IBM Rational DOORS Review

Remote users who access the network via a VPN may encounter a bit of sluggishness, but object-linking is the most valuable feature.

Valuable Features

The ability to link objects is most valuable, because this provides the traceability from the customer requirements to our product requirements, and ultimately our test results.

Improvements to My Organization

As the product development lifecycle progresses, DOORS helps to maintain the traceability as requirements change (base-lining), and as new requirements emerge.

Room for Improvement

The most difficult feature of DOORS is how it creates "DOORS tables" from tables that are imported from a Word document. There are ways to address this, but describing them in detail here would take up too much space. Workarounds include using embedded OLE objects of Excel spreadsheets or using an image of the table if it is a small one that is unlikely to change.

Use of Solution

I've used it for 10 years.

Deployment Issues

Remote users, that access the network via a VPN, may encounter a bit of sluggishness maneuvering through the database - but that may depend on the speed of the network and the size of the database. There are ways to address this issue.

Stability Issues

DOORS stability is quite reliable.

Scalability Issues

No issues encountered.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Excellent! IBM Rational DOORS team have always been quick to respond and knowledgeable about any issues I may have presented them.

Technical Support:

Excellent, as well. Very knowledgeable.

Previous Solutions

Prior to IBM Rational DOORS, I've used a SLATE database to track requirements. It wasn't as user-friendly and at the time we switched to DOORS, the decision was based on what our customers were using to track their requirements. DOORS was the better choice and is still the most recognized tool for requirement traceability.

Initial Setup

The initial setup was straightforward, thanks to the robust help files that IBM has maintained as a library that is accessible both inside the tool (Help button) and via the internet (on the IBM site). Aside from that, technical support was available as needed - even to the extent that phone support can be provided.

Implementation Team

We used our own in-house team.


As the product life-cycle reaches maturity for a given project, the ability to re-use requirements, and their related data in other projects is very helpful. DOORS is also a great tool for discovering "orphan" requirements early in the cycle, as well.

Other Solutions Considered

IBM Rational will work with you if you decide to use DOORS. The support provided by the vendor is excellent.

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