What is a Management Information Format (MIF) File?

by | Jul 9, 2014 | ConfigMgr

Last updated on September 28th, 2022 at 09:34 am

It does matter what version of Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (MEMCM / MECM / SCCM ) you are using MIF files are something that you need to know about. There are two different types of Management Information Format (MIF) files (sort of).

What are Management Information Format File?

“Use Management Information Format (MIF) files to extend hardware inventory information collected from clients by Configuration Manager. 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. There are two types of MIF files: NOIDMIF and IDMIF.”


Second Type of MIF

The hardware inventory MIF file are not defined. At least I don’t remember seeing a definition of it listed within any of the docs. MIF files are created when inventory occurs. These included hardware inventory, software inventory or heartbeat discovery.

The two files meanings are easily confused. and extremely similar in basic meaning, structure, etc.. One is used to extend inventory. The other is actual Hardware inventory file.

Hardware Inventory MIF are the most common type. Particularly when troubleshooting inventory. This is why I’m telling you this! For example, in this blog post, Troubleshooting Inventory Flow, I’m talking about the second type of MIF file.

When talking about MIF files, determine if you are talking about extending the inventory or the actual inventory itself. If it is the latter, then my recommendation is for you to search for the log file name or folder name that contains the MIF file ( i.e. inventoryagenet.log or dataldr.log) in order to troubleshoot the second type of MIF file.

In my opinion, you should never use MIF files to extend your inventory in the first place. There are too many down sides to using them (i.e. network traffic, no control on the data), in MECM. There’s no (limited) control on the details MIFs will collect, etc. and very little upside.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me @GarthMJ. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to my RRS feed to stay on top of the latest trips and tricks.

Management Information Format Files