About MIF Files Used by Hardware Inventory
Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2
Management Information Format (MIF) files can be used to extend hardware inventory information collected from clients by the Configuration Manager 2007 hardware inventory client agent. During hardware inventory, the information stored in MIF files is added to the client inventory report and stored in the site database, where you can use the data in the same ways that you use default client inventory data. Two MIF files can be used when performing client hardware inventories: NOIDMIF and IDMIF.
By default, NOIDMIF and IDMIF file information is not inventoried by Configuration Manager 2007 sites. To enable NOIDMIF and IDMIF file information to be inventoried, NOIDMIF and IDMIF collection must be enabled. You can choose to enable one or both types of MIF file collection for Configuration Manager 2007 sites on the MIF Collection tab of the hardware inventory client agent properties. For more information about enabling MIF collection for Configuration Manager 2007 sites during hardware inventory, see Hardware Inventory Client Agent Properties: MIF Collection Tab.
Configuration Manager 2007 creates new tables or modifies existing tables in the site database to accommodate the properties in IDMIF and NOIDMIF files. However, IDMIF and NOIDMIF files are not validated, so they could be used to alter tables that you do not want altered. Valid data could be overwritten by invalid data. Large amounts of data could be loaded, causing delays in all Configuration Manager 2007 functions. To mitigate this risk, you should enable IDMIF and NOIDMIF collection only when needed.
Standard MIF files used in Configuration Manager 2007 hardware inventory are called NOIDMIF files. NOIDMIF files do not contain a unique identifier for the data. Configuration Manager 2007 automatically associates NOIDMIF file data with the client that the NOIDMIF file is collected from when reporting inventory information.
NOIDMIF files themselves are not sent to the site server during a client hardware inventory cycle. The information contained within the NOIDMIF file is collected and added to the client inventory report.
If the classes defined in an inventoried NOIDMIF file do not already exist in the Configuration Manager 2007 site database, new inventory class tables are created in the site database to store the inventoried information. Subsequent inventories will inventory the data stored in the NOIDMIF file and update the existing inventory data for the client in the site database. If the NOIDMIF file is removed from the client, all the classes and properties relating to the NOIDMIF file are deleted from the current inventory information for the client in the site database.
In order for NOIDMIF file information to be inventoried by default, the NOIDMIF file must be stored in the following directory on Configuration Manager 2007 clients:
Custom MIF files, called IDMIF files, can also be used in Configuration Manager 2007 hardware inventory. IDMIF files contain a unique ID and are not associated with the computer they are collected from. IDMIF files can be used to collect inventory data about devices that are not Configuration Manager 2007 clients; for example, a shared network printer, DVD player, photocopier, or similar equipment that is not associated with a client-specific computer.
When IDMIF collection is enabled for a site, IDMIF files are only collected if they are within the size limit specified for custom MIF files defined in the General tab of the hardware inventory client agent properties. For more information about specifying maximum custom MIF file size, see Hardware Inventory Client Agent Properties: General Tab.
Because IDMIF files are not associated with a Configuration Manager 2007 client, they are collected by the hardware inventory client agent and sent to the site server along with the client hardware inventory report. Depending on the maximum custom MIF size specified for the site, IDMIF collection may cause increased network bandwidth usage during client inventories and should be planned for before enabling IDMIF file collection.
IDMIF files are identical to NOIDMIF files, with these exceptions:
IDMIF files must have a delta header that provides architecture, and a unique ID. NOIDMIF files are automatically given a similar header by the system during processing on the client.
IDMIF files must include a top-level group with the same class as the architecture being added or changed, and that group must include at least one property.
Like NOIDMIF files, IDMIF files have key properties that must be unique. Any class that has more than one instance must have at least one key property defined, or subsequent instances overwrite previous instances.
Removing IDMIF files from clients does not cause the associated data in the site database to be deleted during subsequent hardware inventories.
IDMIF file information is not added to client inventory reports and the files themselves are sent across the network to be processed at the site server.
In order for IDMIF file information to be inventoried by default, the IDMIF file must be stored in the following directory on Configuration Manager 2007 clients:
For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
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