Common Information Model (computing)

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Common Information Model
Year started1999
OrganizationDistributed Management Task Force
Related standardsWBEM and SMASH
DomainInformation model

The Common Information Model (CIM) is an open standard that defines how managed elements in an IT environment are represented as a common set of objects and relationships between them. The Distributed Management Task Force maintains the CIM to allow consistent management of these managed elements, independent of their manufacturer or provider.


One way to describe CIM is to say that it allows multiple parties to exchange management information about these managed elements. However, this falls short in expressing that CIM not only represents these managed elements and the management information, but also provides means to actively control and manage these elements. By using a common model of information, management software can be written once and work with many implementations of the common model without complex and costly conversion operations or loss of information.

The CIM standard is defined and published by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). A related standard is Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM, also defined by DMTF) which defines a particular implementation of CIM, including protocols for discovering and accessing such CIM implementations.

Schema and specifications[edit]

The CIM standard includes the CIM Infrastructure Specification and the CIM Schema:

  • CIM Infrastructure Specification
The CIM Infrastructure Specification defines the architecture and concepts of CIM, including a language by which the CIM Schema (including any extension schema) is defined, and a method for mapping CIM to other information models, such as SNMP. The CIM architecture is based upon UML, so it is object-oriented: The managed elements are represented as CIM classes and any relationships between them are represented as CIM associations. Inheritance allows specialization of common base elements into more specific derived elements.
  • CIM Schema
The CIM Schema is a conceptual schema which defines the specific set of objects and relationships between them that represent a common base for the managed elements in an IT environment. The CIM Schema covers most of today's elements in an IT environment, for example computer systems, operating systems, networks, middleware, services and storage. The CIM Schema defines a common basis for representing these managed elements. Since most managed elements have product and vendor specific behavior, the CIM Schema is extensible in order to allow the producers of these elements to represent their specific features seamlessly together with the common base functionality defined in the CIM Schema.

CIM is the basis for most of the other DMTF standards (e.g. WBEM or SMASH). It is also the basis for the SMI-S standard for storage management.


Updates to the CIM Schema are published regularly.[1]

CIM schemas versions
Version Date
2.51.0 June 12, 2018
2.50.0 January 4, 2018
2.49.0 June 14, 2017
2.48.0 December 14, 2016
2.47.0 October 4, 2016
2.46.0 May 25, 2016
2.45.0 January 11, 2016
2.44.1 June 22, 2015
2.44.0 April 30, 2015
2.43.0 January 27, 2015
2.42.0 September 29, 2014
2.41.0 June 20, 2014
2.40.0 February 24, 2014
2.39.0 December 14, 2013
2.38.0 August 25, 2013
2.37.0 June 6, 2013
2.36.0 April 6, 2013
2.35.1 April 6, 2013
2.35.0 January 7, 2013
2.34.0 September 6, 2012
2.33.0 June 28, 2012
2.32.0 April 17, 2012
2.31.1 April 4, 2012
2.31.0 December 22, 2011
2.30.0 September 27, 2011
2.29.0 June 3, 2011
2.28.0 February 2, 2011
2.27.0 November 15, 2010
2.26.0 July 21, 2010
2.25.0 March 31, 2010
  • Version 2.6 of the CIM Infrastructure Specification was published on March 31, 2010.
  • Version 1.1 of the CIM Compliance Specification was published on December 15, 2003.
  • Version 2.2 of the CIM Specification was published on June 14, 1999.


Many vendors provide implementations of CIM in various forms:

There is also a growing[quantify] tools market around CIM.[citation needed]


CIM-XML is a protocol for sending CIM messages on top of HTTP. It has two message types:

  1. operational messages, which provoke a response from the receiver (RPC)
  2. export messages, which are indications/events.

CIM-XML forms part of the WBEM protocol family, and is standardised by the DMTF.

CIM-XML comprises 3 specifications:

  1. CIM Operations over HTTP[3]
  2. Representation of CIM using XML[4]
  3. CIM DTD[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CIM Schemas". Distributed Management Task Force, Inc. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  2. ^ SBLIM, Sourceforge
  3. ^ CIM Operations over HTTP (PDF), DMTF
  4. ^ Representation of CIM using XML (PDF), DMTF

External links[edit]