Embracing the Evolution: Module Baselines in IBM DOORS Next with pure::variants

Managing complex product lines and systems development requires robust tools that can handle intricate configurations and change management. IBM’s Rational DOORS has been a cornerstone in requirements management for industries such as aerospace, defense, and automotive, where precision and traceability are paramount. 

The Legacy: IBM DOORS Classic 

IBM DOORS Classic has a long-standing reputation for providing comprehensive support for baselines at the module level. Organizations have been relying on it for over two decades to manage complex systems and product development. DOORS Classic allows users to create baseline sets, which are collections of module-specific baselines, each with its version number, suffix, and description. This feature is essential for maintaining historical records of requirements and understanding the evolution of a system or product over time. 

Transitioning to IBM DOORS Next Generation 

On the flip side, IBM DOORS Next (DNG) represents a leap forward, embracing web-based architecture and collaborative platforms that align with contemporary development methodologies. DNG is part of the Jazz Platform, which supports planning, build management, test case design, and more, promoting a more integrated approach to requirements management. 

Handling of Baselines in DOORS Classic 

In DOORS Classic, baselines are a fundamental feature that allows users to capture the state of requirements at a particular point in time. Here’s how baselines work in DOORS Classic: 

Module-Level Baselines: Baselines in DOORS Classic are created at the module level. A module in DOORS Classic is essentially a document or container for requirements. 

Baseline Sets: Users can create sets of baselines, which allow for the grouping of related module baselines. This is useful when you want to capture the state of multiple related modules at a specific point in their lifecycle. 

Snapshot Functionality: Creating a baseline in DOORS Classic is akin to taking a snapshot of a module’s contents and its configuration, including all the requirements, attributes, and links at that moment in time. 

Immutable Records: Once a baseline is created in DOORS Classic, it becomes an immutable record. It cannot be changed, ensuring that the captured state of the module remains intact and can be referred to or restored at any time. 

Handling of Baselines in DOORS Next  

The New Approach to Baselines 

In DOORS Next, baselines are handled differently compared to DOORS Classic. They are created per component, or project area as a Global Configuration, representing an immutable snapshot of a component’s or set of components configuration at a specific moment. This change offers a different set of advantages and challenges. While it promotes flexibility and scalability, those accustomed to the module-level baseline management in DOORS Classic may find this shift requires adaptation. 

IBM DOORS Next (DNG), part of the IBM Engineering Requirements Management solution, offers a different approach to baselines: 

Component or Project-Level Baselines: Unlike DOORS Classic, DNG handles baselines at the component or project level. A project in DNG can contain multiple components encapsulated in one to many DOORS Next project areas, and each component can be thought of as a collection of related artifacts. 

Immutable Object: In DNG, a baseline is an unchangeable object that represents the configuration of all the artifacts within a component or set of components at a specific point in time. 

Project Area: Baselines can also be created for a whole project area, capturing the state of all components within that project area. 

Bridging the Gap with pure::variants 

The introduction of pure::variants into the mix provides a solution that bridges the gap between DOORS Classic and DNG. By integrating pure::variants with DOORS Next, teams can now achieve module-level baselines similar to what they were accustomed to with DOORS Classic. 

pure::variants Integration with DOORS Next 

pure::variants enhances the capabilities of IBM DOORS Next (DNG) by providing the ability to manage module baselines for individual artifacts within DNG, which is a feature that was available in IBM DOORS Classic but not in DNG by default. Here’s how pure::variants achieves this: 

Using pure::variants, you can create a variant management layer on top of DNG. This layer allows for the definition of features and configurations that map to specific modules or sets of artifacts within DNG. 

In pure::variants, you can link individual artifacts or modules within DNG to specific features or feature combinations. This way, when a certain feature configuration (i.e., a “variant”) is selected, only the artifacts linked to the selected features are considered. 

When you create a new product configuration in pure::variants, the tool generates a snapshot of all the artifacts that are included in the configuration. This snapshot can be considered as a module baseline, representing the state of a module at a specific point in time for a particular product variant. 

As you generate these baselines, pure::variants ensures that the integrity of the module is preserved, meaning that the relationships and dependencies between artifacts are maintained. This is critical for ensuring that the baselined module is a true representation of the product configuration. 

DNG supports the concept of global configurations, which are essentially collections of versioned artifacts that represent a complete system. pure::variants can interact with these global configurations to define which module versions are included in a given baseline, effectively allowing for module-level baselining within the broader scope of a project or component. 

Through automation capabilities, pure::variants can automatically generate baselines based on predefined rules or triggers. This automation can be configured to create new module baselines in DNG whenever certain criteria are met, such as the completion of a development phase or upon request for a specific variant. 

By using pure::variants in conjunction with DNG, organizations can mirror the granularity of module-level baselining that they were accustomed to in DOORS Classic. This integration allows teams to continue to manage variants effectively while also taking advantage of the modern features and collaborative environment provided by DNG 


The evolution from IBM DOORS Classic to IBM DOORS Next Generation represents a significant shift in how organizations manage their requirements and baselines. The integration of pure::variants with DOORS Next provides a seamless way to enjoy the benefits of modern, web-based requirements management without losing the valuable baseline management features of DOORS Classic.  

By: Peter Luckey | SPC5, CSM, SA | Senior Solutions Consultant | 321 Gang
& George Liburd | Senior Solutions Consultant | 321 Gang


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