If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering IBM Rational DOORS, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?
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.
The difficulty with implementing this solution is that you are asking the organization to change its processes. The important part is, however, that you are trying to improve the quality of the systems. You have to maintain the customer's vision and show that the goals will be reached, but done more efficiently. In the end, you have to give the customer every assurance that the work is done in its entirety. This is a solution that I recommend. If people need to write specifications in the context of engineering then I think that this is the best solution on the market. If on the other hand, you want to manage requirements, then I don't think that it is an appropriate tool. Similarly, DOORS is a good tool because you have to maintain compliance with all of the requirements during development. If you have a supplier with no needs or requirements then it is not at all an appropriate tool. Overall, it is a good solution but they need to update the user interface. If they also lower the price then it would be perfect. I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.
What we actually have learned — or even maybe accepted and are comfortable with is now — is that for the user projects work best and most efficiently, it is absolutely nicer to work in a more structured way. This product helps order our projects. Because of what the tool does, we have a way to document the bare base engineering. What we did in the past, before DOORS, we all used Word and maybe Excel in our offices to set up our specifications for the product. In DOORS, we can now work in a different way. There are very nice features that help to structure your documents, to link your documents, and make a different analysis, test your approach and see it better. There were no tools like this in Word and Excel. You also have the possibility to re-use things. It is quite nice to use a tool that allows you to use all your experience from a technical point of view and create the solutions in one data source and one tool and use components you create for various other projects as well. On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate IBM Rational DOORS as an eight-out-of-ten.
I have been using classic DOORS version 18.104.22.168 and I was interested in switching to IBM DOORS Next Generation, but it is not as easy as I thought. The complexity is quite different and it is not very user-friendly. You used to have your own client and database, but now that it is mixed with the web, it doesn't make sense for me to use it. Unfortunately, I think that DOORS was a nice tool and it is a pity that it has been ruined by IBM. The technical support is a mess and it is not the quality from the past. I still really enjoy working with this tool. Even though it has been taken over by IBM, it is something that I have to live with. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
If you have a high number of requirements to manage and if there is a need to sustain these baseline of requirements for a couple of years, it is the right solution for you. However, if you have a small project, it's not mandatory. In the next release of this product I would like to see a better user interface. I would like it to have the capacity to include drawing and to produce KPIs on the requirement baseline. Also, the kind of dashboard is not very convenient. On a scale from 1 to 10, I rate this product a seven.
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.
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.