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IBM Rational DOORS OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

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: October 2021

IBM Rational DOORS Customers
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IBM Rational DOORS Video

Archived IBM Rational DOORS Reviews (more than two years old)

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BP
DOORS Expert at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
A stable solution with an easy initial setup, however, it's difficult to set the code

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is stable."
  • "It's difficult to set the code on the solution."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for governmental management.

What is most valuable?

The recommendation aspects of the solution are good.

What needs improvement?

It's difficult to set the code on the solution. 

The testing part needs to be improved, but they have too much legacy to move to the latest IBM versions. 

I do not believe there are any more plans for this product. It's now a legacy solution. They should just ensure that they keep the technical support they have in place to assist existing users.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution isn't scalable.

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

We previously used a different solution, but the change was the company's choice.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex.

What other advice do I have?

The solution can be used in the studio environment, but you need to manage it correctly.

I would rate the solution six out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
CW
PLM Development at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
A great idea as a whole, but the interface needs to be more user-friendly

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature for me is the ability to enter data into one table, or context, and link it across modules."
  • "It would have been ok ten years ago, but we are used to having better tools now."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for me is the ability to enter data into one table, or context, and link it across modules.

What needs improvement?

The GUI needs improvement in the following ways:

  • The OLE embedding is not very user-friendly.
  • The whole concept of having to lock and unlock, in order to switch the edit mode, is not user-friendly.

In the next release of this solution, I would like to see integration with other tools. For example, for change management, and with tools like IBM Rational ClearCase. I know that IBM has now linked ClearCase, ClearQuest, and DOORS, but we have an older version so I do not know how good the integration is.

For how long have I used the solution?

Four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution, although it depends on the network connection. It runs poorly on a slow network connection, so you need a fast connection.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In my opinion, the solution is scalable, but it is limited because you have to stay within one location. You cannot scale it across the whole world because of the dependency on network performance.

For this solution, we have several hundred users across several databases. In addition to the end-users, we have a system architect, system engineers who put in the requirements, functionality developers who break it down to the system requirements, software developers, and testers.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have our own in-house experts who are quite helpful and responsive. I do not know if they have any experience dealing with the IBM technical support team.

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

We have used this same solution from the start.

How was the initial setup?

We use predefined templates, so the setup for us was more or less straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house IT department handled the implementation of this solution.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody looking to implement this solution is to first get the processes right, and then look for the tools.

The whole idea behind this solution is great but, the execution and the handling is old fashioned. It would have been ok ten years ago, but we are used to having better tools now.

I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about IBM Rational DOORS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.
MH
Team Lead SAP ERP at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
I value the traceability, configuration management and user access features.

Pros and Cons

  • "It has the features of: traceability, configuration management, and user access."
  • "It used to be very clunky."

What is our primary use case?

I use DOORS for capturing a system requirement and subsystem requirement. I also use it for recording a system of architecture.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features include:

  • Traceability (the ability to link between different items)
  • Configuration Management (ability to baseline things and create new views)
  • User Access (to control who does what to different items)

What needs improvement?

They have recently upgraded the product. And, it is definitely more user-friendly. It was really clunky to use previously. It might not be very fancy, but it always gets the job done. 

I think it would be nice if there was better integration with other tools, particularly diagrammatic tools so that you can do things like enterprise architecture. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

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

It is very expensive. But, it depends on the project. The project must warrant the expense paid.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user832800
Engineering Consulting Service with 1-10 employees
User
Traceability on requirements for a huge project is a big gain

What is our primary use case?

I am within the automotive electronics industry. The requirements management widely used in my field for change management is the key to delivering your product without any hitches. It is hard to manage requirements in a big project, therefore having a traceability feature is great.

How has it helped my organization?

Traceability on requirements for a huge project in an organization is a big gain.

What is most valuable?

Traceability The ability to use any type of document in any format. These features make our job easier in requirements management.  

What needs improvement?

I would like to see them improve in agile management the Scrum/Kanban Board to work with overseas team members.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five…

What is our primary use case?

I am within the automotive electronics industry. The requirements management widely used in my field for change management is the key to delivering your product without any hitches. It is hard to manage requirements in a big project, therefore having a traceability feature is great.

How has it helped my organization?

Traceability on requirements for a huge project in an organization is a big gain.

What is most valuable?

  • Traceability
  • The ability to use any type of document in any format.

These features make our job easier in requirements management.  

What needs improvement?

I would like to see them improve in agile management the Scrum/Kanban Board to work with overseas team members.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Requirements Engineer at Visteon Corporation
Real User
DOORS is highly customize-able, better than DNG, but maybe not the tool for distributed teams.

What is our primary use case?

Requirements management, however could be customized to track tests and even change requests through customization.

How has it helped my organization?

Requirements management is a key activity in any software development process and especially so in safety-conscious industries, i.e. where incorrect software can kill you, e.g. automotive, aviation, medical devices, etc. In these industries DOORS (any requirements management tool) shouldn’t be thought of as an improvement, but more as a key tool for doing your job, like a compiler or defect tracker.

What is most valuable?

The ease in which one can link requirements is very important to the general user since traceability is a core task in requirements management.

