IBM Rational DOORS Overview

IBM Rational DOORS is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Application Requirements Management tools. It is most often compared to Jira: IBM Rational DOORS vs Jira

What is IBM Rational DOORS?
IBM Rational DOORS is a requirements management application for optimizing requirements communication, collaboration and verification throughout your organization and supply chain. This scalable solution can help you meet business goals by managing project scope and cost. Rational DOORS lets you capture, trace, analyze and manage changes to information while maintaining compliance to regulations and standards. Rational DOORS provides requirements management in a centralized location for better team collaboration, and traceability by linking requirements to design items, test plans, test cases and other requirements. It also provides scalability to address your changing requirements management needs, test tracking toolkit for manual test environments to link requirements to test cases, and integrations to help manage changes to requirements with either a simple pre-defined change proposal system or a more thorough, customizable change control workflow with Rational change management solutions.
IBM Rational DOORS Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM Rational DOORS Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2021

IBM Rational DOORS Customers
Infosys, Chevrolet Volt
IBM Rational DOORS Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM Rational DOORS pricing:
  • "Pricing can vary depending on the size of the organization and how contracts are negotiated."
  • "IBM is a bit too expensive in terms of pricing. Customers are paying a lot for the license, and the price is quite high for this kind of environment. It is quite high as compared to what we can get today with other solutions."
  • "Licensing fees are billed annually and there is no support included with what I pay."
  • "I don't personally know what the numbers are. I just know that one of the reasons we've limited it to three seats is a function of cost."

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Juergen Albrecht
System Engineer / Requirements Engineer / Managing Director at CCC Systems Engineering Suisse GmbH
Real User
Top 10
Has given us a means for improving the way we proceed through solution development

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for DOORS is that we implement this product for our customers and build-out customized components.

Pros and Cons

  • "This product can help improve how your organization proceeds through solution development."
  • "IBM should integrate some solutions they already own toenhance the utility of the product further. Specifically import and export to Office products is more difficult than it needs to be."

What other advice do I have?

What we actually have learned — or even maybe accepted and are comfortable with is now — is that for the user projects work best and most efficiently, it is absolutely nicer to work in a more structured way. This product helps order our projects. Because of what the tool does, we have a way to document the bare base engineering. What we did in the past, before DOORS, we all used Word and maybe Excel in our offices to set up our specifications for the product. In DOORS, we can now work in a different way. There are very nice features that help to structure your documents, to link your…
LV
Project Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Complex, slow, difficult to manage but has a good inbuilt view

Pros and Cons

  • "We have different generations of all products. It lets us select and see unique attributes for each release or generation. You can use attributes to define a selection area to see which equipments are for the old versions and which ones are for the new versions. This inbuilt view is what I like in IBM Rational DOORS. So, for a database and a set of requirements, it will select and show unique attributes for a release or a generation."
  • "Complexity, performance, openness are the three areas that can be improved. The IBM architecture and specifically Jazz looks more complex. There are a lot of servers. It's quite complicated. The search capabilities lack in IBM Rational DOORS Classic for customers who have a database with a requirement of more than 25,000 records. For example, you can search easily for a module, but it's really difficult to look for keywords through the whole database because all the modules are separated into small components, which makes the search quite complex. This is something that's really annoying because when we want to make an impact analysis, we would like to analyze the product globally. It's quite difficult to manage. The fact that you can interact externally with data makes it complex. The approach is complex and doesn't work as expected. For example, when I tried to experiment with exporting some records, the tool crashed, but I couldn't find out the root cause, that is, whether it happened because of Rational Windows or lack of memory. It was just crashing. Logs weren't very clear. IBM can try to use more recent technology for different aspects and make it easy. They can also provide free integration from DOORS Classic to DOORS. Currently, all the customization in Excel is lost, which makes it very complex. It would be a feature to make new versions compatible with features in the past versions."

What other advice do I have?

Our requirement is not for a huge database, just around 30,000 records. It's a shame that IBM Rational DOORS Classic is so slow in accessing such a small number of records. It's really new to the data architecture approach from the past, that is, from Telelogic. In the new version, they no longer support Excel. So, we have to redo the whole configuration of the project, which takes a lot of time and energy. When I look at other solutions based on the results of the benchmark analysis, they look easier to work or install. I'm also looking into the capability to export, and I got several issues…
Learn what your peers think about IBM Rational DOORS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
521,637 professionals have used our research since 2012.
KM
Sr. Systems Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Customizable, has a helpful GUI for creating links between requirements, and provides a powerful change proposal systems

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is for the development and management of requirements, traceability of requirements up and down the architecture chain, and verification.

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the user interface with regard to creating links between requirements and tracing links to requirements."
  • "The user interface for the Change Proposal System could be improved."

