Get to Know the IIS 7.0 WMI Provider Using CIM Studio

by IIS Team


This document introduces WMI CIM Studio, a tool that provides a visual interface for exploring WMI namespaces. Using the IIS "WebAdministration" namespace, you learn how to enumerate classes in a namespace, view the properties and methods on a class, search classes and properties for a specific word like "restriction", and much more – all without writing one script.

Before you can do anything in WMI, you must connect to a namespace. The first section of this document describes how to download and open CIM Studio, enumerate all namespaces, and connect to a specific namespace.

The second portion of this document shows how to explore classes in a namespace by viewing their properties and methods, and property/method metadata such as whether a property is read only or read/write. Finally, you get object instances and interact with them by setting properties and executing methods. This is WMI, visual and demystified.

Before You Start

Install IIS

IIS 7.0 or above must be installed to complete the steps in this document. If you can browse to http://localhost and receive the standard IIS "Under Construction" page, then IIS is installed. If IIS is not installed, please refer to Installing IIS on Windows Vista for installation instructions.

Install WMI Provider

Install the IIS WMI provider by selecting the IIS Management Scripts and Tools component under Management Tools (or Web Management Tools). In Windows Vista, this is in the Windows Features dialog under Internet Information Services. On Windows Server® 2008, this is in the Server Manager under the Web Server (IIS) role.

Screenshot of the Management Tools pane expanded with I I S Management Scripts and Tools selected.

Install WMI Tools (includes CIM Studio)

Install the WMI Tools suite from the Microsoft Download Center before starting.

Required Privileges and User Account Control (UAC)

You must be an administrator to connect to the WebAdministration WMI namespace. This means that you are logged in as:

  • The built-in Administrator account on Longhorn Server
  • A member of the Administrators group and you have disabled User Account Control (UAC)
  • A member of the Administrators group and UAC is enabled

If you are in the first or second situation, you will not encounter any permissions problems with this article.

If you are in the third situation, you will encounter Access is Denied errors. Avoid these problems by always opening command prompts as Administrator and by launching CIM Studio from an elevated command prompt.

To open a command prompt as Administrator, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.

To launch CIM Studio from an elevated command prompt:

  1. Open a command prompt as Administrator.
  2. Type %systemdrive%\Program Files\WMI Tools\studio.htm andpress Enter.

Make a Backup

Backup key IIS configuration files before beginning so that you can restore your system to its original state after you have finished.

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Type %windir%\system32\inetsrv\appcmd add backup IIS7\_WMI\_CIMStudioLab.

Expected output:

BACKUP object "IIS7_WMI_CIMStudioLab" added
  • After you have finished, restore IIS to its original state by opening the command prompt as administrator and typing %windir%\system32\inetsrv\appcmd restore backup IIS7\_WMI\_CIMStudioLab.

Expected output:

Restored configuration  from backup "IIS7_WMI_CIMStudioLab"

1. Connect to the WebAdministration Namespace

Click Start, click All Programs, click WMI Tools, and click WMI CIM Studio.

Screenshot that shows the W M I Tools pane expanded with W M I C I M Studio selected.

If you are prompted with the following dialog, click Close.

Screenshot of Information Bar dialog box that alerts you to security related conditions.

If the yellow information bar indicates that Internet Explorer is blocking active content, right-click the information bar and click the Allow Blocked Content... option. You then receive a Security Warning asking you if you are sure you want to let this file run active content; click Yes.

Screenshot of yellow information bar indicating that Internet Explorer is blocking active content. Allow Blocked Content tab is selected.


If you wish to avoid this security warning in the future, click on the Tools drop-down menu on the right hand side of Internet Explorer 7, select Internet Options..., click on the Advanced tab, scroll down to the Security settings and check "Allow active content to run in files on my computer". Click OK.

You will see the dialog below when CIM Studio opens. This dialog allows you to connect to a specific WMI namespace. Click the browse button circled in red below.

Screenshot that shows the Connect to name space dialog box. Browse button is circled in red.

The browse button brings up the namespace browsing dialog below. Click the Connect button.

Screenshot that shows Browse for Name space dialog box showing the field for Machine Name and Connect button.

CIM Studio now pops up a login dialog, as shown below. Click OK.

Screenshot of W M I C I M Studio Login displaying fields for User name and Password.

The dialog shows a tree view of namespaces available under "root" after connecting to the root namespace. Scroll to the bottom to see "WebAdministration", the new IIS WMI namespace. Double-click the WebAdministration folder icon to connect to the namespace.

Screenshot of the tree view of name spaces available under root. Web Administration folder icon is selected.

CIM Studio pops up a login dialog again. Click OK.

Screenshot that shows W M I C I M  Studio Login dialog box with User name and Password boxes.

After successfully connecting to the WebAdministration namespace, the left side of CIM Studio window looks similar to the screen shot below. Check to see that your namespace is called "root\WebAdministration" as shown below.

Screenshot of C I M Studio windows with tree view of System Class and Object pane expanded.

2. Explore Classes

The list of classes in the WebAdministration namespace looks similar to the screen shot below. The classes circled in red are the base classes for the WebAdministration provider; the classes that are not circled and begin with a double underscore "__" are WMI standard classes that are not related specifically to the WebAdministration provider.

Screenshot of the list of classes in the Web Administration name space displaying base classes for Web Administration provider circled in red.

