Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a scalable, extensible management infrastructure, included as part of Windows 2000 and later. An implementation of the Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM), and based on the Common Information Model (CIM) adopted by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), it includes a rich set of management data about computer systems, the operating system, and applications on a given managed system.
Through a set of object classes derived from the CIM model, applications and scripts can view and change properties, execute methods, and receive events about modeled objects. For example, WMI exposes a wealth of information about the operating system (how many processes are running, the operational state of a particular service, current processor usage, etc.) and publishes it in a common schema that is accessible locally and remotely through standard script languages. Other benefits of WMI include:
WMI is complementary to Active Directory, bringing detailed information about an individual system together with the Active Driectory's distributed, enterprise-level view. Since there are many occasions where a script or application writer might be interested in collecting information or performing configuration based on both the Active Directory and WMI, it is extremely convenient to have both available in a common format. This integration is supplied by the WMI's Active Directory provider, which automatically discovers and maps the information stored in the Active Directory to a set of equivalent WMI classes that you view and manipulate the contents as if they were any other class.