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Rational DOORS Next Generation

Requirements engineering for complex systems

Rational requirements management tools

IBM Rational DOORS
IBM Rational Requirements Composer
Rational DOORS Next Generation
IBM Rational RequisitePro

Every project or program exists to change the world in some way: a new product, an updated application, a change in a business process. Requirements are the bridge between the reasons for the project or program and the project team's deliverables.

Teams employ widely differing approaches to requirements, often for good reason. An effective requirements process fits well within a larger project methodology. The process should involve the minimum work and organizational overheads necessary to achieve the desired business outcomes. The degree of investment needed increases with the size of the team, degree of ambiguity in the problem space, complexity of the solution, the cost of failure, the constraints of the operative compliance regime, and other scaling factors. For example, the amount of effort a team needs to put into defining and managing good requirements when adding a menu item to an existing corporate web application is considerably less than if that team is creating a whole new application.

Requirements effort

Similarly, the requirements effort needed to implement an IT application is typically a lot less than when building a product consisting of mechanical, electrical/electronic and embedded software, especially when they interact with each other and external systems in a “system of systems.” Additionally, more effort in managing requirements is appropriate when the cost of failure would be high; for example harm to people or the environment, large costs to fix the failure in the field, significant financial penalties for late delivery, or significant reputational risk.

The IBM Rational requirements tools are designed to support these various requirements processes that project teams follow and the resulting capabilities they need in their requirements tools.

IBM Rational DOORS

Rational DOORS organizes information into modules, a structured collection of information that typically makes up a specification or document. The requirements in one specification are related to the corresponding requirements in another. For example, features in a System Requirements Specification are traced to the high level requirements they satisfy in a Business Requirements Document. “Traceability” is the automation of these relationships; it makes possible important kinds of analysis -- including coverage and impact analysis -- that have direct bearing on the quality of the deliverables and the ability of the project team to manage the myriad dependencies as requirements change and hand-offs occur through the project lifecycle.

DOORS provides an exceptionally rich language for customizing and automating a requirements system, and a wide variety of integrations are available that enable users of other tools to make use of the requirements, including tools for design, simulation, development, quality management, and product line management. DOORS is a key part of the IBM Rational solution for systems and software engineering, which includes product development capabilities provided by Rational Team Concert, Rational Quality Manager, Rational Rhapsody, and other Rational products.

Most often DOORS is used in projects of high complexity or high compliance to manage project scope in requirements specifications, handle the traceability and reporting needed to prove that requirements have been verified by appropriate tests, and provide a system of record for compliance audits.

IBM Rational Requirements Composer

Many teams developing IT applications are seeking to become “more agile” while increasing the effectiveness of their requirements process. This can include reducing the degree to which detailed requirements are completed in the early phases of the project and instead improving collaboration with customers, stakeholders and within the project team. Having “just in time” conversations in each project iteration to flesh out the details of a high level requirement enables the team to take advantage of new insight gained as the project progresses and avoid the schedule delays and false precision of much the requirements detail specified before enough learning takes place. IBM Rational offers best practices as part of Agility@Scale and Disciplined Agile Delivery.

An important part of effective collaboration is taking advantage of multiple ways of expressing information. Visual notations are becoming increasingly widespread as a supplement to textual requirements.

Rational DOORS Next Generation

The Rational DOORS Next Generation project at Jazz.net is an initiative to develop a “Next Generation” DOORS that offers improved tools and processes for requirements management in complex systems and software engineering environments. We aspire to help engineers work more effectively across disciplines, time zones, and supply chains to achieve better project outcomes.

DOORS Next Generation builds on the requirements management capabilities developed as part of Collaborative Lifecycle Management (in the Jazz RM application), and extends them to support the capabilities and processes needed for large-scale systems and software engineering. DOORS Next Generation is being developed using a transparent commercial development process at Jazz.net. After a year of mulitple beta releases, the first production-ready release is V4.0.1.

DOORS Next Generation shares the RM application and web client with Requirements Composer. DOORS Next Generation includes all capabilities of Requirements Composer and also includes an optional rich client that is inspired by DOORS 9. Requirements Composer continues to offer a web client only.

DOORS and Requirements Composer bring different core strengths to requirements definition activities. Requirements Composer offers more ways to express requirements information visually and supports the evolution of requirements information from informal and disorganized to formal and actionable. DOORS offers unparalleled support for managing complexity through its approach to creating specifications in modules of information. DOORS Next Generation embraces both heritages. You can learn more about the relationship of DOORS and DOORS Next Generation.

This first release or DOORS Next Generation is for teams not served by DOORS 9.

  • Teams currently using documents and spreadsheets for requirements who are seeking more effective requirements management
  • Teams seeking a less formal, lighter-weight requirements process than those typically implemented with DOORS
  • Teams seeking a web-based requirements tool (with optional local rich client)
  • Teams seeking a single-server solution for multi-disciplinary product development teams (requirements, design, development, test)

It does not include all capabilities of DOORS 9, and we are not recommending migration from DOORS 9 to DOORS NG 4.0.1. Interoperability and information reuse scenarios are supported.

IBM Rational RequisitePro

RequisitePro is most commonly used in use case driven development. It is attractive to teams in which the business analysts prefer to work in Microsoft® Word, since Word can act as the “user interface” for the requirements in the RequisitePro database.

Requirements Composer, the “next generation RequisitePro,” is the product in which we are delivering major new innovations for customers who traditionally have used RequisitePro. You can read more in this RRC blog post and this RRC data sheet. Rational RequisitePro remains available for sale, and we anticipate continued support and maintenance for many years.