Microsoft make an even broader patent claim on CMDB

The next time you feel even the faintest twinge of believing that Microsoft are on your side, ask them why they would be wanting to patent the concept of CMDB. To advance ITSM? To create a fair and open market? To increase healthy competition? Maybe Goooogle are exhibiting a few signs of evil but Microsoft hold the franchise.

I bet you never knew the inventors of CMDB are Anthony Baron, Anders Vinberg, Andrew Timothy Hopper, Ashvinkumar J. Sanghvi, Dileep R.P. Kumar, Giedrius Zizys, Nigel G. Cain, and Vij Rajarajan

As I said in a previous post about this crap from Mickeysoft, one would hope that “prior art” will kill all this nonsense stone dead, but the US patent system is in such a parlous state (mostly by allowing patents on methods, but more generally by the meddling of the US’s prime pestilence: lawyers) that anything could happen.

My best-case hope is that Microsoft employees get bonused on patent applications and these guys are just busy “writing themselves a Winnebago”, but I doubt it.

Thanks @scoinva for the link.


Just another reason I don't like S/W patents

Get rid of software patents, period!

(a) the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) don't really have sufficient expertise to evaluate the intricacies and complexities required to thoroughly evaluate software patents. So, they rely on experts in the field to supply prior art. However, it's still up to the USPTO officer to determine if/how the prior art applies (again, their expertise is limited).

(b) Patent trolls

Enough said.


Cheeky Blighters!

First they take ITIL and call it MOF, then they claim to have invented the CMDB!

Don't eat their own dog food (at least when it comes to MOF)

Recently on a panel with a rep from Microsoft and made the point that MOF clearly wasn't something anyone should consider because even Microsoft didn't / doesn't follow it. The Microsoft rep disagreed, talking about how MOF signs are everywhere and....

My response:

In both ITIL and MOF there is supposed to be backout plans for each patch or change is supposed to have a backout/rollback plan. So, if that's the case, why do so many patches from Microsoft include the phrase "Once installed there is no way to uninstall this update." I asked the audience if anyone had every experienced a patch that (a) broke something and (b) was documented as could not be uninstalled?

The Microsoft rep was curiously quiet.


I, too, enjoy a round of

I, too, enjoy a round of stump the chump, but you're asking why MOF isn't applied to application development not IT operations. They're supplying a patch that fixes an issue. No one (MS or the customer) should apply that patch without a backout plan. Why does MS have to code the backout plan into the patch itself? In the case cited, the backout plan would probably be a full system restore.

When did operations develop patches?

Operations doesn't build and test patches, that is the province of development.

Don't know about you, but when i lead development teams we ALWAYS had a contingency plan (or plans) if what we did (new, change, and / or patch) -- that's current and also predating the existence of ITIL.

You're right, operations should always be able to do a system restore. However, that should be an absolute last resort because something failed with the rollback or backout. The attitude from Microsoft, suppling unremoveable patches, isn't consistent with ITIL, isn't consistent with MOF, isn't consistent with good practice and IS representative what I've labeled for years as, "developer arrogance."



MS-ITIL (MOF 4.0) has managed to do more for ITSM in less time than the "global community" has with ITIL. Consider this, the entire MOF library is free to download with guides tailored to executives, techies, and all points in-between. There are some bits and pieces still being written, but it has more to offer IT Operations than ITIL V2 and it does it with all the lifecycle benefits of ITIL V3.

They back it up with quality enterprise software. For example their monitoring product can go head-to-head with anything from IBM or HP after just 2 version updates (MOM 2005 then SCOM 2007). Those same market players (with hands reaching deep into the ITIL Empire) are going to be introduced to a service desk suite that might deliver a reality that can only be matched in competitor's creative marketing briefs.

Don't get me wrong. I used to bash MS along with everyone else. I also make a good living working in and around their competitor's products. It wasn't until Apple Mania that I realized that the industry's image of MS didn't match reality. ITIL isn't anymore community-driven than Apple is an open platform. Perhaps the solution is to have tighter control over an open-source framework (ex: MOF), but be honest about that control as opposed to where we find ourselves today with ITIL.

In a weird way, MS is acting like Linux. They are producing an open-source alternative to the market leading framework (ITIL). MS controls the kernel just like Linux, but leaves it open for the community to custom fit.
And we need less of this?

MOF is terrific

I think MOF is terrific. I also think Microsoft have been arrogant and deceitful and monopolistic for so long that MOF will be forever crippled by its ownership.

I'm sitting here right now trying to decide whether I want a MOF 4.0 beta book release enough to sign up for Microsoft Live ID, something I have resisted until now purely because I detest and distrust Microsoft.

All of Microsoft's behaviour with other standards (LDAP, SQL, COM/CORBA, DOCX...) shows loud and clear that they have zero commitment to community or open-ness. I admit to being puzzled as to why they have made MOF open content, but I am certain there is an ulterior motive. Perhaps it is an attempt to buy credibility in the IT operations space. But it will take a decade of good citizenship before I trust MS as much as I trust HP or IBM and that isn't much.

