Windows Management Instrumentation overview

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Windows Management Instrumentation overview

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is the Microsoft implementation of Web-Based Enterprise Management Initiative (WBEM), an industry initiative to establish standards for accessing and sharing management information over an enterprise network. WMI provides integrated support for the Common Information Model (CIM)--the data model that describes the objects that exist in a management environment.

WMI includes an object repository, which is the database of object definitions, and the WMI Object Manager, which handles the collection and manipulation of objects in the repository and gathers information from WMI providers. WMI providers act as intermediaries between WMI and components of the operating system, applications, and other systems. For example, the registry provider draws information from the registry, while the SNMP provider provides data and events from SNMP devices. Providers provide information about their components and might provide methods to manipulate the components, properties that can be set or events that can alert you to changes in the components.

WMI can be used by computer management tools, such as Microsoft Systems Management Server, to help you manage your computers. WMI is also used by other Microsoft technologies and tools, such as Microsoft Health Monitor and Microsoft Operations Manager, and by other vendors of computer management systems. You can use WMI with programming or scripting systems (such as Windows Script Host) to retrieve configuration details about most aspects of your computer systems, including server applications, or to affect changes to your systems. For more details, see the WMI SDK.

Several management tools are WMI-enabled, including System Properties, System Information, and the Dependencies component of Services. Brief descriptions of these components follow:

  • System Properties lets you view and change system properties on a local or remote computer. You can restart a remote computer to apply settings changes or to detect new hardware, view the computer name and domain information for other computers on your network, or change the settings for the virtual memory paging file on a computer that might run programs requiring a lot of memory. For more information about System Properties, see System Properties.

  • System Information collects and displays configuration information about your system. This is is especially useful when a support technician troubleshoots your system. For more information, see System Information.

  • Services helps you manage the services on your computer. Services dependencies identify the services on which the current service depends onĀ and the services that depend on it. For more information about Services, see Services Concepts.

For technical information about developing the WMI system, see the Windows Management Instrumentation documentation at the Microsoft Platform Software Development Kit (SDK) Web site.

For information about using the WMI Tester to view and modify WMI objects, see Windows Management Instrumentation Tester overview.

For information about using the command-line interface to WMI, see Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line.

For information about using the WMI Control to configure WMI settings and security on a remote or local computer, see WMI Control Overview.