DOORS 9.6: a review

The classic product line of DOORS has now jumped to new version number with 9.6 released (also DOORS Web Access was upgraded to 9.6). The release information and “What’s new” is available at IBM web page and also there is also an announcement on these releases giving more details.

In this post I will go through the some of new features and some other notes on this release.

Native 64-bit client for Rational DOORS rich client

When installing DOORS client on Windows, you can start the setup.exe either from win32 or from win64 directory. The new 64-bit client should allow more memory to be used by the client, going over the 2 GB limit of 32-bit Windows programs.

Note: before installing DOORS 9.6 you maybe have to update your license file to the 2014 version.

Configurable refresh rate for layout columns in modules

For each layout DXL column in view the column properties allow to set for automatic refresh or to disable automatic refresh. If automatic refresh is set, then the “Refresh Delta” setting probably sets the time period for when to refresh the column contents – maybe? The help files do not describe this functionality at all.


Change bars and link indicators are displayed in modules even if the main column is not displayed

You can now add a change bar column and link indicator column as separate columns without the main column.

For some reason you cannot change the column widths for the change bar and link indicator columns – so on the title bar there is not enough space to display a column title in full.


Finer control on the creation of link suspicion

Link suspicion can now be configured on a module-by-module basis, so that links from modules that you won’t want to be flagged as suspicious can be set to be non-suspicious from that module’s Module properties.


Return to last-opened modules with the previous size and position of windows

DOORS Options can be now set so that DOORS will ask to open those modules which were opened when DOORS client was closed.


By default this setting is on, so DOORS will ask for confirmation to open the last opened modules.


Filter the display of contents in the database explorer

DOORS Database Explorer (the main window) has now the possibility of filtering based on module names or description. Also there is a toolbar with buttons to select which items will be show: projects, folder, formal modules, link modules and so on.


Extended capabilities for ReqIF content migration

The ReqIf integration to other tools (e.g. DOORS Next Generation) has many new features. One addition is e.g. the ability to export defined modules to a compressed file so that all of the XML and OLE data is in one (ZIP) file.


Help files

The main help system in DOORS finally seems to be working. At least I did not succeed in crashing the help in 9.6, which is a welcome change from previous versions. Also the user interface has been changed.


The help contents leave something to desire as I did not find any “help” for some of the new features and settings in version 9.6.

Note: with DOORS 9.6. there is again no “old style” Windows CHM help available for DXL, as there was for some of the updates to DOORS 9.5. And the DXL Reference Manual PDF started from Help-menu is for version 9.5. So if you have in your current DOORS installation a working CHM DXL Help and you are happy with that, copy that to a safe location before updating to 9.6.


I think this is an excellent new release. After short session with 9.6 I am really pleased with the new settings on views and the working Help.


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