As an admin and developer, the DXL scripting language allows me to customize and extend DOORS in (almost) any way imaginable. (DXL is the scripting language used to customize and extend DOORS.)

What needs improvement?

Too numerous to enumerate. There are always wants by the DXL development community. Personally I would like to see a copy module function that optionally doesn’t include links and works on a baseline.

One huge improvement would be better support for distributed teams. The Rational DOORS client is terribly slow if you are not on-site with the server. Also, a better method of exchanging data between Rational DOORS servers or better yet a synchronization method.

But these will never happen because IBM is not interested in improving DOORS, it is focused on it's replacement: DOORS Next Generation (DNG).

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not if you take the proper precautions and train users. Bad user practices can undermine stability in the server.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have never personally scaled Rational DOORS above approx. 100 active users and at that size we had no problems. I know of organizations that have 1000s of users. The key is to strategically divide your projects among several DOORS servers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I have never interacted with IBM Rational's customer service.

Technical Support:

I have only once interacted with IBM Rational's tech support. Had a good experience.

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

It's actually the other way around: it is a natural progression to migrate from DOORS to DOORS Next Generation (DNG) on the Jazz Platform. However I argue that DOORS is the superior tool and that organizations should not migrate to DNG.

How was the initial setup?

Rational DOORS provides no guidance on best-practices for the product, or advice in requirements management using the product. So an initial setup is best done by someone with a deep understanding of both requirements management and the tool.

What about the implementation team?

Only ever through in-house.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I would like to use this space to give an opinion on migrating from DOORS to DNG. I have been the sole person in charge of and doing the migration and I have provided input on other migrations.

I understand the desire for, and have in the past strongly advocated, the use of an integrated tool chain. IBM Jazz products like RQM, RTC, DNG, etc. provide, in theory, the holy grail: planning, defect/change management, requirements, and tests, all linking together. However...

Focusing just on DNG, it is in my experience a terrible product. Some features work really well. But others baffle me in their ineptitude, and these are legion. Almost everyday I run into an issue that makes me curse it under my breath.

People who have used DOORS to it's fullest extent, with a high-level of DXL customization, will hate DNG. One of the hardest parts of migration is convincing users DNG is better. I have given up on that because I am now of the opinion that DOORS is better than DNG.

Why? DOORS, at its heart, is not a requirements management tool. It is a highly extensible object linking system. That extensible-ness is absolutely key to making the product work for you.

I have come to the conclusion that if you are considering migrating from DOORS to DNG... DON'T! Instead of spending 100's to 1000's of hours doing migrations, invest those hours in a DXL programmer to make DOORS do what it isn't doing for you now.

What other advice do I have?

Many new Rational DOORS users hate the product as a relic from the ‘90s. Most who have used the product over several years are generally ok with it. I like it, but I’ve made my living off it for years so I’m biased.

Rational DOORS can be an excellent requirements management tool, but only if:

  1. All users of the tool are on-site with the server. Rational DOORS should not be considered for distributed teams unless you have a robust method like remote desktops.
  2. All users are trained in how to use the basic features of the tool.
  3. There is an experienced Rational DOORS admin and DXL developer (can be same person) that can support users and create customizations and extensions. Rational DOORS out-of-the-box will never satisfy the needs and desires of users or admins. Only an experienced admin/developer will understand the best-practices for the product and be able to quickly build a layer of customizations and extensions to make life easier for users and admins.

Please note that I consider these points extremely important. You cannot just buy a few Rational DOORS licenses and think you’re done. To be able to use Rational DOORS effectively you must invest in user training and at least one person who is experienced in Rational DOORS.

And finally, perhaps a little off-topic, users ought to be trained in requirements management, especially in safety-conscious industries. For example, earning FAA certification for avionic software is a process whose foundation is requirements management. Users must understand why requirements management is important and be taught how to apply its principles in their work.

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent Visteon's positions, strategies, or opinions. #iwork4visteon

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user320079
Senior Consultant at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The traceability of system requirements helps teams collaborate, but the images added in DOORS are not exported easily in Word documents.

What is most valuable?

We use DOORS to document system requirements and inherit customer equirement maintain standard and conformity. It helps in traceability of requirements and restricts changes to requirements by anyone. In order to make changes to the requirements, one needs RCR (Requirements change request) which would be reviewed and approved before applying changes. It would help in impact analysis and version tracking.

It is a great tool for requirement gathering and elicitation. It brings all the business analysts in a team on the same page as everyone has the same understanding on requirements.The traceability to system requirements, customer requirement and test cases helps all teams to reference each other's work in an easier manner.

How has it helped my organization?

IBM DOORS has helped in keeping requirements wording and structure standard across all customer documents. It's export functionality helps in producing quality requirements with ease within short time frame. This helped in supporting multiple clients at the same time with lesser chances of errors.

What needs improvement?

  • The product is less configurable in terms of Menu options. The replication of data is not as easy as excel across the rows/columns. In order to replicate, the user needs to go to each cell and make the change
  • Upon losing connection to VPN/internet, DOORS can lose the content written and this requires it to be redone. The product should at least send a notification to the user about lost connections to avoid rework
  • The images added in DOORS are not exported easily in word documents. They do not scale as expected

For how long have I used the solution?

