be determined from reviewers’ responses?
  5. What actions are to be performed for items that are rejected by the review?
  6. What actions are to be performed for items that are approved by the review?
  7. Is the rework mechanism to be used and if so, how?

The process to implement a review process is the same as for a simple process except that some of the workflow steps require the configuration of reviews.

Managing Changes to Items

You can review items into project baselines and make formal changes to these items. Use of the CMS is therefore fundamentally about progressing items through one or more reviews into baselines, and then subsequently making formal changes to these items, which culminate in new versions of the changed items appearing in new baselines.

The CMS is not concerned with the details of how changes to items occur. It is not concerned with whether 1 or N edits have occurred to effect a change to an item. It is not concerned with recording the before and after values of the attributes that are affected by each edit, but is simply concerned with the high-level process of agreeing that a change is needed (a change request), initiating consequential changes to one or more items (managed in one or more change tasks), recording the formal reviews of the changed items, and ultimately storing the amended items in a new baseline.

Audit Trail / Configuration Log

For many projects, the automatically and transparently recorded audit trail, and the formalism of the use of change requests (CHRs), change tasks (CHTs), formal reviews and formal baselines, is sufficient. For other projects, more detailed records are required.

Public Training

3SL are running a public CM course in June. If you want to learn more about CM in Cradle, book your place now.


Project Database Unique IDs are an alternate method for identifying items in a Cradle database. PDUIDs are particularly useful for users of the Cradle Application Programming Interface (API) and Web Services Interface (WSI) because they have the same format for all types of information.

We will provide a series of short articles on PDUIDs over the coming weeks. We hope that these will be helpful.

Integrity of 3SL’s SSL Certificates

All of 3SL’s web-based services use HTTPS, the secure form of HTTP.  Wherever possible, all of our Internet-based services also use secure protocols. So this means we need a certificate to confirm our identity that your web browser and other tools check when you visit our website and other services.

We have a certificate for:


This includes our website, mail server, shared SaaS and other portals. Certificates have a fixed lifespan and so on 9th June we refreshed our certificate. Our current certificate is issued by Sectigo RSA Domain Validation Secure Server CA. It is valid until 23:59:59 UTC Tuesday, 9th July 2024.

You can check the integrity of a website certificate using Qualys here. You can check 3SL’s website here. Our site is rated A+:

SSL Certificates
Qualys report for 3SL

The King’s Official Birthday (17th June 2023)

Celebrations of the monarch’s official birthday are held in June across the Commonwealth, including the Trooping of the Colour. The date not necessarily correspond to the date of the monarch’s actual birth.

The sovereign’s birthday was first officially marked in the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1748, for King George II. Since then the date of the king or queen’s birthday has been determined by:

  • Royal proclamations issued by the sovereign or viceroy, or
  • Statute laws passed by the local parliament

We will individually mark the King’s birthday and invite others to do so in respect to the Crown.

Social Media

We congratulated @WeAreHII on their record first quarter 2023 revenues and @Siemens on their outstanding performance.

We also congratulated @KBRincorporated on the award of the contract by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. This is to implement supercritical solvent deasphalting technology.

Our customer @MIRAEngineering were exhibiting at the Future Mobility Asia Exhibition & Summit. Did you visit stand ME18?

Looking Back

Last month we discussed:

We would also like to thank all attendees on our Test Execution course which we provided in May.

Still to Come this Month

Your Highlights!

If you have any company news or achievements that you would like 3SL to share in any of our newsletters then please let us know.

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