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Short for Common Information Model, an industry standard, developed by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), for describing data about applications and devices so that administrators and software management programs can control applications and devices on different platforms in the same way, ensuring interoperability across a network.

Using techniques of object-oriented programming, CIM provides a consistent definition and structure of data, including expressions for elements such as object classes, properties, associations and methods.

For example, if an enterprise bought four different servers from four different vendors, and networked them together, using CIM the administrator can view the same information about each of the devices, such as manufacturer and serial number, the device��s model number, its location on the network, its storage capacity, and its relationship to the applications that run throughout the network.

Similar and simpler standards, SNMP and DMI, are still in use.

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