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing IBM Rational DOORS is to start using it early in the program and use it consistently. In other words, don't let people do their own thing. Instead, come up with a standard process of what you do, which attributes you can use, consistent attribute naming, and consistent standard views. This way, everybody is using the same thing. There will always be custom things coming up later, but you need to have a core standard. For example, every program will have 10 standard views and 40 standard attributes, which enforces consistency. As you go from program to…
DH
General Manager & Founder/consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Can manage lots of requirements and handle large amounts of data, but the interface needs to be improved

What is our primary use case?

I am a consultant and this is one of the solutions that my company uses to help our clients. Rational DOORS is used to help our customers with system engineering. I use it to design complex systems like trains and cars. DOORS is used to collect all of the requirements for these big systems and then we try to organize the requirements. We make sure that the system functions in compliance with the requirements.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is very customizable and easy to scale."
  • "The interface is not very user-friendly and has not evolved in a long time."

What other advice do I have?

The difficulty with implementing this solution is that you are asking the organization to change its processes. The important part is, however, that you are trying to improve the quality of the systems. You have to maintain the customer's vision and show that the goals will be reached, but done more efficiently. In the end, you have to give the customer every assurance that the work is done in its entirety. This is a solution that I recommend. If people need to write specifications in the context of engineering then I think that this is the best solution on the market. If on the other hand…
Julie Kent
Lead Modeling & Simulation Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Pretty straightforward and great for tracking changes but technical support is slow

What is our primary use case?

We had a large number of requirements coming in as a federal contractor and we put them in DOORS. We did exports from that to map those requirements to what we were doing and the architecture that we were building. We did that in MagicDraw, which we attempted to integrate with DOORS.

Pros and Cons

  • "Starting to use the solution is pretty straightforward. There isn't too much of a learning curve."
  • "There needs to be quicker access to tech support. When I have a two minute question that takes two minutes to answer, it shouldn't take me 45 minutes and/or a few days of callbacks to get to the right technical support person. It's unnecessary and frustrating for the user."

What other advice do I have?

Although I cannot say with certainty, I do not believe my company has a business relationship with IBM. I do not know which version of the solution we are currently using. I would recommend the solution to other organizations. Overall, I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. While it's largely helpful, there are just a few things, like unresponsive technical support and difficulty with the general learning curve, which could make it more user-friendly.
FC
President at a outsourcing company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
An incredibly stable solution that allows us to simply link requirements with one another and with test descriptions and automatically produce reports

What is our primary use case?

We use it to manage requirements. For the defense projects, we basically do a waterfall design methodology. So, we input the customer's requirements at the top level, and we flow down through all of the design requirements and the testing requirements. We keep it all managed through DOORS.

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the way we can simply link requirements with one another and with test descriptions and then automatically produce reports that are required to show compliance to our customers. It is a combination of requirements management and reporting that I like, but I really have very little to do with the reporting part of it. I don't know how easy or hard it is to create those reports."
  • "One thing that I would like to see is a lower-cost version of it that we could use for smaller projects. Sometimes, we do projects for commercial customers who would benefit from something like DOORS, but it's just so expensive. It's just a monster, so a lower-cost version would be the thing that we'd like to see."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate IBM Rational DOORS a 10 out of 10. The main reason is that it's what our customers use and what we've been using for many years now, and I don't see any reason to change, frankly.
FD
Electronics and Software Development Area Manager at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good shell scripting with good stability and helpful technical support

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for giving requirements, both mechanical and electric.

Pros and Cons

  • "The shell scripting is the solution's most valuable aspect."
  • "The performance could be improved. It doesn't run as smoothly as it could."

What other advice do I have?

Our organization does have some commercial agreements with IBM. We're more of a customer, however. We arent an IBM partner. Whether this would be the correct solution for a company depends on the installation and requirements. You'll need to prepare a specific environment for the company according to how it works. Therefore, it depends on the customization requirements. If they want it related to the environment itself or not, there may be some complexity in the setup that needs to be planned for. That said, I would recommend the solution overall. I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. It's…
Juergen Albrecht
System Engineer / Requirements Engineer / Managing Director at CCC Systems Engineering Suisse GmbH
Real User
Top 10
Customizable, easy to use, and the reporting features are good

What is our primary use case?

I run my own engineering office in Switzerland for training companies on a freelance basis. I have used the most recent version for several projects.

Pros and Cons

  • "I really like the customization that can be done using the DOORS Extension Language (DXL)."
  • "There are problems with communicating between DOORS and Microsoft Office."

What other advice do I have?

I have been using classic DOORS version 9.6.1.11 and I was interested in switching to IBM DOORS Next Generation, but it is not as easy as I thought. The complexity is quite different and it is not very user-friendly. You used to have your own client and database, but now that it is mixed with the web, it doesn't make sense for me to use it. Unfortunately, I think that DOORS was a nice tool and it is a pity that it has been ruined by IBM. The technical support is a mess and it is not the quality from the past. I still really enjoy working with this tool. Even though it has been taken over by…
See 6 more IBM Rational DOORS Reviews
Buyer's Guide
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