WMIX – Getting Started

WMIX provides you with the easiest way to access and control the information and settings on a remote machine by using Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) technology.

You do not need to know WMI to use WMIX. Even if you are not familiar with WMI, you can still use WMIX to its fullest potential. WMIX is the most powerful tool to query and manage the information on a remote machine. Using WMIX, you have access and control over virtually every bit of information which is available on a machine, from the most basic object such as its processes and operating system, to the most advanced object such as the temperature probes of the motherboard!

What is WMI?

The Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) is Microsoft’s solution to the Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) industry initiative to develop a standard technology for accessing management information at the enterprise level.  WMI uses the Common Information Model (CIM) industry standard to provide access to a machine’s manageable components (systems, applications, network settings, devices, etc.). Using WMI technology, virtually every piece of software and hardware can be queried and managed remotely.

WMI provides access to:

  • System information from many sources including hardware, software, operating system, bios, resources, devices, event logs, registry, drivers and directory services.
  • System configuration by exposing management configuration tasks relevant to an object and allowing the modification of writable properties.

What is WMIX?

WMI is a powerful answer to the Zero Dollar Administration initiative. However, WMI can only be accessed through scripting or programming. Even for a programmer, exploring WMI technology and its potential can be an overwhelming and daunting task.

WMIX provides full access to WMI functions via a friendly and easy-to-use graphical interface, with no scripting or programming necessary. WMIX is the easiest and most powerful way to access WMI’s management features and to explore WMI’s information repository without scripting.

Using WMIX you will be able to:

  • Explore the full set of WMI management classes, their properties, and configuration tasks using an easy interface.
  • Search for WMI management classes which provide information or configuration tasks on a particular item.
  • Organize the WMI management objects in a logical manner for easy access.
  • Browse through remote machines’ objects and settings through the WMI association model.
  • Connect to multiple remote machines simultaneously and manage their information.
  • Generate reports from pre-configured templates or on the fly.
  • Create a sophisticated WMI Query with no prior knowledge of the WMI Query Language (WQL) or of the WMI repository content.
  • Generate Scripts automatically.

 

WMIX is part of the Goverlan Reach Console. Goverlan further extends WMIX’s functionality by providing these additional features:

  • Generate fully customizable reports using WMI on large sets of machines.
  • Set WMI object properties and execute WMI methods on multiple machines without programming.
  • Schedule the execution of WMI tasks.

For more information, see WMIX vs Goverlan.

WMIX Vs Goverlan

WMIX is a component of the Goverlan Remote Administration Suite. If you have purchased WMIX separately and need more capabilities, you can upgrade to Goverlan at any time. You can find more information about Goverlan on our website at: https://www.goverlan.com

Goverlan and WMIX

WMIX allows you to perform WMI related actions on remote machines and generate reports. However, WMIX has been designed to work on one machine at a time. In addition, using WMI raw functions can sometimes be painstaking to perform. Goverlan allows you to perform remote administrative tasks in multiple and powerful ways using proprietary, WMI, and WMI assisted technologies. Since Goverlan has been designed for the enterprise, you can remotely administer a set of machines  just as easily as you would a single machine.

Quickstart Tutorial

This is a quick start tutorial to demonstrate the basic functionality of WMIX. This tutorial will show you how to query and modify object information, how to generate reports on the fly, and how to execute configuration tasks on an object.

  1. Start WMIX by selecting the WMIX shortcut from the Windows Start Up menu. The WMIX program starts in a disconnected state.
  2. Click on the Connect button located in the main toolbar of WMIX. In theConnect to window, enter the NetBIOS name, the DNS name or the IP address of the remote machine to query and click on the OK button.
    Once connected, the Browse View displays the generic set of objects which can be queried on the remote computer. The list of root objects which is displayed is fully configurable, see Modifying the list of Root Objects.

Querying and reporting simple information

  1. To view information on any of these objects, double click on it. For instance, double click on the Computer System Identity object. This object returns the identity information of the remote machine, such as the machine serial number and machine make.A new entry is displayed underneath the Computer System Identity object which corresponds to the actual instance of this object.To view the detailed information of this instance, select it and either:> Click on Object Properties in the Information panel
    > Right click on the mouse and select Properties from the context-sensitive menu
    > Select View >> Object Properties from the main menu 
  2. If you want to export this information in order to print it, click on the Report button located at the top right corner of the property window. A report action always generates a HTML report in the default report directory which is configured in Options. For more information, see Reporting Information.

