Babelfish, Grasshoppers and WMI

 A Babel Fish is a small yellow fish which acts as a universal translator in Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy. It enables the protagonist of the story to talk to all alien species in English. WMI is kind of like that. It’s  kind of a babel fish of IT folks. It can talk to almost everyone an IT admin would want to talk to (OS, network devices, memory devices, power managers, eventlog, SNMP, performance counters, Active Directory etc etc (added two ‘etc’ to emphasize that the list is long!)).

(A sane introduction to WMI)

Sounds interesting?  Let’s take up a scenario to explain a part of what WMI enables -

Author’s note - The below paragraph was narrated to me by Scripting guys and I take no responsibility for it.

Remember the story about the grasshopper and the ant? If so, then you recall how the grasshopper danced and played all summer long while the ant spent her time writing scripts that used WMI events to alert her to potential problems, like servers running low on disk space, services stopping unexpectedly, or files being added or deleted from specified folders.  Well, come winter the grasshopper lost his job, tried to rob a store, and is currently serving time in prison. The ant was promoted to CIO, and now she'll get to dance and play all summer long.

 

The WMI story is a long one, I’ll just talk about the major plot lines below -

1.       In the beginning there was CIM

2.       Living inside Windows Powershell   

 (Have you heard of the phrase – “Scratching the surface”? Wait till you compare the above article with what we have done in Windows 7 for “WMI-Windows Powershell” integration – That can well serve as a definition of the phrase!)

3.       The other scripting layer

Older but still rocking introductions by the Scripting guys –  

WMI is not a Four-Letter Word (Level 200)

The Return of WMI (Level 200)

An Ounce of Prevention: An Introduction to WMI Events (Level 200)

 

 

4.       I am a developer! (Thus Spake MSDN)

 

5.       Extending to .Net

 

6.       Teaching WMI your language (Writing providers)

 

a)      Creating WMI Providers

b)      I love .NET

 

 

To be continued (Next stop new features in Windows 7)….

 

Kapil Mathur [MSFT]