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The complex processes involved in electronic product design require the use of cornputer-based tools to manage the various steps in the design process. Creating and revising an electronic design generates a large amount of interrelated machine-readable data. Today the tools at each point in the process generate their own independent views of the data--or "objects"--defined in each design phase. A great deal of work remains to be done to integrate these processes, and eventually eliminate the need for designers to rely on costly and time-consuming translation steps to move their work from one tool to the next. Making the transition from working with a series of point tools designed for individual engineers to concurrent sharing of all design data by a team of engineers will bring enormous benefits in productivity to the design process. This is why the concept of establishing a "framework for concurrent engineering" is taking the electronic design automation industry by storm. In other disciplines, the solution to the problem of sharing and distributing large interrelated databases has been commercially available database management systems (DBMSs). If the data type to be stored and managed fit well within the relational database model--for example, spreadsheets or other record-oriented data--then the commercial RDBMSs offer an answer. But in the case of electronic design-oriented applications, no DBMS technology existed that could meet the demands for both group sharing of data and interactive performance levels matching standalone applications. But today, the second generation of object-oriented database management systems (ODBMSs) indeed represent the enabling technology for an evolution to concurrent engineering in the electronic design industry.