In this example, only one instance resulted from the Computer System Identity category. However, many root objects will result in one or more instances. For example, a computer may have one or more shares, network adapters or installed software products. The next example shows you how to query and report such information. Close the previous property window, and let’s query the currently installed software products on the remote machine.

  1. Double click on the Product information root object. The Product information object reports all installed software products as registered by MSI. Depending on how many software products the remote machine has, this action may take a moment to complete. Once completed, the list of products are displayed underneath the Product object.
  2. To create a report of all installed software products, make sure that the Product object category is selected and either:> Click on Report Instances in the Information panel
    > Right click on the mouse and select Report Instances from the context sensitive menu
    > Select Report >> Report Selection from the main menuAn HTML report is then generated and opened. This report contains the summary and detailed information of all installed software products on the remote machine.
    As previously demonstrated, you can also select any individual product, open its properties window and report the information on that item alone.

Querying Information through Associations

The Browser view includes a large set of root objects which provides you with information about the remote machine. Not all information which can be reported from that machine is included. Having a root object for every data element that exists on a computer would be unrealistic. Instead, WMIX discloses the remaining information through associations.

Every object queried may have one or more associations with other system objects. For instance, a logical disk is associated with a partition, a volume quota and a root directory. A disk partition is associated with a disk drive which is associated with a motherboard controller. Let us demonstrate how to discover information through associations.

  1. Double click on the Logical Disk item. The configured instances of the logical disks on the remote machine are displayed.
  2. To find the associations of a logical disk, double click on it. Let’s double click on the ‘C:’ logical disk. The existing associations with the ‘C:’ logical disk are displayed with the actual role it plays with this instance.
    We can see that this C: drive has a root directory associated with it, as well as partitions and some disk quota. The items shown here are the associations available for this object. To actually see the objects associated with the C: drive, select and double-click on any of its associations. For instance, let’s double click on the Logical Disk to Partition association to disclose the available partition for this C: logical disk.Once the partition instances are displayed, you can continue to discover further associations by double clicking on the partition instance, then by double clicking on the associations found, and so on and so forth. For more information, see Displaying Object Associations.

Modifying configuration settings

You can modify any setting which is configurable on an object. For this tutorial, we will modify the remote machine’s OS Recovery options so that it automatically reboots in the event of a crash. We will also configure the remote machine to send an admin alert.

  1. Double click on the OS Recovery Configuration item to disclose the only OS recovery configuration object. Select the resulting item and open its properties window.
  2. Whenever an object has configurable properties, they are displayed in blue in a separate category called Properties (read/write). Let’s set the ‘Auto Reboot’ and the ‘Send Admin Alert’ properties to TRUE. You will notice that as soon as you do this, the Apply button is enabled. Click on the Apply button to save your changes. Then click on the OK button to close this window. For more information, see Querying and Managing Information.

Executing Tasks

Not only can you modify configuration settings but you can also execute available configuration tasks. When you select an object in the Browser view, the Information Panel shows the available tasks for the selection. Configuration tasks may exist for objects or for the resulting instances of an object.

If you select one of the software products queried in the previous example, the Information panel displays the following available tasks for that product:

  • Configure…
  • Reinstall…
  • Uninstall…
  • Upgrade…

Clicking on any of these tasks will execute the selected action. If you select the parent Product item, a new set of available tasks appears in the Information panel. These tasks do not apply to any particular instance of a product but to the product category itself.

  • Admin…
  • Advertise…
  • Install…

For this tutorial, we will execute a ‘Print Test Page’ task on the remote machine’s configured printer.

  1. Double click on the Printer item to disclose the configured printers on the remote machine.
  2. Select any of the printers configured on the remote machine and notice how the Information panel updates itself to show the available tasks for a printer, including the ‘Print Test Page…’ task.
  3. To start the execution of a task, either:
    > Click on the task in the Information panel
    > Right click on the mouse and select the task from the context sensitive menuStart the execution of the ‘Print Test Page’ task.
  4. The Task execution window appears:

    This window displays the information about the selected task as well as the expected values to be returned. If any parameters were needed for the execution of a task, you will be prompted for them at this time. However, for the task at hand, no parameters are required.Click on the Execute button, and then click on OK when the confirmation prompt appears.
  5. After the execution, the result is displayed.

For more information, see Executing Management Tasks.

This concludes the quick start tutorial. Only the most basic tasks have been demonstrated here and WMIX has so much more to offer. You will find all the information you need in this user guide.

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