I used the tool for two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

The software came pre-installed with the machine but DOORS upgrade took long time. It slows the machine and additional RAM is required on machines with DOORS.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service is good as we got an IBM consultant to fix issues or code, but his support is limited to minor bugs. Major enhancements and bugs had to be escalated and sent to IBM which had a longer turn around time.

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

I have used HP Quality Center but DOORS provides better standardization and maintainability of requirements.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward as it came pre-installed on my company machine.

What about the implementation team?

It was through a vendor team. The implementation and training was smooth, but the enhancements and bug fixing took long time.

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

It is an expensive software but worth the spending for a larger firm which require standards across customers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not offered any other option. The company has used this tool for years for requirement gathering and maintenance.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Engineering Consultant, System Engineer at GE Aviation, UK
Consultant
Traceability, ability to create new attributes, access to management on all levels, and DXL are valuable features. However, we had issues deploying v9.6 64-bit as the server had to be upgraded first.

Valuable Features

DOORS is a customizable requirements management tool. The main feature that DOORS is used for is the traceability, which through it you can perform an analysis on the requirements how they decompose down to the lowest level. Also you can perform an impact analysis on the proposed changes and see the cost of your change. History of changes in DOORS is also important, as a lot of time there is a need to find out who performed the change as in a large team with people moving from place to place sometimes is needed to trace to the originator and understand the reason.

The way that new attributes can be created and the access management in all level is also another feature that is very useful in DOORS as with distributed teams and external contractors there is always the need to manage the data that users are allowed to access and modify.

Of course with the use of DXL all those things can be automated and be reported. DXL is very dynamic and came a long way from 5.4 and earlier. And as a lot of development and effort has been put into it, companies are reluctant to move to DOORS NG as this feature does not exist (or anything similar to it).

We are using DOORS together with IBM Rational Publishing Engine for reporting that makes everything a bit easier instead of using DXL to export the reports to Word.

Improvements to My Organization

It is important to understand that DOORS is just a tool that should help you to manage the requirements, or better documents that needs to trace to other documents in a controllable way providing history of changes and details of the change that do not need to be reported but they need to be stored. It is important to understand also that the first thing before managing, is that a process needs to be in place that identifies what it has to be done and the way that it will be done described in a simple and clear manner. Then DOORS can be customised to support that process and ensure that the process has been followed. In that way DOORS can ease the burden on the user to follow cumbersome steps of process as there is no alternative. This way the quality can be improved and audits become easier. DOORS is heavily used in aerospace, space, automotive (especially safe critical or mission critical systems) as this way can ensure a full history and lifecycle of the requirements it can be combined with change management tools to control and track the changes and only allow changes to happen when there is a need. Also allows through traceability to identify the effect of the proposed change to the system down to the component (hardware or software). Furthermore it can be customised that way to record the verification and reports can be produced at all levels to identify that requirements have been validated and verified and the system performs as expected. In the organisations that I worked for and I’m still working DOORS has made a lot of things possible that reduce the development and verification time.

Use of Solution

I have used DOORS since 2000 from version 5.4 to 9.6

Deployment Issues

There were some issues with deploying DOORS 9.6 64bit as the server had to be upgraded in a specific sequence especially if the client was also installed. In general if the instructions from IBM are followed then is usually safe. It pays at the end if there is a test system and the upgrade is tried first there before the production server is upgraded.

Stability Issues

The latest version of DOORS is very stable. Earlier versions had problems but a lot of them have been fixed. One issue with the 9.6 version is the new feature of resizing and positioning the main DOORS explorer window and opening the last opened modules during start. This feature can give an error message some times which is not easily reproducible. IBM has been informed and there is an open problem.

Scalability Issues

DOORS can be scaled to a large number of users and usually modules can contain many attributes and objects. The main issue is the local drives, the faster the drives that DOORS data reside the faster the response on the client. Servers on virtual machines might sometimes be slower because of the way the local drives have been attached to them (storage SANs). But usually is pretty fast. I have worked in environments with more than 300 users and the only issues encountered are the data that were within modules (number of objects) and the history that was recorded. If there is a design behind it on what you need to record within DOORS then usually there are no issues. Sometimes in projects people are getting over excited and from the point that there was no tools and no control and everything was done in paper, they tend to create a lot of attributes to track even the smallest thing, this can create a performance issue as the data recorded are too many.

DOORS can be delivered to distributed teams with Citrix. This in my experience is the best solution as the performance impact through remote access is minimal (XenApp or XenDesktop). It is not advisable to be delivered trough Microsoft terminal server alone as there are performance issues and DOORS is not so usable. Then it can be secured with Netscaler, and delivered to any devise so when people are on the road they can use DOORS to perform their activities from anywhere.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

IBM provides one of the best customer services that I have encounter. There are always there to support you and there are quick to response.

Technical Support:

I have used IBM technical support a number of occasions to report issue with DOORS or RPE there are always come back quite fast (within a few hours of the issue), and there are always find a solution or a fix to the issue. Also IBM has forums that can be searched for solutions and issues that other people have encountered, post questions and someone from IM will reply. Online help is always good and up to date.

