IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation Review

There are limits to the number of artifacts a server can handle


What is our primary use case?

Requirements management as part of the Jazz Platform CLM integrated tool chain. The only reason to use DNG is as a part of the IBM tool chain.

How has it helped my organization?

Requirements management is a key activity in any software development process, especially so in safety-conscious industries, i.e., where incorrect software can kill you, e.g., automotive, aviation, medical devices, etc. In these industries DOORS Next Generation (any requirements management tool) shouldn’t be thought of as an improvement, but more as a key tool for doing your job, like a compiler or defect tracker.

What is most valuable?

As a web tool, DNG can be difficult to use if the server is loaded or your network connection to it is saturated. Therefore, the export/import feature is important, so you can make changes offline.

The "Link by Attribute" feature is useful for making links without needing to use the web interface manually.

The reporting tool (Jazz Reporting Service) can be very powerful for producing reports and charts, but it must be admined carefully to be useful.

What needs improvement?

The problems with DNG are legion and make using the tool very frustrating.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, be very careful how you load your DNG server. There are limits to the number of artifacts a server can handle.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Many organizations come to DNG after using DOORS. The IBM Jazz Platform CLM integrated tool chain is a sexy idea that provides, in theory, the holy grail: planning, defect/change management, requirements, and tests, all linking together.

How was the initial setup?

I do not do back-end administration of DNG, so I cannot comment on this except to say, given the amount of problems I have encountered, it must be a complex and error-prone.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You are going to need a beefy server and a fat network pipe to it in order to make DNG and its companion tools work well for users.

What other advice do I have?

Migrating from DOORS and a constellation of other tools to the IBM Jazz Platform CLM integrated tool chain seems like a no-brainer at first. I do not know a lot about the other tools in that chain, but I can tell you DNG is the weak link.

I have come to the conclusion that if you are considering migrating from DOORS to DNG, don't! Instead of spending 100s to 1000s of hours doing migrations, invest those hours in a DXL programmer to make DOORS do what it isn't doing for you now.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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