DOORS View – number of columns limitation

Using Rational Publishing Engine a DOORS user can generate a report from a specific view. In this way the user select what data needs on DOORS side, and use a standard RPE template (a simple table) to export data from that specific view.

Yesterday I was trying to find something related to DOORS columns creation on DOORS developerWorks forum, and reading a post I have found a limitation regarding the numbers of columns that can be added simultaneous into a DOORS view. (

When the user tries to add more than 32 columns into a DOORS view, a DXL error occurs. This is a DOORS limitations and it is still occurs in the latest DOORS version.
Having this in mind and some knowledge about how the DOORS driver was implemented I figure out that this DOORS limitation will determine a limitation in RPE also.

When this limitation can occur?

When a user wants to extract data from a DOORS data source, and he use in his template Layout DXL attributes. [A Layout DXL attribute is a special attribute from the DOORS schema used by the DOORS driver to extract the content of a specific column from a Formal Module. In this way the user can import columns from different modules into the final document. The Layout DXL attributes can be added to the DOORS schema by using the Schema Discovery process].

How it works?

For each Layout DXL attribute a new column is added to the configuration view. That configuration view is the view selected in the configuration process. Default this view is Standard view. But in some cases the user wants to extract data from a different view, so a specific view will be selected. This is actually our case, were our problem can occur.

Let’s say that the user wants to extract data from a view with 30 columns. No problem till now. But the user wants also to display into the final document 5 Layout DXL attributes. Each attribute represents a different column from a different view. In this case a DXL Error occurs and the generation fails.

Why the error occurs?

When the DOORS Driver tries to generate the requested data, as I mention before, for each Layout DXL attribute, a new DOORS column is added to the configuration view. The problem is that in DOORS is that limitation regarding the numbers of columns that can be added to a view (32 columns), and in our case we have 30 initial columns and want to add 5 more.  When 3’rd column is added to the view, the DXL error occurs.

Best practice

If the user wants to use Layout DXL attributes in his template, it’s recommended if it’s possible to use the Standard view when he configures the DOORS data source. This view has only 2 columns, and in this way the user can display more than 30 Layout DXL attributes into the final document.

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