Initial Setup

Initial setup of the software is straight forward. Just follow the steps described in the IBM site. The complexity starts on the use case of the business that wants to employ DOORS. Different businesses have different use cases and different users have different needs. At that point an expert is needed to design the Database and the relationships in that way that can be maintainable for the future and provide an ease of use. DXL tools and customisations always add an extra level of complexity.

Implementation Team

In-house implementation

Other Advice

I have worked with DOORS since 2000. I have used DOORS as an engineer managing my requirement, verification and tests, as an expert user, creating DXL scripts to export documents to Word, as an admin managing users and the entire database (multiple databases through the sites). I have developed Verification Tools in DOORS that control all the process of verifying the requirement from creation of the test procedure and script to writing the results and running the test (reviews, accesses etc.). I have a big experience in DXL and I can achieve anything with DXL (with some limitations). What I have seen over and over again is that the use of DOORS is incorrect in a lot of companies. Most of the companies try to adjust the processes to the tools provided instead of adjusting the tools to the correct process. DOORS can be adjusted to the process that you would like to work with, if you think about the process first in isolation of the tool, then, you cannot go wrong with DOORS. The other way around will lead in a lot of effort to put everything right. Standardisation is another issue that companies get it wrong. Users does not want to standardise, they want to do their own thing. The effect is that they use DOORS and for the same work there are a lot of different ways of doing it. They use DOORS as a repository and not as a tool to help them achieve their work easier. DOORS can help you to standardise, minimise mistakes and effort needed to achieve your goal, which can lead in reducing the cost of your development, validation and verification of your product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user364206
Principal Systems Architect at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The features that I've found most valuable are organization, trace, connection to other products via external links, and DXL.

What is most valuable?

The features that I've found most valuable are organization, trace, connection to other products via external links, and DXL.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us to manage and track requirements for complex products. This allows for quick and easy safety certification.

What needs improvement?

It needs word processing captioning as well as references within a module.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 12 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had no issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has scaled for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer services is great.

Technical Support:

Technical support is also great.

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

We used Interleaf and other tools, but they don't allow for easily readable trace and control.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy. It's easy to provide access to users.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house, though it does require basic knowledge of the tool.

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

We've found that floating licenses work best.

What other advice do I have?

Don't use Citrix or a virtual environment to implement a global solutions. It causes problems when linking between tools.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Tools Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It improved the way the requirements concept was perceived in our organization, and in that way it had also an impact on validation activities.

What is most valuable?

  • 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

How has it helped 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.

What needs 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.

For how long have I used the 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.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

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.

How are 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.

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

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.

What about the implementation team?

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

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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.
ITCS user
Manager RM/ALM at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It provides us insight into clear requirements, although the actual database needs to be set up correctly and users must follow a well-defined process.

What is most valuable?

  • Traceability
  • Baselines
  • Ability to customize using DXL

How has it helped my organization?

Having clear requirements is essential in delivering the right product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 18 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

8/10

Technical Support:

8/10

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

When I started using DOORS, there were several other relational management tools in use at Boeing (where I worked then). We set DOORS as our standard. Now, I work for another Large US Aerospace Company, and DOORS is our standard.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is very simple. It licenses, and runs the two executables, server and clent, and you are done.

What about the implementation team?

Although DOORS is very easy to use, the actual database needs to be set up correctly and users must follow a well-defined process. This is where most customers have issues with DOORS.

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

The best advice is to use tokens so you can use all the appropriate IBM tools.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Over the years supporting requirements management, I have participated in many trade studies where tools were evaluated. DOORS won most every time. Tools under consideration were Slate, Requisite Pro, RDD100, RTM, Razor, and TcSE.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user322782
Technical Project Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It's a system-requirements development tool that helps with configuration management, QA, requirements reviews, design reviews, and code inspections. But, it's expensive without guarantee of revenue.
DOORS is a high-quality, high-end system-requirements development tool. Its primary failing is that Rational made the cost of the product and learning to use the product so expensive that very few people or companies were willing to absorb that overhead without a guarantee of revenue to compensate for it. The problem with the product is that customers, usually government agencies, would demand DOORS experience when no-one in the market had that experience. The result was that government contracts got delayed for years because of this circular problem. Oracle made the same mistake and that is why SQL server exists today. Other companies have made similar management mistakes. A second problem with DOORS and similar products is that customers and new IT managers (under 45) do not understand…

DOORS is a high-quality, high-end system-requirements development tool. Its primary failing is that Rational made the cost of the product and learning to use the product so expensive that very few people or companies were willing to absorb that overhead without a guarantee of revenue to compensate for it.

The problem with the product is that customers, usually government agencies, would demand DOORS experience when no-one in the market had that experience. The result was that government contracts got delayed for years because of this circular problem.

Oracle made the same mistake and that is why SQL server exists today. Other companies have made similar management mistakes.

A second problem with DOORS and similar products is that customers and new IT managers (under 45) do not understand the discipline required to make effective use of these products and often put meeting a deadline before quality. This results in poor and inefficient design, and unmaintainable systems.

The University of Waterloo Maths faculty had the relationships with software and hardware manufacturers in place, back in the 80's, and this gave us graduates a huge advantage when entering the work force.

