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WMIC architecture

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Understanding WMIC architecture

This topic discusses the relationship of WMIC to WMI, to other computers, and to scripting languages. It also discusses the relationship between aliases, formats, translation tables, and other WMIC elements.

WMIC has an engine to parse, interpret, and execute alias operations called from the command line. The engine is an executable file, called WMIC.exe, which is run on the computer that the user is connected to. Any extension to the WMI command-line interpreter must be done through the addition of alias file definitions or registrations.

Aliases, or friendly names, are defined in Management Object Format (MOF), a language for defining classes and instances in the CIM, and are related to classes in WMI schema.

The WMIC.exe engine receives a command from its stdin interface. The command is parsed by the tool and if it involves an alias, the alias definition is obtained from the current WMI operational namespace (by default, root\cli). The tool interprets the original command with the alias command and current environmental settings, such as the current target namespace. The command is executed as a series of WMI API calls against the target namespace. Any namespace might be used as a target if the namespace is consistent with the alias being processed.

The information returned for the API calls is retrieved in an XML format. The retrieved data is modified by the XSL style sheet, which is associated with the alias. It is applied to the data primarily for presentation formatting. The resulting text is presented back to the user using the stdout interface. The target system and management system need not be on the same computer. However, the original computer must have sufficient credentials to access the target computer.

The style sheet applied to the output defaults is the standard FULL style sheet if no other is specified.

For more information about using WMIC, see Using Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line.

For information about WMI security, see Managing WMI security.

For information about WMIC security, see Security with WMIC.

For more information, see Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line.

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