This paper examines the information management requirements and sets forth the general criteria for collaboration and concurrency control in creative engineering design. Our work attempts to recognize the full range of concurrency, collaboration and complex transactions structure now practiced in manual and semi-automated design and the range of capabilities needed as the demands for enhanced but flexible electronic information management unfolds. The objective of this paper is to identify new issues that may advance the use of databases to support creative engineering design. We start with a generalized description of the structure of design tasks and how information management in design is dealt with today. After this review, we identify extensions to current information management capabilities that have been realized and/or proposed to support/augment what designers can do now. Given this capability-based starting point, we review existing database and information management capabilities, as presented in the literature. In the review, we identify the gaps between current concurrency and collaboration technology and what is needed or would be desirable. Our objective is to assess current research and to identify new issues that may advance the use of databases to support creative engineering design.
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