Introducing Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is one of the components of Microsoft Windows operating system. Windows Management Instrumentation enables you to customize management applications by offering different interfaces such as C++, open database connectivity (ODBC), visual basic, and HTML. In short Windows Management Instrumentation is a Microsoft implementation of Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) that allows developers to access information in a large enterprise.


Windows Management Instrumentation can also be integrated with Active Directory directory service for a cohesive management experience. It also provide exclusive mechanism for the administrator to monitor the functionality of the applications, manage and configure applications, detect failures, perform seamless local and remote management operations, and query the application data.

In the .NET Framework, the System.Management namespace provides a common set of classes to navigate the Windows Management Instrumentation schema. The System.Management.Instrumentation is the namespace used to access Windows Management Instrumentation. If you are using Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me), Windows 2000 or Windows XP, Windows Management Instrumentation is already installed.

The Windows Management Instrumentation architecture consists of three tiers: Clients, Object Manager, and Providers. The Clients tier includes the software components that perform functionalities such as getting management details, configuring systems, and subscribing to events. The Object Manager tier that acts as a mediator provides services such as event publication and subscription, event filtering, and query engine to the Clients tier and Providers tier. The Providers tier is a set of software components that provides services such as capturing and returning live data to the client applications and process method invocations from the clients.

The features of Windows Management Instrumentation include secure hosting, remote connections, shadow copy provider, and storage volume provider. In secure hosting the providers should specify the HostingModel property of Win32Provider. Remote connection means accessing Windows Management Instrumentation data from remote computers. The shadow copy provider feature provides management functions and produces copies of files that are located on a shared resource like file server. The storage volume provider feature provides storage volume management functions. This feature is also used to manage volume drive letters, mount points, and storage quotas.


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