Desktop Management Interface

The Desktop Management Interface (DMI) generates a standard framework for managing and tracking components in a desktop, notebook or server computer, by abstracting these components from the software that manages them. The development of DMI, 2.0 version June 24, 1998,[1] marked the first move by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) into desktop-management standards.[2] Before the introduction of DMI, no standardized source of information could provide details about components in a personal computer.

Desktop Management Interface
StatusSuperseded by CIM
Year started1994; 28 years ago (1994)
OrganizationDistributed Management Task Force
Base standardsSMBIOS, WBEM, WS-Management
DomainDesktop management

Due to the rapid development of DMTF technologies, such as Common Information Model (CIM), the DMTF defined an "End of Life" process for DMI, which ended on March 31, 2005.[3]

From 1999, Microsoft required OEMs and BIOS vendors to support the DMI interface/data-set in order to have Microsoft certification[citation needed].


DMI exposes system data (including the System Management BIOS (SMBIOS) data) to management software, but the two specifications function independently.

DMI is commonly confused with SMBIOS, which was actually called DMIBIOS in its first revisions.

Optional additional services: MIF data and MIF routinesEdit

When software queries a memory-resident agent that resides in the background, it responds by sending data in MIFs (Management Information Format) or activating MIF routines. Static data in a MIF would contain items such as model ID, serial number, memory- and port-addresses. A MIF routine could read memory and report its contents.

DMI and SNMPEdit

DMI can co-exist with SNMP and other management protocols. For example, when an SNMP query arrives, DMI can fill out the SNMP MIB with data from its MIF. A single workstation or server can serve as a proxy agent that would contain the SNMP module and service an entire LAN segment of DMI-capable machines.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Desktop Management Interface Specification" (PDF). Distributed Management Task Force. 24 June 1998. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2018. This document describes the Desktop Management Interface, or DMI, that acts as a layer of abstraction between these two worlds
  2. ^ "Definition of: DMI". PC Magazine Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 2009-09-28. The first desktop management standard from the DMTF.
  3. ^ "DMI |". Retrieved 2021-04-19. Due to the rapid advancement of DMTF technologies, such as CIM, DMTF defined an end of life process for its Desktop Management Interface (DMI), which concluded March 31, 2005.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Further readingEdit

  • Tunstall, Craig; Gwyn Cole (2003). Developing WMI Solutions: A Guide to Windows Management Instrumentation. ISBN 0201616130.

External linksEdit