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Project Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Complex, slow, difficult to manage but has a good inbuilt view
Pros and Cons
  • "We have different generations of all products. It lets us select and see unique attributes for each release or generation. You can use attributes to define a selection area to see which equipments are for the old versions and which ones are for the new versions. This inbuilt view is what I like in IBM Rational DOORS. So, for a database and a set of requirements, it will select and show unique attributes for a release or a generation."
  • "Complexity, performance, openness are the three areas that can be improved. The IBM architecture and specifically Jazz looks more complex. There are a lot of servers. It's quite complicated. The search capabilities lack in IBM Rational DOORS Classic for customers who have a database with a requirement of more than 25,000 records. For example, you can search easily for a module, but it's really difficult to look for keywords through the whole database because all the modules are separated into small components, which makes the search quite complex. This is something that's really annoying because when we want to make an impact analysis, we would like to analyze the product globally. It's quite difficult to manage. The fact that you can interact externally with data makes it complex. The approach is complex and doesn't work as expected. For example, when I tried to experiment with exporting some records, the tool crashed, but I couldn't find out the root cause, that is, whether it happened because of Rational Windows or lack of memory. It was just crashing. Logs weren't very clear. IBM can try to use more recent technology for different aspects and make it easy. They can also provide free integration from DOORS Classic to DOORS. Currently, all the customization in Excel is lost, which makes it very complex. It would be a feature to make new versions compatible with features in the past versions."

What is most valuable?

We have different generations of all products. It lets us select and see unique attributes for each release or generation. You can use attributes to define a selection area to see which equipments are for the old versions and which ones are for the new versions. This inbuilt view is what I like in IBM Rational DOORS. So, for a database and a set of requirements, it will select and show unique attributes for a release or a generation.

What needs improvement?

Complexity, performance, openness are the three areas that can be improved. The IBM architecture and specifically Jazz looks more complex. There are a lot of servers. It's quite complicated. 

The search capabilities lack in IBM Rational DOORS Classic for customers who have a database with a requirement of more than 25,000 records. For example, you can search easily for a module, but it's really difficult to look for keywords through the whole database because all the modules are separated into small components, which makes the search quite complex. This is something that's really annoying because when we want to make an impact analysis, we would like to analyze the product globally.

It's quite difficult to manage. The fact that you can interact externally with data makes it complex. The approach is complex and doesn't work as expected. For example, when I tried to experiment with exporting some records, the tool crashed, but I couldn't find out the root cause, that is, whether it happened because of Rational Windows or lack of memory. It was just crashing. Logs weren't very clear. 

IBM can try to use more recent technology for different aspects and make it easy. They can also provide free integration from DOORS Classic to DOORS. Currently, all the customization in Excel is lost, which makes it very complex. It would be a feature to make new versions compatible with features in the past versions.

For how long have I used the solution?

Actively, I would say three years and non-actively, maybe five years. I was working in the QA department, and I was reviewing and validating the main equipment with IBM Rational DOORS. So, I know the tool, but it took a bit longer before I start to work much more actively with IBM Rational DOORS.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We discovered some tech stability issues with IBM Rational DOORS Classic and did not convert to IBM. I'm not really convinced about the solution. Basically, IBM doesn't really support or doesn't want to improve IBM Rational DOORS Classic anymore. However, there are still a lot of customers who have been using this solution for years, some of them even for 13 years or so. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm not sure about the support for other solutions, but the problem is that they don't really want to invest any more in IBM Rational DOORS classic. It's quite easy for a technical person to customize and do benchmarking to identify the root cause and proposed solution, but I think that IBM is not going in that direction. So, I'm not really happy. 

They are quick at replying for sure. However, I'm not really convinced about the solution, so I would expect to have a technical person who is experienced and find solutions. 

When I discovered and reported a performance issue, I got a reply that it is a well-known problem. I never saw that issue in the report. It looks like some of the bug information is not accessible to everybody.

How was the initial setup?

I managed to install it without any serious or issues, so it was quite okay. I had a lot of exceptions at different moments, but I managed to find solutions on the web. 

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

IBM is a bit too expensive in terms of pricing. Customers are paying a lot for the license, and the price is quite high for this kind of environment. It is quite high as compared to what we can get today with other solutions. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am validating this solution. I still have a lot of solutions that look promising, such as Jama and Polarion. 

I'm more concerned about the effort to extract the system and to train people. In the world of requirement management, usability is really important from a UAT factor. Some other solutions have a better user interface, and they are easier to understand than IBM Rational DOORS in general. Even though I have experience in IBM Rational DOORS and I'm quite familiar with DOORS concepts, I find other solutions, such as Jama or Polarion, easier to use.

What other advice do I have?

Our requirement is not for a huge database, just around 30,000 records. It's a shame that IBM Rational DOORS Classic is so slow in accessing such a small number of records. It's really new to the data architecture approach from the past, that is, from Telelogic.

In the new version, they no longer support Excel. So, we have to redo the whole configuration of the project, which takes a lot of time and energy. When I look at other solutions based on the results of the benchmark analysis, they look easier to work or install.

I'm also looking into the capability to export, and I got several issues with IBM, especially with the OSAC interface. There are some questions on the IBM website to assess whether it will really work or whether it is a limitation. Because it is not a well-defined limitation, you have to try. When you try and spend a lot of time and energy and do extra work, you find the limitations in what you can do, which makes it very slow.

In the past, IBM Rational DOORS was the best solution for me because it was the only one but today, people are not really attached to IBM Rational DOOR. They have to use it, but I'm not convinced that they're really attached to it.

I would rate this solution a five out of ten. It is complex, doesn't work as expected, and isn't easy to illustrate. I would expect IBM to have something better prepared, better integrated, and more compatible with I could do in the past.

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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