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The conceptual design of the data handling system for the Compact Ignition Tokamak (CIT) takes advantage of the recent and upcoming advances in the technologies of database management systems, workstations, networking, and front‐end processing. The software configuration of a diagnostic’s front‐end signal conditioning, data acquisition, and data reduction by means of filling in tables and specifying ‘‘objects’’ for the data transformations will provide a more powerful tool for efficient application ‘‘programming.’’ The maintenance of an audit trail of chains of transformations (input data and processes) will permit identification and recalculation of results which are affected by modifications of calibrations and processing.