Why the OIM is Important
The Open Information Model (OIM) is a formal specification of meta data that provides common ground for defining standard meta data. To achieve maximum integration across its product lines, Microsoft uses the OIM standard when defining meta data constructs. To promote the use of standard meta data for model-driven application development, Microsoft distributes the OIM with the Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 Meta Data Services Software Development Kit (SDK), with SQL Server 2000, and with Microsoft Visual Studio®.
OIM definitions are widely supported by third-party data warehousing, enterprise application, and knowledge management tool vendors. By building OIM-compliant models, you introduce a level of standardization that provides recurring benefits by later allowing you to choose from a variety of development tools that support OIM.
The OIM is an established specification based on the collective experience of many vendors and developers. An important advantage to using the OIM is that it is a stable model framework. Modeling is not trivial. If you are unfamiliar with modeling, the OIM can help you get started by providing a general architecture within which you can organize your development effort.
The OIM is extensible and evolving. If existing definitions do not meet your needs, you can create new core information models that satisfy your requirements exactly. In the same way, as tool and data warehousing vendors identify new requirements for meta data definition, the OIM can be extended in a way that supports a common implementation.