My opinion after 25 years in the industry is that companies that manufacture software development tools should make learning to use those tools as cheap and easy as possible so that software developers can use those tools and thus recommend them.

My advice to organizations tendering bids for software systems is to make sure there are people out there who can use the development tools before releasing the bid for tender. The bid review process should require the bidding management team to demonstrate with examples its competence in the use of configuration management, quality assurance, requirements reviews, design reviews, and code inspections. If the bid response does not have these activities scheduled with a real person assigned its not getting done.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
System Engineering meets DOORS & DXL = Expert in all 3 at Raytheon
Vendor
With reusable DXL, It allows me to write a single script that can then be plugged into all DOORS clients, but it takes quite a lot of experience to master.

What is most valuable?

By far and away the most useful feature of IBM Rational DOORS is the Dynamic Extension Language (DXL) syntax & manual that it comes with (then again I must be biased having been coding in DXL for 13 years and counting). With each new release going back to when I started with DOORS 4.1 the vendor (used to be Telelogic, until IBM bought them out) provides a DXL Reference Manual as part of the product which is free to anyone using DOORS - explaining which functions the IBM development team is using themselves to extend the DOORS client functionality (and inviting all software developers to take their crack at customizing the DOORS client to better suit the needs of their company)

How has it helped my organization?

By learning how to write reusable DXL, I've been able to write a single script that can then be plugged into all DOORS clients at my company, meaning if I can save one person 1 hour we can then multiply that by hundreds (if not thousands) of system engineers which equates to quite a lot of time & money saved.

What needs improvement?

Getting started with DOORS Administration, how to setup a project, how to maintain it, and how to get started with DXL are all areas that need quite a bit of experience to master. I highly recommend finding someone certified in being an IBM Rational DOORS v9 deployment specialist and better yet using him/her as a mentor as you learn yourself. Skipping the all important project architecture workshop is going to cause you a lot of frustration throughout the lifecycle of your project.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using DOORS for 15 years, 1st two as a software developer that looked up the requirements for the GUI he was assigned to develop, the latter 13 for everything from writing DXL to meeting with clients, being a technical lead for a distributed set of DXL developers = lots of fun.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Not having the right people bought in at all levels of management to have a smooth flowing process for deployment, it takes the work of quite a few individuals to make it all work, IT, software, systems, configuration management, quality - getting everyone on the same page and the training they need just in time is quite a challenge.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

By placing the DXL we've developed under heavy levels of scrutiny with code reviews, configuration control, change control boards and frequent interactions with the actual users of the solution we've been able to avoid the typical pitfalls that might come with developing customizations.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Developing skilled & experienced specialists that know how to setup DOORS projects and help existing ones adopt best practices takes time and the only way to get real experience is to do it, hard to find the people distributed across the geographical boundaries to fill these roles over prolonged periods of time.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

it's gotten considerably better since the early years of the Telelogic acquisition, once you submit a few tickets you get the hang of it. It would be nice the same person answering all your questions all the time so you get the rapport, but that might be asking too much.

Technical Support:

Once you get into the advanced use cases of using your own DXL, most of the time the support can be handled in house.

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

I started my career with DOORS & DXL and have not looked back. I have helped programs go from SLATE to DOORS.

How was the initial setup?

It was quite complicated, luckily for me I learned from the best and was able to continue to network and continue learning from the brightest minds in the industry. Combining this with my own experiences and the many clients I have worked with have equated to superb amount of real like challenged faced and overcome.

What about the implementation team?

Have had vendor in house for very select engagements, mostly self created solutions based on many in house meetings and sound software development.

What was our ROI?

A good question... lots of time & money saved.

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

I've been able to bypass this question for the most part in my line of work and focus more on the client experience once the DOORS server & licenses are available.

What other advice do I have?

I absolutely believe for any company to be successful with DOORS they must invest in an in-house support team of architects & trainers who's full time job it is to deploy DOORS and help programs learn how to use it effectively.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user300501
Sr Tools and Processes Developer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
I can extract redlines using Baseline Compare between the last approved baseline, and the ‘current’ module, but the printing solution in Rational Publishing Engine is complex.

What is most valuable?

The DOORS Application provides object to object traceability, with user flexibility to build their own traceability reports without requiring administrator coding in DXL, XML, java or any other scripting language. In addition, out of the box features for generating baseline to baseline redlines is efficient when reviewing changes.

How has it helped my organization?

The documentation of history is automated, making the generation of reports for the change review board simple. I can extract redlines using Baseline Compare between the last approved baseline, and the ‘current’ module, which collates all of this history into a single redline report making change reviews a breeze.

What needs improvement?

Clean specification generation has become more difficult under IBM’s direction, than it was under QSS or Telelogic. Since IBM acquired DOORS, there have been bugs introduced into the out of the box print capability (Ctrl+P), while they developed a complex printing solution in Rational Publishing Engine. This takes printing out of the user’s hands, and requires administrators or software developers to build templates for generating documentation which makes the job of generating a document a project in and of itself.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using and administrating DOORS since 1998 in multiple different roles, including in Systems Integration, Requirements Management, as well as Engineering Tool Support team member. I've also used v4.0.4, v4.1.4, v6.0 SR1, and v8.3 for requirements management and risk management for medical device development and on-market support.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

DOORS has some issues with speed when setup in an enterprise environment. However, DOORS has been the most stable product amongst our engineering tools.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have been very successful deploying the product to users in Dallas, Chicago, Ireland, Germany and Japan.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service for all of our Engineering Tools has been trending down over the last 10 years, and DOORS is no exception. However, among the biggest of players that we use including Dassault Systems, Siemens, HP, Serena, we have found IBM’s level among the best. I have had direct customer access to the DOORS development team at multiple conferences, who have been able to find resolutions for problems, and have provided enhancement requests that have been developed into the tool over the years.

