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The Development of smart grids offers new opportunities to improve the efficiency of operating and controlling distribution systems. It allows network operators to optimize the use of dispersed generation resources and enables real-time communication between customers and utility service providers to allow optimization and balancing of energy usage. Such an improvement in the flexibility and control of the distribution network is only possible if the control center operator has more accurate knowledge of the real-time situation of the network. The Korean Smart Distribution Management System (KSDMS) project was started in 2009 to achieve advanced distribution operation for potential smart grid systems in Korea. In this paper, we summarize two KSDMS design strategies for situational awareness in real-time distribution operation. One is the preparation of standardized data acquisition networks. In the KSDMS, numerous data related to the voltage, current, faults, power quality and load profiles of the network are gathered using a standardized communication method based on IEC 61850. The other is a real-time security analysis tools for smart distribution systems, designed to provide the distribution operator with accurate real-time situational information and predictive operation. We present a database design which can be used commonly for all security analysis programs in KSDMS.