CRANKS is written entirely in Java and uses the Swing toolkit to provide the GUI. It was written using JDK 1.5.0 and is compatible with all later versions. It is platform independent, requiring only the Java Virtual Machine (compatible with versions 1.5.0 or higher) in order to execute. The compiled code is distributed as a single JAR file executable. It may also be used in conjunction with the corresponding HTML file to run the program as an applet, thereby giving additional security by preventing the program from interacting with the client computer's file system.
The program JAR file is completely self-contained and does not interact with the user's local file system. However, when the user wishes to save construction procedures at a user-specified location, the information is stored using Java's persistence storage mechanism as serialized object files (*.ser). The files saved by the program may then be opened at a later date to restore the workspace condition back to that stored in the file. It may be noted that saving/opening files as well as printing facilities are not available when the program is run as an applet.