I was at UK IBM Innovate last week and one very interesting presentation was from Jeremy Dick of Integrate. Jeremy highlighted some of the key differences between DOORS Classic and DOORS Next Generation. I will draw from that discussion here, but also add my own commentary.
The user experience is very different, with DOORS Next being a web browser based UI. DOORS Classic has always been a power user’s tool, and has an interface that is a little intimidating to novice users. DOORS Next has an interface that is seamlessly integrated to the other IBM jazz tools and moving from DNG to Team Concert or Quality Manager and back again is hardly noticeable. A zero footprint install (assuming a browser is already present) is also quite a significant advantage, and those who have experienced DOORS Web Access should be prepared for a whole new experience, as the DOORS Next web client is a fully functional client.
There are some significant benefits of moving to DOORS Next. The underlying database is structured differently and allows us to structure our information model differently. Each Object from DOORS Classic, is now an artifact, and lives in the database in a folder. Each artifact can be assigned to any number of modules, giving true reuse. Each artifact is also of a particular type, and the type holds the definition of which attributes exist. So a requirement can be defined with different attributes from a risk, or a usability requirement can be defined as having different attributes from a power requirement. This addresses a criticism that I have heard leveled at DOORS Classic many times over the years of having requirement types.
I will explore these ideas further in future entries. Understanding the underlying database concepts are important for serious users of a requirements management tool; DOORS users will have to adjust to the new structures of DOORS Next, but there are real benefits here. One of the issues associated with the change is that of migration from Classic to DNG, I will take a look at that topic in detail as well in the coming months.