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AV
Sr. Director, Software Engineering Director at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
The Cadillac of all dynamic object-oriented requirements systems

Pros and Cons

  • "Compared to other tools that I have used over the past 20 years, DOORS is the best of the best."
  • "It would be nice if it could be scaled-down so that it could be installed and implemented without much learning or training."

What is our primary use case?

We used DOORS to elicit and gather user needs and then document them. We would then document these needs with diagrams and pictures that could be used to implement products and tests. We also used it for traceability purposes.

System engineers, software requirements engineers, software development engineers, software manual test engineers, software automated test engineers, software DevOps teams — these were the people who mainly used this solution.

How has it helped my organization?

We went from an ad hoc Word document to a table-driven model that could be reviewed without submitting any documents. That was a big help.

What is most valuable?

This solution is the Cadillac of similar solutions. I liked that we could export to Excel and Word. We could also link to other off-shelf tools.

Compared to other tools that I have used over the past 20 years, DOORS is the best of the best. It's expensive. It's a heavy-duty tool. 

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if it could be scaled-down so that it could be installed and implemented without much learning or training. That would also make the price more attractive.

You have to pay the premium price, but if you're a startup company or a medical device company, you'll want to create traceability immediately. It's actually simpler to use it straight out-of-box. It requires a lot of administrative work. The initial setup is not very easy — at least on-premise. A lot of training is required. It should be easier to use. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I began using this solution in 2000. I used it at my old company; I don't use it anymore.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution was very stable. It took our staff a while to transition from previous technology to DOORS. Otherwise, the tool itself was very stable. In the end, people saw the difference. Especially when it came to traceability from the system requirements to the product requirements, to the software requirements.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support was very good. Better than Microsoft.

What about the implementation team?

An implementer did the initial installation. Based on what I heard, it's not easy to install. I don't want to say it was complex, but it wasn't very easy either. It's not just like installing  Word or Microsoft Office — it wasn't that easy.

We were a big organization complete with different teams. There were some disagreements on how the tool should be set up, how the traceability should be set up, etc. These discussions delayed the delivery or the final implementation. Otherwise, it could have been set up quickly. A lot of customers made it much harder. 

What other advice do I have?

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of nine.

IBM DOOR is the best tool you can purchase; it's the Cadillac of all tools. Don't be scared of its vast amount of features. Use only what you need, and don't panic about the complexity or the completeness of the tool

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Alexander Sena
Spacecraft Systems Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Software can be manipulated to your needs; unfortunately the solution feels very outdated

Pros and Cons

  • "Very customizable and can be as powerful as you want it to be."
  • "The software and GUI is very outdated."

What is our primary use case?

We use DOORS for aerospace applications. I'm a systems engineer and we are customers of IBM. 

What is most valuable?

The solution uses a custom object-oriented scripting language called DOORS Extension Language or DXL. It allows you to manipulate the software to your liking. It's very customizable and can be as powerful as you want it to be. User management is pretty straightforward and I generally enjoy using the solution. As the administrator for the program, it's very quick and easy to add a user, change permissions, rights, things like that within the software.

What needs improvement?

The software is very dated and old. It's hard to get people to use it because the GUI looks like something from one of those giant Mac computers. It's not very user-friendly and can become slow very quickly, especially if you're not on site. It's been detrimental in this recent work from home era. If you have a lot of employees working from home, DOORS will operate more slowly than if they were on site. The DXL will be very slow if you write an inefficient tool and then your client will suffer. Not everything is necessarily written by IBM software engineers who know the system well and it will slow down as you put more tools and information into it. There's a tendency for garbage accumulation which is the simplest way I can put it. Processing of images needs to be improved. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for one year. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are a few bugs, some of which get addressed in updates, but there are still a few that you have to fix right out of the gate. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is very easy to scale, in my opinion. It will slow down as you scale, but it's the best way to handle a large project in my opinion. It can chew through something big, it just might do it slowly. We have around 500 user accounts. 

How are customer service and technical support?

IBM can sometimes be slow and convoluted. It can take in the order of two or three weeks to really resolve a problem on the IBM side. It requires an IBM account and a lot of hoops to jump through before you can get to them on the phone and get a straightforward answer.

What other advice do I have?

For anyone wanting to use this solution, it's important to take the time to learn DXL. Don't take it for granted because understanding how it works will make a big difference. 

I rate the solution six out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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IH
Director at Innovation & Design Engineering Ltd
Real User
Stable with good management verification, but the GUI needs to be updated and more user-friendly

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the management verification and login."
  • "The problem is that because the GUI is so bad, you either have to spend a lot of money customizing the interface yourself, or a lot of money on training."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the management verification and login.