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

Prior to DOORS, over 17 years ago, we used a custom Lotus Notes database, but it did not provide traceability or easy reporting.

How was the initial setup?

DOORS is a proprietary database, and it is a simple install of a server and a client, and you are off and running. Very straightforward in the Rich Client environment. It only begins to get complex if you begin setting up integrations using the IBM CLM environment.

What about the implementation team?

In-house engineering tool support team is how we evaluated, tested and deployed DOORS in our company.

What was our ROI?

The products developed in our company that started with DOORS requirements in the late 90s are now a one billion dollar annual revenue product line. My advice on requirements management in a regulated environment, is that if you try to do it cheap, rather than efficient, your products will suffer during the market phase.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have evaluated many tools over the years, including MKS, Siemens Teamcenter Requirements solution, and none of have met the ease at which a user can create and customize their own views and traceability reports, without an administrator performing customization.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Business Analyst at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It improved the amount and accessibility of formalized documentation of business processes, but it needs a better interactive table of contents or index page that updates in or close to real-time.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features were the structural flexibility of the documents and ability to specify the type of link between them. It was possible to organize a group of collections within a project, a group of modules together in a collection and a group of artifacts together in a module or a variation of that. Additionally, it was easy to design links to any of the previously mentioned entities in a variety of defined relationships.

How has it helped my organization?

This product improved the amount and accessibility of formalized documentation surrounding business processes. It also helped bridge the gap between business and technical documentation requirements which was a priority when trying to rebuild our CRM system using vendors in several different time zones.

What needs improvement?

In the future, I would like to see a better interactive table of contents or index page that updates in or close to real-time. As the repository grows, it becomes harder and harder to keep track of all the moving parts that contribute to the system as a whole.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used Rational DOORS for approximately nine months during 2014 on a fairly consistent basis.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

The predominant issue that was encountered was connecting Rational DOORs to Rational Software Architect. Although these two products were meant to work in conjunction with each other that never came to fruition. The result was creating a workaround by saving image files that couldn’t be automatically updated and caused the database to time out as the repository grew.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would not rate the level of customer service and technical support very highly. Response times were high and self-serve help via their website was hard to follow for non-technical users.

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

No previous solution was used.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user293889
Future Technical Leaders Program: Systems Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We used it to track the impact a new product's requirements had on an existing system, but it's not model-based, lacking integration of requirements, system diagrams, etc.

Valuable Features

The product was being used for developing and tracking new requirements for a system we were working on. There wasn't one specific feature that comes to mind, as it was approximately 12 months ago that I was using the product to develop requirements.

Improvements to My Organization

The product was used to better track and structure requirements we were developing for a new product that was to be integrated into an existing system with its own requirements. It was a way for us to track new requirements and its impact on existing ones.

Room for Improvement

None comes to mind right now. I know that the group was discussing the movement towards model-based systems engineering where they were looking into alternate products that allows the integration of requirements, system diagrams, etc. all in one tool.

Use of Solution

I used it last year, for one year.

Deployment Issues

No issues encountered,

Stability Issues

No issues encountered,

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

I never had to use customer service.

Technical Support:

I never had to use tech support,.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user292626
System Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It enables us to manage our customers' requirements effectively and efficiently, but it crashes sometimes.

What is most valuable?

Configuration management Requirements linking Access control DXL5

How has it helped my organization?

It enables us to manage our customers' requirements effectively and efficiently.

What needs improvement?

They need to improve the DOORS change proposal.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for six months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It can crash, but it doesn't happen too often.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've not used their customer service.

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

No previous solution was in place.

What about the

What is most valuable?

  • Configuration management
  • Requirements linking
  • Access control
  • DXL5

How has it helped my organization?

It enables us to manage our customers' requirements effectively and efficiently.

What needs improvement?

They need to improve the DOORS change proposal.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for six months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It can crash, but it doesn't happen too often.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've not used their customer service.

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

No previous solution was in place.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house, but I wasn't involved.

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

Use right license model to suit your needs.

What other advice do I have?

Get someone who is familiar with the product to manage

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user286830
Engineering Systems Administrator at a individual & family service with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Remote users who access the network via a VPN may encounter a bit of sluggishness, but object-linking is the most valuable feature.

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped my organization?

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

What needs 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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 10 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

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.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

DOORS stability is quite reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are 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.

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

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.

How was the 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.

What about the implementation team?

We used our own in-house team.

What was our ROI?

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.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

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.
it_user283440
Programme Manager for Engineering (Mechanical) at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It's stable and hasn't crashed, unlike the previous version, but it's too expensive for us to have a per-user license.

What is most valuable?

