DOORS Next Generation is getting Configuration Management capabilities. This is a huge step for DOORS NG, a requirements management tool. The CM capability is similar to what you might expect for source control, with similar language, like ‘streams’, ‘deliver’, ‘workspace’, and others. I think that we will find that many requirements management users (or Business Analysts) who are unfamiliar with the concepts and terms, and there will be much confusion to resolve. However, the capability will be very much welcomed by the user community who are looking for stronger governance over their Requirements Management process. This is currently Beta code, but available through jazz.net from https://jazz.net/downloads/rational-doors-next-generation/betas/5.0CMBeta1 You can install the full set of DOORS Next Generation, Rational Team Concert and Rational Quality Manager, all with trial licenses (for a slightly bizarre period of 82 days) from that link. All that is needed is a jazz.net account. There are some getting started instructions here.
I did a fresh install of the full suite of tools including the trial licenses on my laptop using the Express setup options. This was remarkably painless, with just a warning that my lowly 3 year old laptop wasn’t truly a supported environment, but I proceeded at risk in spite of this. I followed the instructions to set up the database and again, encountered no issues.
Following the instructions mentioned above, I created a Requirements Management project with CM, and then I got over excited with the options and failed to follow the remainder of the instructions. It all looks interesting, but by that point, I had lost the control and visibility of what I was doing, so I had to refocus.
I created a lifecycle project and then noticed that the RM part of this does not have the Change Management feature, almost certainly a ‘feature’ of it being beta code.
Another new RM project with CM all set up, and then a lifecycle project using this new RM project was my next experiment. This seems to work. I have now played enough that I really don’t want to follow the instructions, but I do have some ideas for my own testing. Linking change requests to CCM work items is possible only after setting up the Friend relationship, but this was simple to do, and enough clues were offered in the error message to make it easy.
Delivering changes from a variant back to the original workstream is not obvious, I was unsure of which direction things were moving and what exactly was being copied over. I don’t think this is a problem with the tool, I think it requires clear thought and a pre-planned procedure to make it reasonable. Merging or delivering changes should never be done in a hurry, or when distracted, this is something to be done with care.
There is real potential here with the option to push common changes to variants from the main stream, or to deliver changes from one variant back to the main stream. The linking of change sets to work items allows for clear tracking of progress. This is only beta code, but it seems robust and promises much. This is a really positive move and I think it could be a deciding factor for some projects to move from DOORS 9.x (or earlier) to DOORS Next Generation.