What needs improvement?

The user interface is old and clunky and in need of some improvement. In order for DOORS to be as good as it needs to be, you have to be able to get normal people using it. The problem is that because the GUI is so bad, you either have to spend a lot of money customizing the interface yourself, or a lot of money on training. Because the users avoid it like the plague, you don't get the power out of it. You end up having specialists in the requirements world doing the work instead of using it the same way you would an easier application, such as Word.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Rational DOORS for about ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution has always been very stable and doesn't really ever let us down. We do have Citrix problems because we are centralizing it but as a general rule, it is a solid tool. There can also be problems that are caused by other people's DXL coding, as people are modifying it to work for them. However, it is the modifications that cause the problems rather than DOORS itself. In this context, there are more self-inflicted stability problems.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not personally contacted technical support but the feedback that I have heard is that it is like all tech support. It is normally about relationships with the technical support people. The response time is pretty standard, being a couple of weeks. In Australia, they're 24 hours and normally pretty good in terms of responding quickly.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is considering this solution is that if you're looking for a relational database, then it's probably not the first place that I would go. People are going to use it because the client requires it, as in our case, rather than because you choose it. There are much better database setups out there, which are scalable for non-IT database people. The learning curve is much shallower because they're designed from the ground up to work as a database for normal people.

Overall, DOORS is old and clunky but it does what it is supposed to do. The interface hasn't changed forever because there's no drive to make it easier to use.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Leith Mudge
Systems Engineer at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Prioritizing and plan product delivery but be prepared for challenges with ease-of-use

Pros and Cons

  • "Makes good work of prioritizing and planning product delivery."
  • "It is a mature product that is stable."
  • "Overall, the user experience should be enhanced."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use for the product is requirements management. That is essentially prioritizing and planning product delivery.  

What is most valuable?

What I like the most is probably requirement traceability in configuration management.  

What needs improvement?

Usability and user-friendliness could definitely be improved as far as ease-of-use. The documentation could also be easier to use, I would say. Maybe, in general, they need to see things more from an end-user's perspective in their future development.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I am not using this product at my current company, but I probably have approximately 20 years of experience using DOORS (Dynamic Object Oriented Requirements System).  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

DOORS is a very mature and stable product these days.   

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When it comes to scalability, I think it is a little bit expensive to get more users onboard. I do not think there are practical limitations to scaling the use, it just might be costly to take on additional licenses to scale.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used the product's technical support for some issues and we did have a positive experience with them. They were able to resolve the issues that we had in a reasonable amount of time.  

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

It is not cheap. It is expensive to onboard additional licenses.  

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend DOORS to people who need this kind of solution. You would probably need to have a reasonably large-sized project to use it because of the cost. But I can definitely recommend it if the need is there.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate IBM Rational DOORS as about a seven-of-ten, I reckon. What would need to be included to improve that score is probably cloud hosting.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Shanice Hopson
Software Engineer, Space Systems Department at National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Real User
Top 20
User-friendly with a feature for verifying review requirements

Pros and Cons

  • "IBM Rational DOORS keeps everything organized."
  • "The interface needs an area to be able to type your query and actually be able to find them."

What is our primary use case?

We are mainly using IBM Rational DOORS for managing requirements.

How has it helped my organization?

IBM Rational DOORS keeps everything organized.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the verification requirements for peer reviews.

It has a user-friendly interface.

What needs improvement?

Some of the search queries could be improved. The interface needs an area to be able to type your query and actually be able to find them.

It could be more stable.

In the next release, they could scale it down a little bit and make it more stable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used this product up until three months ago. I have been with this company since February.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

If I have left it open for too long, there are times where we experience a session timeout, and we have to stop or force-close it to restart the application.

From the time that I have been using it, it's been pretty good. Like anything that has been left open, you will experience a timeout.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

IBM Rational DOORS is scalable.

We have approximately 300 users within the region.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not contacted technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

We have our computer management who instructed me to download IBM Rational DOORS.

It was simple to download and get started.

What about the implementation team?

We may have used a retailer to help us with the deployment.

What other advice do I have?

We are currently using IBM Rational DOORS on-premises but we are trying to migrate everything over to a Cloud service.

IBM Rational DOORS is good for privacy, it's good for the management of software requirements, and also for keeping everything organized. It does a pretty good job.

I would rate IBM Rational DOORS an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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