January 17, 2010

WMI Tools

Some WMI tools can also be useful during the design and development phases. These tools are:

The MOF compiler (MOFComp.exe):
The Managed Object Format (MOF) compiler parses a file containing Managed Object Format statements and adds the classes and class instances defined in the file to the CIM repository. The MOF format is a specific syntax to define CIM class representation in an ASCII file (e.g. MIB are to SNMP what MOF files are to CIM). MOFComp.exe is included in every WMI installation. Every definition existing in the CIM repository is initially defined in an MOF file. MOF files are located in %SystemRoot%\System32\WBEM. During the WMI setup, they are loaded in the CIM repository.
The WMI Administrative Tools: The WMI Administrative Tools are made of four tools: WMI CIM Studio, WMI Object Browser, WMI Event Registration and WMI Event Viewer.

WMI Administrative Tools can be downloaded here.


The most important tool for a WMI provider developer is WMI CIM Studio as it helps in the initial WMI class creation in the CIM repository. It uses a web interface to display information and relies on a collection of ActiveX components installed on the system when it runs for the first time.
WMI CIM Studio provides the ability to:
1.Connect to a chosen system and browse the CIM repository in any namespace available.
2.Search for classes by their name, by their descriptions or by property names.
3.Review the properties, methods and associations related to a given class.
See the instances available for a given class of the examined system.
4.Perform Queries in the WQL language.
5.Generate an MOF file based on selected classes.
6.Compile an MOF file to load it in the CIM repository.

WinMgmt.exe is not a tool; it is the executable that implements the WMI Core service. Under the Windows NT family of operating systems, WMI runs as a service. On computers running Windows 98, Windows 95 or Windows Me, WMI runs as an application. Under the Windows NT family of operating systems, it is also possible to run this executable as an application, in which case, the executable runs in the current user context. For this, the WMI service must be stopped first. The executable supports some switches that can be useful when starting WMI as a service or as an application. WMI provider developers who may want to debug their providers essentially need to run the WMI service as an application.

WBEMTest.exe is a WMI tester tool, which is delivered with WMI. This tool allows an administrator or a developer to perform most of the tasks from a graphical interface that WMI provides at the API level. Although available under all Windows NT-based operating systems, this tool is not officially supported by Microsoft. WBEMTest provides the ability to:
1.Enumerate, open, create and delete classes.
2.Enumerate, open, create and delete instances of classes.
3.Select a namespace.
4.Perform data and event queries.
5.Execute methods associated to classes or instances.
6.Execute every WMI operation asynchronously, synchronously or semi-asynchronously.

The WMI command line tool (WMIC):
WMIC is a command-line tool designed to ease WMI information retrieval about a system by using some simple keywords (aliases). WMIC.exe is only available under Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. By typing “WMIC /?” from the command-line, a complete list of the switches and reserved keywords is available. ( windows vista users, "WMIC /?" won't work, instead type only "/?" )
There is a Linux port of WMI command line tool, written in Python, based on Samba called 'wmi-client'

WBEMDump is a tool delivered with the Platform SDK. This command line tool comes with its own Visual C++ project. The tool can show the CIM repository classes, instances, or both. It is possible to retrieve the same information as that retrieved with WMIC. WBEMDump.exe requires more specific knowledge about WMI, as it doesn’t abstract WMI as WMIC. However, it runs under Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000. It is also possible to execute methods exposed by classes or instances. Even if it is not a standard WMI tool delivered with the system installation, this tool can be quite useful for exploring the CIM repository and WMI features.

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