This practical guide to microcomputer-based data management systems discusses design methods, software selection, and the strengths and weaknesses of major current product offerings. Step-by-step, readers are led through all phases of the problem solving process. The book carefully describes what a data management system is, what it can do, and what it cannot do. It introduces such basic concepts as fields, records and files, input screens and reports, and data manipulation operation. A design methodology is provided which includes specific examples and worksheets for simpler applications (such as mailing lists, check registers, etc.). More advanced topics are presented as well - including multi-file applications, data base programming languages (data manipulation languages), and the organization of more complicated data bases.