Requirements management is a critical component in the execution of complex engineering projects. Numerous tools are available to streamline this process, among which Valispace and IBM DOORS stand out. Each comes with unique strengths and feature sets catering to different needs.
This article offers a technical comparison between Valispace and IBM DOORS, making your decision-making process easier.
Valispace is a browser-based software tool designed to facilitate hardware engineering projects across diverse industries, such as aerospace, defense, automotive, and robotics. It’s characterized by its capability to manage, develop, and track project data collaboratively in real time.
One unique feature in the tool is the possibility to use an AI assistant (ValiAssisant) that will help you in your requirements engineering, by assisting you in generating requirements from scratch, breaking them down into lower-level ones or even find inconsistencies among them.
Another standout feature of Valispace is its ability to perform cross-disciplinary calculations, thereby minimizing errors and enhancing efficiency.
IBM DOORS (Dynamic Object-Oriented Requirements System) is a well-established requirements management tool in the field, utilized across various industries. Its forte lies in handling large volumes of requirements and maintaining traceability. DOORS offers flexible customization and scalability options, making it a good choice for large, complex projects.
In-Depth Look at Requirements Management
Valispace integrates its requirements management system within its system engineering approach. The software enables engineers to link requirements to corresponding components or system data directly. This association allows real-time parameter calculation and automatically propagates changes through the system, significantly reducing information discrepancies.
From a technical perspective, Valispace’s use of a parametric format for writing requirements allows them to be automatically linked to underlying components. Also, one of the standout features in Valispace is the ValiAssistant.
Powered by Open AI’s ChatGPT, the AI assistant can help engineers in generating requirements and also in improving and breaking them down based on certain standards like INCOSE. This will help engineers get started and save precious time that can be used in other tasks.
IBM DOORS has a robust requirements management system that can handle large amounts of data. It provides strong traceability features, including a traceability matrix that visualizes the relationships between various project elements, which is crucial for impact analysis.
Moreover, it’s capable of managing user permissions at a granular level, maintaining security and control over the requirements management process.
Collaboration and Integration
Valispace’s interface promotes real-time collaboration with an efficient notification system and a robust commenting feature for facilitating project-level discussions. Tasks and timelines are also some features present in the tool to ensure full collaboration and traceability.
Its integration capabilities extend to tools like MATLAB, Excel, and JIRA, and it supports exporting data in multiple formats like PDF and Excel. Valispace also offers a REST API for custom integrations, providing JSON formatted responses for easy data parsing and manipulation.
IBM DOORS supports multi-user collaboration and maintains an audit trail of changes, ensuring team alignment. It offers integration with other IBM solutions like IBM Rational Quality Manager and IBM Rational Team Concert, fostering a more unified and comprehensive project management environment.
DOORS supports import and export in various formats and offers a DXL (DOORS eXtension Language) scripting language for customization and automation of tasks, which can be a powerful tool for advanced users.
Leveraging IBM DOORS and Valispace for Optimal Engineering Efficiency
Although IBM DOORS and Valispace cater to different aspects of engineering management, they can be harmoniously utilized to form a comprehensive solution.
Valispace could be the go-to tool for detailed system engineering calculations and real-time parameter updates. Its unique capacity to link parameters directly to requirements, ensuring automatic updates with any changes, serves to streamline the technical aspects of a project and reduce errors.
IBM DOORS, renowned for its robust handling of large volumes of requirements, could be leveraged for managing the broader project scope. Its strong traceability features, versioning, and baselining capabilities could provide a high level of control over the project’s evolution.
A data synchronization process would need to be established to integrate these systems. Depending on the team’s capabilities, this could involve manual importing and exporting of data or the use of APIs for automated data transfer.
Combining these tools requires careful management to maintain data consistency. However, doing so allows engineers to benefit from the unique strengths of each tool, providing an all-rounded solution for managing the complex demands of modern engineering projects.
Choosing between Valispace and IBM DOORS boils down to the specific needs of your project. For modern engineering teams focused on intricate hardware systems where real-time engineering data and cross-disciplinary calculations are vital, Valispace may offer more advantages. For larger projects involving substantial requirements data, IBM DOORS could be another choice.
The best tool will depend on the specific structure of your team, the nature of your projects, and your unique workflow requirements. Both Valispace and IBM DOORS provide robust features that can significantly enhance the efficiency and success of your engineering projects.