This glossary provides terms and definitions for IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS (DOORS) software and products.

The following cross-references are used in this glossary:
  • See refers you from a nonpreferred term to the preferred term or from an abbreviation to the spelled-out form.
  • See also refers you to a related or contrasting term.

For other terms and definitions, see the IBM Terminology website (opens in new window).


access control
In computer security, the process of ensuring that users can access only those resources of a computer system for which they are authorized.
access right
A designation of the rights that users have, such as read, modify, create, delete, and admin (RMCDA).
administrator user
A user account that bypasses all access rights checks. This account is used only when absolutely necessary, such as in initial configuration tasks or if no other users can log in.
See application lifecycle management.
An inferior process pattern that teams follow or a design solution that teams commonly make. Antipatterns are used to reinforce better planning and provide a problem solving reference point.
application lifecycle management (ALM)
An iterative and continuous process of coordinating people, processes, and tools in software activities, with the goal of delivering a software project. This process involves planning and change management, requirements definition and management, architecture management, software configuration management, build and deployment automation, application security, and quality management. The features of this process include traceability across lifecycle artifacts, process definition and enactment, and reporting.
A backup copy of a module or project that can be stored on any computer and restored to a database.
An entity that is used or produced by a software development process. Examples of artifacts are models, source files, scripts, and binary executable files. See also baseline, component.
Descriptive information that provides important details about a module, requirement, discussion, or element.
attribute definition
An object that users create to store information in addition to the system attributes where data is stored.
attribute DXL
A scripting language that uses a DXL program to calculate the value of an attribute. One can use this attribute in multiple columns and views.
attribute type
The specification in an attribute definition of the kind of data that can be stored in an instance of an attribute. Examples include simple data types, such as string or number, as well as more complex data types like currency or date.
away database
A database where a partition is imported and viewed or edited before being returned to the home database.


back linking
A process in which two links are used to define a relationship between artifacts in different products. Neither of the products must query for traceability information because that information is provided by a link in each product. See also link discovery.
  1. A read-only copy of a module, which contains the history of the module up to the time the baseline was created.
  2. An uneditable or frozen configuration of one or more components that corresponds to some meaningful state of its artifacts. Baselines are useful for enabling a team to work with a known configuration, or as an initial state for some new stream of work. See also artifact, component.
baseline comparison
A list that displays the differences between any two baselines of the same module, and includes objects that have been modified, added, or deleted.
baseline set
A group of baselines that are treated as a single unit for project planning and management purposes.
base type
A data type that controls the type of data that can be entered into an attribute. For example, an attribute definition that is created using the Date base type can only store date values.
batch mode
A command line option that allows IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS (DOORS) to start up without the graphical user interface (GUI), run a specified DXL program, then stop. The product starts up by surpassing the login screen and the database explorer.


A function or feature that is made available by an application, tool, or product.
See change and configuration management.
In computer security, a digital document that binds a public key to the identity of the certificate owner, thereby enabling the certificate owner to be authenticated. A certificate is issued by a certificate authority and is digitally signed by that authority.
change and configuration management (CCM)
A systematic approach to establish and maintain the consistent performance of a system or product throughout its lifecycle, and to effectively manage changes in that product or system.
change bar
An indicator that displays when an object was last changed.
change proposal system
A system that allows users to review modules and suggest changes to them.
A unit of organization consisting of a reusable set of engineering artifacts. See also artifact.
To hide objects within a data hierarchy. A plus sign is used in a compressed section to indicate that objects are hidden.
The act of hiding child items of a selected object when the outline view is selected.
content link
A simple hypertext link in rich text or graphical artifacts that provides navigation only. See also trace link.
custom user
A user type that has the same permissions of a standard user plus the ability to create projects, archive data, partition data, create groups, create users, or manage the database.


decision checkpoint
In the IBM Integrated Project Development (IPD) project governance methodology, a point at which the team decides whether to commit to further work. Acronym: DCP®. For example, the Plan DCP is the point at which a product team makes plan commitments to the business, including the feature-level requirements to be delivered.
To mark an item to be purged from the database.
A mechanism for reviewers to exchange views about the content of a module or an object, within the module or object itself.
document mode
A default display mode for formal modules. Data is displayed in a table with rows and columns.
DOORS extension language (DXL)
A scripting language used in DOORS.
duplicate set
A set consisting of one primary change proposal and any number of duplicates. In a duplicate set, only the primary change proposal is reviewed and applied.
See DOORS extension language.
DXL library
A library of DXL programs that can be used to manipulate and manage DOORS data. The library includes example programs and templates. User-defined DXL programs can also be stored in the DXL library.


editable section
A section of objects in a module that does not inherit access from the parent and can be locked and edited independently of other objects when the module is opened in shareable edit mode.
electronic signature (ESIG)
A stamp that is added to mail messages, fields, or sections that verifies that the person who originated the message is the author and that no one has tampered with the data.
See electronic signature.
To display information collapsed under a category name or parent document.
external link
A connection from an object to an entity or resource that is outside the DOORS database.


A project, folder, or module that is used frequently and stored in a specific list.
A device or program that separates data, signals, or material in accordance with specified criteria.
A named collection of related modules that can be retrieved, moved, and otherwise manipulated as one entity.
formal module
A module that stores objects and their associated attribute and link information.


graphics mode
An alternative display mode for formal modules. The module structure is displayed as a tree and each object in the module is represented as a box showing a selected attribute.
A logical organization of users whose membership allows them to perform the same activities or provide the same authority to access resources.


