Guides Understanding WMI, WBEM, CIM, etc.

Understanding WMI, WBEM, CIM, etc.




Christopher Rice

If you are like me, you hate acronyms. I despise them. In this industry, unfortunately, we are forced to live with them. It also sucks when you hear an unfamiliar acronym thrown around in conversation and you don’t want to sound like an idiot and ask what it means. So, for all of you, this article will give an introduction to all of the acronyms that are associated with Microsoft’s WMI layer.

     If you are like me, you hate acronyms.  I despise them.  In this industry, unfortunately, we are forced to live with them.  It also sucks when you hear an unfamiliar acronym thrown around in conversation and you don’t want to sound like an idiot and ask what it means.

     So, for all of you, this article will give an introduction to all of the acronyms that are associated with Microsoft’s WMI layer.

     First and foremost, WMI is the Windows Management Instrumentation.  This is a layer that allows for standardization on desktops.  For more information on Microsoft’s WMI, see the following link:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?URL=/library/psdk/wmisdk/wmistart_5kth.htm

     This page will give you an introduction into WMI and will also allow you to download the WMI core, which is the executable that you will need to load onto older desktops with older OSes.  Windows 2000 Professional, NT 4 SP6, and 98 SE all have the WMI core already loaded.  If you would like to manage older desktops, then you will need to distribute this file (and run it).  You will also be able to download the SDK (Software Developers Kit) from the above page.  The SDK includes the WMI browser, which is a cool (albeit pretty slow) tool that will allow you to browse the WMI layer of your machine and other remote machines.

     The next acronym is the WBEM layer.  WBEM stands for Web-Based Enterprise Management.  Whenever you hear the word WMI, you can substitute WBEM.  Basically, WMI is just Microsoft’s version of the WBEM standard.  WBEM is industry wide and is getting more and more reliable information from the UNIX platforms piped into it every day.

     The next acronym is the DMTF.  DMTF stands for the Distributed Management Task Force (it used to be Desktop, but they changed it).  The DMTF is the governing body for this standard.  If you want to learn more about the DMTF and their standards, see the following links:

http://dmtf.org/

http://dmtf.org/standards/index.php

     The last of the acronyms that I will be touching on is the CIM schema.  CIM stands for the Common Information Model.  The CIM schema is the model for delivering this standard information.  For more information on the CIM schema, see the following link:

http://dmtf.org/standards/standard_cim.php

     I hope this article has helped clear things up a little bit when it comes to WMI, WBEM, DMTF, and CIM.

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