Materials research represents a significant part of the European and world effort on fusion research. Detailed knowledge of materials properties is needed in the design by analysis of power plant and experimental machine components, and in testing to design fusion materials with specific properties, a process that involves collection and examination of a large number of data. In response, a European Fusion Materials web-based relational database is being developed to collect, expand and preserve for the future the data produced by the European Fusion programme in support of the NET, DEMO and ITER projects. The database tools allow for studies to understand the fundamental material properties and determine their functional dependence on critical parameters relevant to fusion environments. Flexibility of the database system ensures that new methods to automate material design for specific applications can be easily implemented. The system is a web-based application using J2EE technologies and the PostgreSQL relational database. It runs on a web server and allows users access via the Internet using their preferred web browser. For data security, users are issued with individual accounts, and the origin of all requests is checked against a list of trusted sites. In addition, different user accounts will have access to different data sets, to ensure that data is not shared unintentionally. The system allows several levels of data checking/cleaning and validation. Data insertion is either on-line or through downloaded templates. Data validation is through different expert groups, which can apply different criteria to the data, and thus qualify different sets for their needs.