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A design data management system bridges the gap between design tools and database systems, creating an integrated tool environment. Although design databases have long been of interest, they have been largely ignored within the context of the new tools. Our purpose is to describe what design data management is and how it can integrate design tools. Our discussion focuses on unique data management requirements of design systems and conventional database facilities and their shortcomings for supporting design data. We also present the architecture of a prototype design management system in which designs are organized into a richly interconnected data structure, using an object data model. The structures of that system's storage, recovery, concurrency control, and design validation subsystems are also described as is a "browser" for interactively viewing design data.