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Rational DOORS Next Generation Beta 1 is now available for download!

We are very pleased to introduce the first beta of Rational DOORS Next Generation here on This first beta previews the direction that the DOORS product will be moving in the future. If you are currently a DOORS user or you work in an organization where formal requirements engineering is valued and practiced, DOORS Next Generation Beta 1 is for you.

What to expect in Beta 1

Beta 1 is the start of a series of three betas that are planned for the DOORS Next Generation product over the next twelve months before its initial general availability in 2012. This first beta is primarily focused on the server and web client functionality but also offers an early look at the rich client, providing the feel of the classic DOORS interface running against a fully-functioning and modern application server.

In order to work through meaningful scenarios in this beta milestone, mostly you will use the web client. After you set up the server, create a project or two, and investigate the features that DOORS Next Generation Beta 1 web client has to offer, do not hesitate to try the rich client for a peek at what we plan to evolve into an equally powerful DOORS client in future betas. Our vision is to bring all the features to the rich client, with the exception of some of the user and application administration. Although there is a lot to investigate in this beta, we have even more exciting features planned as we roll out additional betas, so check back often for the latest updates.

DOORS and DOORS Next Generation

Before going into the features provided in this beta milestone we’d like to say something about its relationship to the DOORS 9.x product. DOORS Next Generation is not meant to replace the DOORS 9.x products in the short term, but to work along side it. DOORS 9.x has grown up over more than a decade to become the most functional and customizable requirements product on the market. DOORS 9.x users have very large amounts of requirements data and depend on it in mission-critical projects. We plan to continue to support and enhance DOORS 9.x for many years to come. Our vision is that current DOORS customers will begin to investigate DOORS Next Generation and over time begin to use it alongside DOORS 9.x for piloting new projects. One of the focus areas of the first release of DOORS Next Generation is interoperation with DOORS 9.x, and there will be many ways to use these products together. A few of these ways are available even in Beta 1 (see the “Important features…” section below).

We understand the investment that our customers have made in DOORS and we are committed to protecting that investment as we move DOORS into the future.

For more information on the purpose of DOORS Next Generation and how it relates to IBM Rational requirements tools, see the blog post New project at DOORS Next Generation.

Important features to support requirements engineering

So what exciting features are included in DOORS Next Generation Beta 1? Here are just of few of the innovations you will find:

  • Built on the proven Jazz platform. DOORS Next Generation is the first version of DOORS that is built upon the Jazz platform. This means an enterprise-strength application that runs within a WebSphere application server and uses any of the most common commercial databases (DB2, Oracle, or SQL server).  There are a number of enterprise deployment options that the Jazz architecture enables, including the ability to set up separate database and application servers. In the future beta milestones, we also intend to support clustered configurations.
  • Highly capable web client. For the first time in DOORS history, the web client will be on par with the rich client as a requirements authoring tool. All the familiar features of DOORS will be available on the web through a modern, interactive, and responsive web interface. The DOORS Next Generation web client brings DOORS function within the reach of everyone in the enterprise and opens up exciting new collaborative scenarios. The web client will also be the home to the administrative functions of DOORS Next such as management of users, roles and types.
  • A project-wide type system. Another innovation showcased in this first beta is a true type system, which allows for defining attribute types, attributes, and requirement types that can be reused across module boundaries. In addition, DOORS Next Generation modules can contain requirements of multiple diverse types. Link types are also supported, and the flexible query mechanisms of DOORS Next Generation can filter on all the aspects of these new types.
  • Support for structured specifications (modules). A very important feature of DOORS is the ability to structure requirements into hierarchical specifications using modules. DOORS Next Generation Beta 1 includes initial support for creating, editing, and querying requirements within modules. There are also a number of import mechanisms that support bringing external content into modules including document import (Word, OpenDocument Text, and Rich Text), CSV import, and ReqIF import.

  • Requirements reuse. DOORS Next Generation introduces support for reusing requirements across multiple modules. Reused requirements have their own context within the modules in which they are used. This will allow for module-specific links and comments to be made. In Beta 1, changes to reused requirements are reflected immediately in all modules that reuse them (uncontrolled reuse). We expect to introduce reuse policies that can govern the propagation of changes before the final release in 2012.
  • Dashboards, built-in tasks and more. There is so much more to discover and explore in this first beta. Make sure you check out the Jazz-enabled dashboards, the built in task management (including linking and tracing to/from requirements!), database-wide search and query, and the many traceability views. Although this is the first public beta release of DOORS Next Generation, it is built upon both the Jazz and the Rational Requirements Composer technology that has matured over the last several years. This means more features than you might expect in an early preview like Beta 1.
  • Rich client preview. Last, but certainly not least, this beta milestone includes a preview of the rich client functionality. Within the rich client you can browse projects and folders, create and edit modules, and make basic links.  Although still in its early stages, you can get a feel for what this traditional rich client will be like as we work to extend these features in future betas.

How to get started with the beta

It’s easy to get started with DOORS Next Generation Beta 1. Although it works with enterprise databases and web servers, it can be easily installed for evaluation using the included Derby database and Tomcat web server for use with up to 10 users.

Beta 1 can be downloaded from the Rational DOORS Next Generation downloads area.

A Getting Started Guide is also available to lead you through the first steps of installing, configuring, and creating your first project.

Please give us feedback

We would love to hear your feedback on DOORS Next Generation Beta 1.  Please feel free to reach out to our developers and product managers:

Thank you very much.

George DeCandio
IBM Rational Distinguished Engineer, Requirements management

Richard Watson
Senior Product Manager, DOORS & DOORS Next Generation