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The Common Information Model (CIM) is a method of representing the various actively used computing devices associated with an enterprise and the relation between them. CIM is designed and published by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) and is a part of Web-based enterprise management (WBEM). The CIM model aims to simplify the task of managing different computing devices in an enterprise.
Enterprises use different computing devices for their specific purposes, and each device has specific associated hardware and applications. To manage the devices efficiently, the properties associated with each device and its application, along with its relation to the other devices in the system, has to be represented. The CIM provides a means of object-oriented representation of such devices, which is implemented using an object-oriented language such as Unified Modeling Language (UML). For example, a company that buys different routers from different companies would be able to view the same kind of information (such as name, model number, network capacity and relationship to other devices and applications) and will also be able to access that information through a program. CIM uses XML to represent information about the products it manages.
The CIM model uses classes to represent computing devices such as hard drives or printers. The CIM classes support functions that include query and status functions. The manager can query the properties from a CIM class and gain insight on the device represented. The manager can also modify the CIM class to include additional relationships or functions in the device represented. Both the general and specific properties of a device can be represented with the help of parent/child inheritance.