An artifact in a module that is automatically numbered and displayed prominently. A best practice is for headings to be their own artifact type.
The recorded changes to modules and objects, which can be viewed on module and object properties sheets.
home database
A database where a partition definition is created. This is the database where the master copy of the data is stored.


impact analysis
The identification of how a change to one item affects other, related items.
The process of passing access rights to a child item from a parent item by default.
inherited value
An attribute value that is inherited from the parent object by a child object.
A link to an object in a module from another object in the same module, or from an object in a different module in the database.
in-place editing
A function in which objects, graphs, or tables can be edited without exiting the currently active application.


In security, a file or a hardware cryptographic card where identities and private keys are stored, for authentication and encryption purposes. Some keystores also contain trusted or public keys.


label specifier type
An enumerated attribute type that the user selects to configure electronic signatures. The enumerated attribute type is comprised of the values from which signatories can choose.
layout DXL
A layout that uses a DXL program to calculate values, which are then shown in a column, typically to construct traceability or impact analysis reports. The DXL program is associated with one column, not with an attribute.
In a database, the successive vertical dependencies in a hierarchical structure.
Lifecycle Query Engine
A component that indexes and searches for assets that are stored in any tool that can support the Tracked Resource Set (TRS) specification.
A bidirectional indication of dependency between two or more requirements in the same module or different modules.
link discovery
A capability that enables external applications that are integrated with DOORS to find OSLC links in DOORS and make them visible in the external applications. See also back linking.
linked data
A method of publishing structured data so that it can be linked to and from other data sets.
A division of information in each module that contains information about the links from one particular module to another.
linkset pairing
A specification for which link module should be used when links are created between certain modules.
links explorer
A capability for visualizing relationships among artifacts and modifying those relationships.


A structured document that is composed of multiple requirement artifacts. Structure can be created in a module by modifying the order and hierarchy of the artifacts.


A self-contained piece of information in a module that can be arranged in a hierarchy and linked to show dependencies.
Open Services
See Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration.
Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (Open Services, OSLC)
An open community that facilitates collaboration and standardization across the software delivery lifecycle by building practical specifications for integrating software.
See Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration.
A method of reducing the amount of text that is displayed in a module so that the module structure can be seen clearly.
A link from an object in a module to another object in the same module, or to an object in a different module in the database.


A set of tasks that a person is allowed to perform.
A replicated part of a home database that contains modules that can be edited or viewed in any DOORS database and then returned to the home database.
partition definition
A specification of the modules to be included in a partition file. It defines the access that is allowed to each module in the partition, and the access that is allowed to the attributes and views in each of those modules.
An organized collection used to group folders or packages. Projects are used for building, version management, sharing, and organizing resources related to a single work effort. See also module.
project manager
A type of DOORS user who can perform a limited set of management tasks.
An item that suggests a change to an object in a module.
To permanently delete an item from a database.


See quality management.
quality management (QM)
A systematic approach to build quality into a solution and assess the quality of deliverables and processes throughout a project lifecycle.


redline markup
A function in DOORS that highlights both inserted and deleted text.
reportable shape
A user-defined set of conditions that defines which attributes and link types are available for use by external reporting tools.
A persistent storage area for data and other application resources.
requirements management (RM)
A systematic approach to eliciting, organizing and documenting the requirements of a system, and establishing and maintaining agreement between the customer and the project team on changes to those requirements.
Requirements Management Rich Text Format (RM-RTF)
The native format of textual requirements in the RM system.
See artifact.
See requirements management.
See Requirements Management Rich Text Format.


scroll preview
A small graphical display of the overall structure of a module, including the current location of the cursor. The scroll preview is displayed when the scroll bar is moved in a module.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
A security protocol that provides communication privacy. With SSL, client/server applications can communicate in a way that is designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, and message forgery.
self host
  1. To use a tool while it is being developed before making that tool generally available to customers. Self hosting a tool is a development best practice because it can promote the improvement of product quality and usability.
  2. A tool that is used while it is still being developed. Teams can use a self host to improve the quality and usability of a tool before it is made generally available to customers.
shareable edit
A method of editing where users can lock different sections in the same module and edit those sections.
smart card
An intelligent token that is embedded with an integrated circuit chip that provides memory capacity and computational capabilities.
See Secure Sockets Layer.
suspect link
An indication of change to an object that is part of the chain of links into or out of the current object.
system attribute
An attribute that is automatically generated when a module or object is created.


See Transport Layer Security.
trace link
A hyperlink that conveys relationships between the artifacts it links, such as dependency, origin, derivation, implementation, or validation. Trace links have link types, which are defined by an Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration specification or by a project. See also content link.
tracked resource set (TRS)
The set of resources in a finite collection of artifacts, expressed as a set of members (a base) and a change log.
Transport Layer Security (TLS)
A set of encryption rules that uses verified certificates and encryption keys to secure communications over the Internet. TLS is an update to the SSL protocol.
See tracked resource set.


To restore an item to the database.


A subset of information that can be displayed by applying filters or sorting.


working set
A user-defined set of conditions that defines which projects, folders, and modules are available for use by external reporting tools.
A context that contains a collection of artifacts that a user with appropriate permission can modify.