Common Information Model

Definition of Common Information Model

The Common Information Model (CIM) is a standard developed to facilitate the exchange and integration of information within different computer systems and across various applications in diverse industries. It provides a unified and consistent representation of data and relationships between data elements in an object-oriented manner. By simplifying the process of information sharing and communication between systems, CIM promotes interoperability and reduces the complexity of managing multiple systems.


The phonetics for the keyword “Common Information Model” can be represented as:/ˈkɒmən ˌɪnfərˈmeɪʃən ˈmɒdəl/Here’s the breakdown:Common: ˈkɒmənInformation: ˌɪnfərˈmeɪʃənModel: ˈmɒdəl

Key Takeaways

  1. Common Information Model (CIM) is a standard for data representation that enhances data sharing and integration among various IT resources, applications, and devices within an organization.
  2. CIM utilizes Object-Oriented Modeling to define a consistent and extensible ontology, ensuring that data can be easily exchanged, understood, and processed by different systems.
  3. It promotes unified management of IT infrastructure, providing a foundation for efficient automation, monitoring, and maintenance tasks, thereby improving overall IT service quality and reducing costs.

Importance of Common Information Model

The Common Information Model (CIM) is an essential technology term as it represents a standardized data model that facilitates the exchange and consolidation of information across diverse systems, applications, and domains.

By providing a common and consistent framework, CIM enhances interoperability and simplifies integration, allowing various entities to communicate seamlessly.

Moreover, CIM reduces operational complexity and development costs by simplifying the process of data modeling, while enabling the effective management of resources across various systems.

The significance of CIM extends to the IT industry, energy sector, and beyond, empowering organizations to efficiently share information and drive productivity across their networks.


The Common Information Model (CIM) is a critical tool designed to enable seamless communication and interoperability among various hardware, software, and systems within a technology landscape. The primary purpose of CIM is to facilitate the sharing of information and data across different platforms, applications, and services, allowing for a cohesive and efficient management framework.

By serving as a standardized, unified data representation format, CIM fosters smooth collaboration between diverse systems and components in an organization, and minimizes the complexities that often arise from disparate data structures and naming conventions. To actualize this vision, CIM utilizes an extensible, object-oriented schema that defines the structure and relationships within a multitude of data elements in a consistent manner.

This robust data model effectively streamlines the integration process of diverse IT systems, significantly reducing the time, costs, and risks involved in new implementations and technology updates. As a result, organizations embracing the Common Information Model are more agile and responsive to evolving business and technology needs, empowering them to focus on their core objectives while consistently benefiting from the efficient functioning of integrated systems.

Moreover, the utilization of CIM leads to improved decision-making, as it enables a comprehensive and accurate assessment of system-wide data, facilitating informed strategies and actions.

Examples of Common Information Model

The Common Information Model (CIM) is a standard developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to enable the integration and exchange of data among different applications and systems in the electric utilities sector. Here are three real-world examples demonstrating the use of the CIM:

European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E): The ENTSO-E, which consists of 42 Transmission System Operators (TSOs) from 35 countries, uses CIM to standardize electricity market data among its members. The ENTSO-E Common Grid Model Exchange Standard (CGMES) is based on the CIM standard, which facilitates the collection, validation, and submission of power system data across the European continent. This allows better coordination between TSOs, increasing the reliability and efficiency of the regional power grid.

Integration of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs): A growing trend in electric power systems is the integration of Distributed Energy Resources, such as solar panels and energy storage systems. The CIM standard has been adapted to handle the interconnection of these distributed systems by extending the information model to include DER-specific components. For example, a project in Ontario, Canada, implemented CIM to integrate various DER assets into the grid while maintaining compatibility with legacy systems.

Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP): The SGIP is a consortium of utilities, vendors, and research institutions committed to promoting the development of a smarter and more efficient power grid. To achieve interoperability between devices and systems, SGIP facilitates the adoption of common information standards like the CIM. A project in Arizona, USA, aimed at enhancing the grid’s resiliency, used the CIM to develop a framework for sharing data across utilities and equipment vendors. This enabled seamless communication among devices from different manufacturers and streamlined system operations.

Common Information Model FAQs

What is the Common Information Model (CIM)?

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. This is intended to enable consistent management of these managed elements, independent of their specific technology or platform.

What are the benefits of using the Common Information Model?

By providing a consistent representation of managed elements and their associated data, the Common Information Model enables easier integration of management data from different sources. This can help improve overall management efficiency, reduce costs, and increase the flexibility of IT systems.

How is the Common Information Model implemented?

The CIM is typically implemented using a combination of XML and object-oriented programming languages. The model is defined using the Managed Object Format (MOF), which provides a way to represent CIM classes, associations, and instances in a human-readable text format.

What industries use the Common Information Model?

The Common Information Model is used across various industries, such as IT infrastructure management, data center management, cloud computing, and more. It is also widely adopted in the field of power grids and smart grids for standardized data exchange between different systems and devices.

Who maintains and develops the Common Information Model?

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) is responsible for establishing, maintaining, and developing the Common Information Model. The DMTF is a consortium of industry leaders dedicated to promoting enterprise and systems management and interoperability.

Related Technology Terms

  • Data integration
  • Unified model
  • Business objects
  • Schema standardization
  • Industry-specific ontologies

Sources for More Information

  • The Open Group –
  • Wikipedia –
  • ResearchGate –
  • ABB Library –

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