IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation Review

Overly rigid layout and difficult user interface making it clunky


What is our primary use case?

Used on major rail projects for requirements management. Used to manage multiple design packages and contract requirements, technical requirements, and derived requirements. We're a customer of IBM and I'm a casual user of the product. We're looking at it possibly for another project. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it's cloud based so it's very easy for people to get onto the system rather than if it were a client and server based system. Other major feature is DOORS is a very stable system and capable of multi-level traceability.

What needs improvement?

I find the tool clunky, user experience is very dependent on the configuration of the tool for which you require a facilitator, and the setup/configuration fees can be expensive. Overall, it seems like DOORS Rational and DOORS NG, have been written by software developers for software developers. They haven't thought about the standard project team that is actually going to use the system. 

In comparison ComplyPro it's completely different. ComplyPro interface is easier to use, it's almost like using a spreadsheet and is more intuitive.

The whole layout of DOORS could be improved, it's too rigid and requires professional support to change. DOORS is very difficult for novice users to use. For example its common to export requirements to a spreadsheet for designers to insert verification / validation evidence and then import the data, this creates extra work for our requirements management team that could be avoided.

DOORS needs to be a more intuitive product. It needs more spreadsheet-like features. 

The DOORS team need to understand how real world users are using the tool and make configuration and data entry easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with this solution on and off for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

DOORS is the baseline for requirements management because it's such a robust tool and it's not going to crash, and you're not going to lose your data. From that respect, DOORS is just the industry standard of a very capable database with multi-level traceability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

DOORS is very scalable but difficult to configure, you need a facilitator / DOORS expert.


How are customer service and technical support?

Not involved in this aspect. But again you would require a facilitator (DOORS Expert) to provide ongoing support, IBM just provide the licence.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Microsoft Excel - switched to DOORS because the client demanded use of DOORS. DOORS also provides multi-level traceability which excel does not.

How was the initial setup?

Had a Demo with the IBM team and it was very poor. You require a facilitator (DOORS Expert) to setup the configuration and processes and that can be an expensive exercise.

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

In terms of cost, there are always added expenses with DOORS because it's complex to configure and use. Check configuration and training cost and ongoing support costs to re-configure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Looking at ComplyPro or IBM Doors NG. The multilevel traceability and everything in DOORS is good but ComplyPro appears to do it just as well.

What other advice do I have?

Be really clear about your business process, what you want the tool to achieve and how it's going to achieve that and work with the facilitator. 

I would rate this product a 3 out of 5 because it is not intuitive and is difficult for our users to use.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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