Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is the main source of management data and functionality on local and remote computers that run Microsoft Windows operating systems. You can obtain WMI management data directly through scripts and applications or through enterprise management tools such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM). You can use scripts written in any scripting language that can work with Windows Script Host.

Starting with Windows Vista, applications or scripts that use the WS-Management protocol can obtain WMI data through Windows Remote Management.

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

WMI includes a CIM-compliant object repository and the CIM Object Manager. The object repository contains object definitions that supply data for manageable hardware and software. Examples of WMI classes are the Win32 classes, such as Win32_Printer or Win32_ComputerSystem, and StdRegProv, which supplies registry data.

The CIM Object Manager 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, drivers, applications, and other systems. Several Windows system management tools are WMI-enabled.

Additional references

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

  • For information about developing scripts and applications that use WMI data and functions, see Windows Management Instrumentation.

  • For information about using the command-line interface of WMI, view the command-line usage of Windows Management Instrumentation Control Command-line (Wmic.exe) by running wmic.exe -? at a command prompt.