Expand the tree under the Object class. Expand the tree under the ConfiguredObject class. You now see a tree view that contains familiar web server objects such as Site and Application, as shown below. These objects are the central focus of the WebAdministration WMI namespace and you will likely spend most of your time interacting with these objects.

Screenshot shows the tree view of the Object class. Configured Object node is expanded showing server objects such as Site and Application.

Select the Site object. When you select an object, the right-hand pane of the CIM Studio window provides information about that object. The screen shot below shows the Properties tab. The Properties tab shows the names of the Site properties, their type, and their value. You notice that the value column contains mostly "<empty>" strings because we are looking at the definition of the Site object, not an instance of Site (we look at instances in later). Note that all properties beginning with double underscore "__" are standard WMI class properties and can be ignored while learning WMI basics.

Screenshot of Site object and Configured Object node expanded with Site highlighted.

To know if the Site Id property is read-only or read/write, right-click on Id and select Property Qualifiers...

The dialog below shows the "qualifiers" for the Id property. Qualifiers are metadata about a property. The "read" and "write" qualifiers describe whether a property can be read or written; both the read and write qualifiers have a value of true for the Id property, so this property is read/write.

Screenshot of Qualifiers for property Id dialog box with the Read and Write qualifiers. The values for the read and write qualifiers are set to True.

  1. Click the Cancel button.
  2. Click the Methods tab to see the Site methods, as shown below.

Screenshot of W M I C I M Studio showing the Methods tab.

To know what parameters the Create method takes, right-click on the Create method and select Edit Method Parameters. This menu item launches a dialog box that contains a list of the parameters for the Create method, as shown below. The return type for the method is specified at the bottom of the dialog. Take care not to modify any of the method parameters; only use this dialog to view the method parameters.

Screenshot of Method Parameters dialog with a list of parameters for the Create method. Return Value box is displayed at the bottom of the dialog.

Click the Cancel button.

Take another look at the Site properties by clicking the Properties tab in the right pane. The Bindings property has a type "array of object:BindingElement"; i.e. an array of BindingElement objects. Next, take a look at the BindingElement class to see what properties a BindingElement has.

Click the Search button, circled in red below.

Screenshot of the Search Button circled in red in W M I C I M Studio.

Type BindingElement into the search text box and click the Go! button. The "Search results:" text box displays an entry called BindingElement.

Screenshot shows the Search for Class Dialog box with Binding Element typed into the search text box.

Double-click BindingElement entry in the search results to go to the BindingElement class definition.

Screenshot of the Binding Element class definition in W M I C I M Studio pane.

3. Get Object Instances

Use search to find the "Site" class again. Click the Instances Of button, shown circled in red below, to see all instances of the Site object.

Screenshot that shows the top part of the W M I C I M Studio pane with Instances Of button circled in red.

All instances of the Site object are displayed in blue text in the right hand panel of CIM Studio, as shown below. Double-click on the Default Web Site instance for detailed information about that Site object.

Screenshot of the Site pane in W M I C I M Studio showing All instances of Site object in blue. Default Web Site instance is displayed in blue.

Now CIM Studio displays information about the Default Web Site. The Site name is displayed at the top of the right hand pane, and the properties on the Property tab have real values instead of "<empty>". The "LogFile" property has a button labeled Object in its Value column instead of a real value. Click this Object button.

Screenshot of Properties tab showing the Log File, Object Site Log File and Object are circled in red. Object button is shown in Value column.

The Object button launches a dialog that shows the properties of the LogFile object, as shown below. These properties enable/disable logging, define the format of the log file, specify the logging directory, etc.

Screenshot of Embedded Object dialog box that shows the properties of the Log File object.

Click inside the Value field for the LocalTimeRollover property. Click the drop-down to see the options for this value, and select "true". This field now shows "true"; the text is in blue because this property has been modified.

Screenshot of Embedded dialog shows the Value field for the Local Time Roll over property. True is selected from the drop down in the Value column.

Click the OK button. The Save button, shown below circled in red, has become available because the LogFile.LocalTimeRollover property is modified. Click the Save button.

Screenshot of Save button circled in red.

To see this change in configuration, click Start, click Run, and type notepad %windir%\system32\inetsrv\applicationHost.config. Click the Edit menu, and select Find. Type "localTimeRollover" to find the newly added configuration. The configuration should appear similar to the XML below, and the localTimeRollover configuration property should be set to "true".

<site name="Default Web Site" id="1">
   <application path="/">
      <virtualDirectory path="/" physicalPath="C:\inetpub\wwwroot" />
      <clear />
      <binding protocol="http" bindingInformation="*:80:" />
   <logFile localTimeRollover="true" />

Close the applicationHost.config file (click No if notepad asks if you would like to save changes). Now we execute one of the Site methods. Click the Methods tab, right click the GetState method, and select Execute Method. Click the Execute button.

Screenshot of Method Parameters dialog box with the box for Parameters in ID qualifier order. The return value, circled in red, is 1 or set as started.

The return value is 1, or "Started". How do we know that? Click Close. Right click the GetState method and select Method Qualifiers…. This brings up the GetState method metadata, including ValueMap and Values which describe how the return values map to human readable data. Click the Array button in the Values row to see the different states.

Screenshot of Qualifiers method Get State dialog box showing the Get State method meta data. Array is highlighted in Value column.


In this document you have learned how to connect to a WMI namespace, how to search for a class, how to discover the properties and methods for a class, how to determine whether a property is read/write or read-only, how to find the parameters for a method, how to get instances of a specific object, how to interactively change properties on an object instance, and how to view the properties of an embedded object.