Standard links, external links, and collaboration links

Use links to associate requirements with other requirements in IBM® Rational® DOORS®, and with resources outside of Rational DOORS.

Standard links associate requirements in the same database with one another. External links associate requirements in a Rational DOORS database with an entity or resource that is outside the current Rational DOORS database. Collaboration links associate requirements with artifacts in the Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) and other lifecycle applications.

For information about links, see this video on YouTube: IBM Rational DOORS - Linking and traceability.

Standard links

Standard links in Rational DOORS link requirements in the same database. Links give you traceability in both directions.
  • You can check that your product or service satisfies all the user requirements, and check what features are being developed for each user requirement.
  • You can use Rational DOORS functions to trace the impact of a change at any stage in the development to a single requirement.

For example, the engineering department tells you that they cannot deliver the solar-powered battery you were expecting. You can trace the links from the battery object back to the requirements that depend on it. You can trace the links forward to the other features that depend on having a solar-powered battery. You can quickly see the full impact of not having a solar-powered battery. You can make an informed decision about whether to use a conventional battery, or whether to invest more to deliver a solar-powered battery.

External links

You use external links to create a link from a Rational DOORS object to an entity or resource that is outside the current Rational DOORS database. For example, you might create an external link to a website, or to a different Rational DOORS database. External links can be marked as URLs. Where an external link is a URL, it is treated like a hyperlink and is opened by the default browser.

An external link is a one-way link to the resource it references. No corresponding link is created in the resource. You can create a link in the resource back to the Rational DOORS object by inserting the Rational DOORS URL in the resource.

For information about Rational DOORS URLs, see Rational DOORS URLs.

Collaboration links

You create collaboration links from a Rational DOORS object to artifacts in change management, quality management, requirements management, and design management applications in the Rational solution for CLM and other lifecycle applications. The integration to these applications must be configured using OSLC data sharing, as described in Integrating requirements data with other data types using OSLC.

The following link types are used for collaboration links:
  • Implemented by links

    These are links between objects in Rational DOORS and artifacts in Change Management applications, such as IBM Rational Team Concert™.

  • Validated by links

    These are links between objects in Rational DOORS and artifacts in Quality Management applications, such as IBM Rational Quality Manager.

  • References links

    These are links between objects in Rational DOORS and artifacts in Requirements Management applications, such as IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation.

  • Refines, Satisfies, Trace links

    These are links between objects in Rational DOORS and models and resources in design management applications.

When you place your cursor over a collaboration link, a preview window is displayed showing a summary of the artifact.

Link arrows

Objects that have standard links or external links have link arrows in the main column.
  • Out-links have red link arrows out-link indicator
  • In-links have yellow link arrows in-link indicator

Some module baselines might display link arrows that have a colored outline with a hollow center:out-link indicator with red outline and hollow center in-link indicator with yellow outline and hollow center. These arrows signify links to and from modules that are not in the same baseline set definition. For information about baseline set definitions, see Baseline set definitions and baseline sets.

Note: Baselines do not include collaboration links to Rational DOORS objects if the links were created and stored only in an external application. For example, IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation and IBM Rational Design Management use link discovery. Links to Rational DOORS are stored only in the application that contains the link source and therefore are not included in baselines of Rational DOORS modules.

Link arrows can be switched off. If you cannot see any link arrows, click View > Show > Link Arrows.

When you place your cursor over the link arrow, you can see more information about the link. Only information about objects that you have read access to is displayed.
Tip: If you are running Rational DOORS with Rational DOORS Web Access, and your system is set up to use OSLC, you can configure your system to display a preview window that shows a summary of the linked object, similar to the preview window that is displayed for collaboration links. For information, see Integrating requirements data with other data types using OSLC.
Right-click the link arrow to shows the names of the modules that contain the objects at the other end of the links.
  • If the module that contains the links is not open n: <unloaded> is displayed, where n is the object number.
  • If the object has external links, they are listed in alphabetic order in the External Links submenu.
  • If you roll over the External Links menu item, the description of each external link is displayed. External links are displayed in alphabetic order. If the external link is to a server that has been set up using the Rational solution for CLM, a preview window is displayed showing a summary of the external link.
To follow a link, select it from the list:
  • If the link is to a Rational DOORS object, the linked object is selected. If the module that contains the object is not open, it is opened.
  • If the link is an external link and the external link is a URL, the linked resource is opened by your default browser.
  • If the external link is not a URL it cannot be opened, and a message is displayed.
Note: A Microsoft rich edit control limitation means that double-byte characters are not automatically highlighted when they are part of a URL. This limitation affects external links in Rational DOORS. If the URL for an external link contains double-byte characters, it cannot be followed by clicking the external link. You can copy and paste the URL into a browser window.

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