The DXL Library DXL script routines/algorithms and the DOORS importer.

How has it helped my organization?

It's saved us time, as much as 35% when compared to v9.3.03.

What needs improvement?

None as IBM have left v9.5 as the extant version and now moved it into DOORS Next Generation.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used Rational DOORS since 2009, and v9.56 for 18 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is the most stable platform, and did not crash once unlike v9.3.03 version that we had previously.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We used it on one programme to start with, but when I left the company, we were using it on five separate programmes.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We were using IBM directly, and they were 10/10.

Technical Support:

10/10 - IBM take real pride in their technical support activity with customers.

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

No we didn't, as we were under contract to use DOORS.

How was the initial setup?

It installed really well, and it has a straightforward license key operation.

What about the implementation team?

It was done in-house, but our engineers had guidance and support from IBM, which was excellent.

What was our ROI?

It's massive, as it's a contract requirement. DOORS v9.5 enabled us to satisfy all our customer demands with relative ease. Can't quantify the ROI in financial terms though.

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

DOORS rules are that you have licences per company which give access to the software according to the users who need access at a particular time. Most businesses would probably find it too expensive to have a single licence per every DOORS user.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other solutions were looked at due to contractual requirements.

What other advice do I have?

Use DOORS Next Generation or later versions of DOORS v9.X

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user284166
Requirements Analyst - KSN Site Administrator at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
​It works better if your partners use the same tool, but it ensures full traceability.

What is most valuable?

Traceability VRTMs

How has it helped my organization?

Requirements development, and doing everything from functional requirements to system requirements, means we can verify that there are no orphan or childless requirements, which ensure full traceability in a short amount of time using the available tools.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 8/10. Technical Support: 8/10.

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

No previous solution was used.

How was the initial setup?

What is most valuable?

  • Traceability
  • VRTMs

How has it helped my organization?

Requirements development, and doing everything from functional requirements to system requirements, means we can verify that there are no orphan or childless requirements, which ensure full traceability in a short amount of time using the available tools.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

8/10.

Technical Support:

8/10.

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

No previous solution was used.

How was the initial setup?

It was very straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

It was done in-house.

What other advice do I have?

It's better if your partners use the same tool, which makes for better sharing of files and artefacts.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Nitin Kaushik
Quality Assurance at Varroc Lighting System
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
It provides bi-directional linking between requirements, designs, and test cases, but additional templates and options should be made available for the import and export features.

What is most valuable?

The traceability matrix along with the linking of software design with requirements. We are also using it for test management, so it provides bi-directional linking between requirements, design, and test cases.

How has it helped my organization?

Previously we were not using any requirements management tools, or maintaining different types of requirements (i.e. customer, system, software, test cases) in our process defined templates. It gets a bit tricky for organizations divided over time zones if you're not using any proper management tools like DOORS. It helps us to standardize the way our globally distributed teams are now collaborating and managing the different artifacts.

What needs improvement?

The Import and Export feature. Additional templates and options should be made available, and it should be more intuitive along with giving users more options for control. Also, I believe it should give more options for database support instead of supporting default databases that different companies are using for productions. This would mean users will be at ease if maintaining different databases for different production activities.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working on this for almost three and a half years in parallel to other IBM Rational tools.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were some issues during the import and export using the GUI, and although scripting works well, not all users are accustomed to using DXL scripts.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not really, but sometimes it crashes when running DXL scripts that have a number of errors. In that case it’s not possible to rule out the cause of trouble.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite adaptable to encapsulate the growing needs of organizations in terms of growth, new functionalities, and enhancement.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I have worked in the past with one of IBM Rational DOORS partner companies, so overall they are quite supportive, and at a par depending upon the complexity of the rising issue.

Technical Support:

8.5/10 - sometimes if you forget to mention the level of complexity they become little at ease replying to your mail, but overall it’s good to have this kind of support.

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

No, not any kind of requirements management solution. We were managing requirements in the form of our own Microsoft Word defined templates. Management of requirements for our globally distributed teams in a centralized location was a prime driving force for the change.

How was the initial setup?

It's simple to setup the complete environment. Linking with external applications is also friendly. We are using Rational Directory Server for our user management and Rational Change for change management, so the integration configuration was somewhat easy without much trouble.

What about the implementation team?

We did an In-house deployment and configuration, with own local ICT and Tools and Methodologies engineer.

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

Pricing is on the higher side because of multiple users who want to make use of the great functionality of tools.

Single tool licensing is good, but again it's costly, and with respect to extensions like DWA, DNG, and others, it becomes even more critical for companies who do not have high end budgets.

What other advice do I have?

It’s a good choice to invest money in, and will definitely prove to be value for money, even more if it's not utilized to the best possible extent. Proper planning on board will definitely prove to be beneficial.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Principal Consultant/Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
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.
it_user270897
CTO at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
It's helped us with impact analysis and rich-text editing, but its integration into MS Word could use some improvement.

What is most valuable?

Traceability Audit trail Configuration Management for Requirements

How has it helped my organization?

Doing Impact analysis Producing documents Rich-text editing

What needs improvement?

Integration with MS Word.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for 15 years, and am also using it alongside Rational DOORS Next Generation 6.0.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Replacing a word document is always hard.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: We provide it. Technical Support: It's very good.

