DOORS challenges with linking due to Internet Explorer 11

By Robert Baillargeon | 15/06/2021 | Reading time: 4 min

Using OSLC to extend the connectivity of DOORS has been a significant benefit to our community. Many DOORS teams have invested heavily in the platform (often for over a decade) with their requirements, processes, and even DXL scripts.

In order to preserve this investment, yet bring the benefits of today’s standards, new capabilities have been added to DOORS such as an OSLC interface.

Upgrading old technology to meet today’s needs is a noble endeavor. However, it is not without its limitations and constraints. As we have helped our customers navigate through these, we have seen firsthand the issues that some of our DOORS users have experienced with OSLC connectivity (with our OSLC Connect for Jira and other OSLC Applications), and we want to explain the challenge.

The challenge: the embedded web browser

To perform OSLC operations, you must have a web browser. The DOORS Client is not a native browser application, it embeds a web browser to provide this critical functionality. Here is where the issue presents itself.

The embedded web browser for the DOORS Classic client is Internet Explorer 11.

Why is using DOORS Classic with Internet Explorer 11 a challenge?

Why is this a problem? The problem is based on the lack of growth of IE 11.

While Firefox, Chrome, and Edge continue to grow in features and security, IE 11 has not (and will not with the announced end-of-life). Not surprisingly, web-based applications are dropping support for IE 11 due to behavior and security issues.

While security is a concern, the most visible user issue in this incompatibility is JavaScript errors. A user will experience a halting of a web page loading and a notification of a script error.

DOORS Challenges with Linking due to Internet Explorer 11

When these script errors occur, the requested webpage will not be loaded. If a script error occurs on the remote application login page, all application access from the DOORS Client is broken. These broken features include link previews, link creation, and all OSLC Administration, including Friending and Project Associations.

Effectively it can disable OSLC communication with Applications no longer supporting IE 11 (most applications).

Will this affect my team using Jira and DOORS Classic?

The answer is maybe. Officially Atlassian has stopped support of IE 11 back in the 8.5 release, but this has not been a breaking change for most users.

The "maybe" is because users can customize their Jira login or install a Jira plugin with incompatibility with IE 11. So while the base Jira version may work, their instance has been customized to be no longer compatible with IE 11.

What is the solution?

We suggest the following tactics to manage your exposure to the issue:

  • Manage your upgrade cycles. If your DOORS Classic with Jira is already working, keep your environment stable. Always verify your upgrades to Jira and Jira plugins in a sandbox before deploying to production. You can manage your current working state until the issue has been addressed.
  • Look for updates from IBM. The DOORS Classic platform needs to change the embedded browser to be compatible with modern security needs. Check with IBM when they will make this change, and be ready to upgrade your clients when it happens.
  • Explore moving to DOORS Next Generation. As a fully web-based application, DOORS Next supports current browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Edge) compatible with other OSLC-compliant tools such as Atlassian Jira. In addition, you get great Global Configuration support and a fully web-based experience.
If you have any questions about your specific situation or how to get started with IBM DOORS and Jira, please reach out to our team. 

Robert Baillargeon

Robert Baillargeon is the Chief Product Officer at SodiusWillert. Before his role at SodiusWillert, Robert has led engineering and research teams developing systems and deploying tools in the Automotive industry. Robert is a provisional ASPICE assessor and has a Masters of Science degree in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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