IBM Rational DOORS Review

It improved the way the requirements concept was perceived in our organization, and in that way it had also an impact on validation activities.


Valuable Features

  • Centralised location for better team collaboration
  • Scalable access control
  • Traceability by linking items on the global requirement life cycle
  • Integrations (modelling tools)
  • Full customization using DXL
  • Wide user community
  • Available as a web based solution

Improvements to My Organization

We used it to implement a requirement management process in a CMMI evaluation. DOORS improved the way requirements were shared across the organization, and helped implement reuse strategy. It also improved the way the requirements concept was perceived in the organization, in that way it had also an impact on validation activities.

Room for Improvement

DOORS weakness is in the interface with the outside world, as the database is not standard, data cannot be easily managed by other tools. Import/export capabilities have huge room for improvement though importing a Word or Excel document is simple. There are no simple extensions available to generate good synthetic documents (RPE not being user friendly). Another item that is needed in any requirements management tool is the capability to manage the requirements data model at project/database level, attributes/types definitions in particular.

Use of Solution

I've been using it for around 10 years since 2006. I was responsible for deploying it, including defining data models, training teams, and administrating the database for two different organisations. Both organisations are worldwide, and In the second, the user community was over 400 people worldwide.

Deployment Issues

As stated earlier, the missing ability of the tool to globally manage data model often leads to inconsistencies in the deployment phase, as processes are often being defined while deploying the tool. It's difficult to retrofit an incorrect implementation once started.

Customer Service and Technical Support

It's low. Since IBM acquired Rational. The support is basic and limited to the tools usage which is not what experienced users need. Experienced users need support for advanced features and DXL usage, which is somehow mandatory for any organization who wants to take full advantage of the tools capabilities.

Previous Solutions

No other solution was used before. Some other departments in the company were using a custom system based on MS Word with macros and reqtif.

Implementation Team

We used Telelogic support to train the teams and initiate the datamodel construction

Other Solutions Considered

We used a benchmark study in which 10 other tools were rated, including Reqtify (which is not a real REQM tool), Requisite Pro, Caliber, and Cradle.

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