Which solution did I

What is most valuable?

  • Traceability
  • Audit trail
  • Configuration Management for Requirements

How has it helped my organization?

  • Doing Impact analysis
  • Producing documents
  • Rich-text editing

What needs improvement?

Integration with MS Word.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for 15 years, and am also using it alongside Rational DOORS Next Generation 6.0.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Replacing a word document is always hard.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We provide it.

Technical Support:

It's very good.

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

I've tried many of them, and found that this one is the best.

How was the initial setup?

It depends on the organizations size and needs.

What about the implementation team?

We are a vendor and implement it for our clients.

What was our ROI?

Things are delivered to the customer on time, with less mistakes and missing features.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are a few other requirements management tools, but none are at this level of solving complex situations.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you know your pains before starting the process.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a business partner of IBM.
ITCS user
Requirements Manager at a aerospace/defense firm with 51-200 employees
Vendor
I have been able to quickly and accurately perform holistic analyses of data, but it's not friendly to new users.

Valuable Features:

It handles large-scale requirements analyses including traceability and impact, but in addition also has its own accessible scripting language, DOORS Extension Language (DXL), which allows users to tailor the tool to suit their more specific needs and processes. Extensions built through DXL have offered a much greater ability to tailor Rational DOORS for a variety of specific processes and needs.

Improvements to My Organization:

I use it to support a variety of customers. Using it, I have been able to quickly and accurately perform holistic analyses of data. I am able to create a traceability and impact analysis report of a set of 20+ documents in minutes, and then use the tool to help verify that the data is accurate.

Room for Improvement:

"Out of the box" Rational DOORS, in most cases, will not have many desired features for specific needs. DXL allows a user to customize it to fit many of those specific needs, but such extensions require lots of training and time. Therefore, while the rooms for improvement can be filled, it requires a trained expert user - or users - to access the full Rational DOORS functionality. It is not friendly to new users, and has a steep learning curve.

Use of Solution:

I’ve used it for one year.

Scalability Issues:

I have not had any performance issues between a Rational DOORS database of 100 requirements vs. one with 10,000+, beyond an expected increase in processing time for dealing with more objects. Even with 100 to 10,000 requirements, processing time for common tasks only goes from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Initial Setup:

In most cases with clients, initial set-up involved importing a document corpus into Rational DOORS, then verifying that it was imported successfully. Regardless of the format of the original documents, I have not had trouble configuring documents then importing them into Rational DOORS, which supports imports of CSV, ReqIF, rich and plain text, FrameMaker files, and several others. Rational DOORS 9.6 also supports importing documents/spreadsheets to update current data.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM Business Partner.
it_user268722
Senior Specialist/Analyst at a aerospace/defense firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Its multi-site exchange and collaboration are somewhat challenging, but it can be tailored to serve any life-cycle process flow.

What is most valuable?

It is process agnostic, i.e. it can be tailored to serve any life-cycle process flow. It also integrates with the largest number of software and systems engineering tools in the marketplace.

How has it helped my organization?

It supports the capture, management and development of requirements, thereby reducing defects at the earliest stage of a project.

What needs improvement?

The underlying database engine is proprietary, therefore integration with other tools can only be achieved via the Rational DOORS DXL API. The newer version, Rational DOORS Next Generation, will fix that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using it at v5.2.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Organizations that do not have a requirements engineering process in place are generally in for a big surprise when they deploy Rational DOORS, since it does not implement any particular process or methodology.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Partitions are one complex feature of Rational DOORS that are not particularly robust and is generally avoided, unless the project database is administered by a very proficient and experienced administrator.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is based on a single, centralized database server, making multi-site exchange and collaboration somewhat challenging.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service suffered everytime Rational DOORS changed its organizational structure (i.e. from QSS to Telelogic to IBM). Also, the quality of service suffered when it was outsourced to India. Since then, however, IBM has improved it considerably.

Technical Support:

Richard Watson's team has provided Rational DOORS technical support from day one. If it could be explained, they would explain it. If it could be fixed, they fixed it.

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

I've not used a previous solution, but today, I'm investigating the Eclipse Requirements Management Framework (RMF) for small entities/teams that cannot afford a power tool like Rational DOORS.

How was the initial setup?

Installation is straightforward. Project start-up can take some time if an organization or project does not have an institutionalized process around which they have tailored DOORS usage. Also, if tailoring requires DXL scripting, the organization or project must have the expertise available. Many projects/organizations stay away from customization for that reason. Using Rational DOORS integrations with other tools can add another layer of complexity.

What about the implementation team?

I have implemented Rational DOORS projects both as an external consultant and as an in-house expert.

What was our ROI?

The best money invested on a project is always on requirements engineering, and an ROI of 10-20:1 is not uncommon.

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

For small teams, node-locked licenses are the least expensive by far. As the project team grows, i.e. 10+, one flex licence per five team members becomes more cost-effective.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Over time, I have tried every other ARM tool out there for various customers and kept going back to Rational DOORS.

What other advice do I have?

If you do not have a resident Rational DOORS expertise, invest some up-front money to secure the assistance of one to help with deployment, tailoring and training,

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