IBM Rational DOORS Review

It's a very mature and stable solution, but some users complain that it currently has a clunky interface.


What is most valuable?

  • Traceability
  • Impact analysis
  • History
  • Baseline sets
  • DXL scripting
  • Publication with Rational Publishing Engine (separate product)

How has it helped my organization?

IBM Rational DOORS allows requirements to be efficiently and effectively tracked, traced, and managed throughout the project lifecycle. Managing requirements in documents, e-mails, spreadsheets etc. becomes unwieldy. Anybody that has attempted this will find IBM Rational DOORS a godsend.

What needs improvement?

Some users complain of a clunky interface, but DOORS NG which is planned to succeed DOORS over the next 5-10 years addresses these issues and is a good up and coming alternative to DOORS.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 12 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Most of the issues of deployment in my experience tend to be people related issues. For instance, resistance to change in processes, and learning a new tool.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

IBM Rational DOORS is a very mature stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any issues with scalability. I have experience of supporting databases containing hundreds of thousands of requirements with no issues that cannot be mitigated through good schema design.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

IBM Rational DOORS customer service are approachable and easy to deal with.

Technical Support:

IBM Rational DOORS technical support are prompt and good at resolving issues.

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

I have used other tools such as RDD-100, CaliberRM and in-house developed solutions.In all cases I have simply moved into new roles in other organisations with the opportunity to use IBM Rational DOORS.

How was the initial setup?

With a qualified DOORS Deployment Professional, the initial setup is relatively straightforward. They should be able to design and build a schema to support your process. templates can be created to make project setup relatively straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I normally work as part of a vendor team.

What was our ROI?

The largest ROI would normally be achieved on bigger projects, but an ROI is possible across many smaller projects so long as consistency is maintained in terms of process and schema across the projects.

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

Consider the overall cost of ownership beyond the initial license costs. You will need to budget for development of your process, designing and building the schema, training and ongoing database administration and support to users of the tool.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Over many years I have evaluated and used many other COTs and bespoke requirements management tools. I have found IBM Rational DOORS to be the most flexible and powerful solution available for serious requirements management.

What other advice do I have?

Develop good requirements development and management process firstly then design and implement a DOORS schema and training around your process. Simplicity and consistency is the key to a successful implementation. Management buy in and support is also essential.


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

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Great point - "With a qualified DOORS Deployment Professional, the initial setup is relatively straightforward."

I have seen many projects who skip over the above critical step only to leave themselves with years of frustration.