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In this paper the data-entity approach for efficient design-time management of run-time data in component-based real-time embedded systems is presented. The approach formalizes the concept of a data entity which enable design-time modeling, management, documentation and analysis of run-time data items. Previous studies on data management for embedded real-time systems show that current data management techniques are not adequate, and therefore impose unnecessary costs and quality problems during system development. It is our conclusion that data management needs to be incorporated as an integral part of the development of the entire system architecture. Therefore, we propose an approach where run-time data is acknowledged as first class objects during development with proper documentation and where properties such as usage, validity and dependency can be modeled. In this way we can increase the knowledge and understanding of the system. The approach also allows analysis of data dependencies, type matching, and redundancy early in the development phase as well as in existing systems.