The day MS rename MOF without an "M" in it and release it to a body like ISACA is the day I'll go for it unreservedly.

And the day MS can write an operating system that even comes within pissing distance of Linux is the day I'll look at their operations tools.

It's The "M" That's Puzzling & Brings Out The Cynics

I agree with Skep. MOF does a fine job, but why call it the MICROSOFT Operations Framework? Espceially when MOF 1.0 was just ITIL by another name.

If there really is no ulterior motive behind this (and I'm not saying there is, I just can't figure them out) - why make it look like a MS product?

I've tried telling the folks there that if it wasn't for the "M" it could take off like a rocket. I really believe that.

Dutch influence

As far as I know the first version of MOF has been "made" for MS by Dutch consultants from a very well known Dutch consultancy Firm. Those consultants were all ITIL Experts way before Castle Itil invented this "Title".

Yes indeed. All ITIL is a battle between The English Castle ITIL and the Dutch ITIL maffia ;-)

Excellent points...

I think/agree that the M is the biggest reason why MOF is a secondary ITSM framework. I don't see that changing, but MS might be trying to create a wholly MS operations suite complete with tools and a framework. Of course, there's probably an interesting story behind the decision to go open source with MOF.

Didn't/Doesn't HP have a proprietary operations framework? I don't think I've seen anything about it lately and that probably matches their push into ITIL. I guess parts of ITIL are inspired by IBM Red Books. Perhaps they were simply before their time as opposed to being crippled by tight vendor control.

MS employees hardly know about MOF

I don't think it's the 'M' that slows down acceptance op MOF.
MS have the large majority of global markets with their products, so why would MOF not be accepted just as easy? There is a much better reason: there is hardly any marketing of MOF by MS. And if you compare its marketing with ITIL marketing, there's none at all.
MOF V1 was indeed largely written by Dutch consultants, who made a lot of money on that job. But they had just a little bit more understanding of modeling than the ITIL authors had. As a consequence both ITIL and MOF are reference models, and not implementation frameworks. In practice, looking at the various versions of both, they're just playing leapfrog. With one big difference: all MOF versions are available for free and ITIL is always sold at exorbitant prices.
If you want a deep analysis of both reference models, try reading the first download at the MS MOF & ITSM page.

For the record, MOF "1.0"

For the record, MOF "1.0" was NOT written by "Dutch Consultants".

what DID Microsoft write?

Tell me more - what did MS write? Or was it all written by external parties? Would be interesting to see which element of Microsoft's management philosophy was actually created by Microsoft staff. And whether that was any different from OGC? After all, did any of the OGC staff write anything?

Lots of rambling questions

Lots of rambling questions here!

CCTA staff only indirectly contributed to MOF because they had already written ITIL! I wouldn't credit Microsoft with "creating" anything - merely coordinating the re-formatting of ITIL into MOF, with a little extra content regarding people & roles and (MS) tools. Since then MOF has undergone a number of "updates" and - in my view - has retained a bit more of practicality than ITIL V3.

Anyway, this isn't a very useful (or interesting) discussion. The point is, I was surprised to see a few people seemingly credit "Dutch Consultants" with writing MOF - that was not the case.

Who else

Then tell me: Who wrote MOF version 1?

All I remember is that a bunch of consultants from a Dutch company worked for Unisys who was hired by MS to write MOF

collators and summarisers and editors

I'll let David and others answer on MOF.

For ITIL, the authors of ITIL V1 and I think V2 were OGC (or its predecessor) employees right? engaged by OGC to write and edit the books.

In one sense of "write" the authors shouldn't write anything. Since these frameworks are supposed to be collections of best or good or generally accepted practice, i don't think the authors should be pontificating experts - that's one of the problems with ITIL v3. They should be collators and organisers and explainers and summarisers and editors of the collective wisdom, inventing nothing. There is a place for expert books with unique individual perspectives and exciting original ideas, but it isn't in core frameworks.

ITSM good citizens

HP's promotion of ITIL is at least as old as MOF. Neither they nor IBM try to promote their proprietary frameworks - they just give them something else to sell existing customers: expand the sale. HP vigorously promote ITIL; IBM approach it with a half-heartedness that is obvious to the world. And nobody expects BMC or CA to be good corporate citizens :D

The real Litmus test will come when and if COBIT 5 is developed as a publicly-contributed how-to-advice BOK. If IBM and HP and MS contribute their own IP to that public pool then we'll know who the good citizens are. [Updated: and CA can colour it up with some subway maps and BMC can tell us how to save $1M in three years with a CMDB]

The same goes for OGC only more so. If ITIL is truly a UK government public service then they will put ITIL in the COBIT 5 pot too. Why wouldn't they? If ITIL is actually controlled by the vendors (vendors of ITIL: including APMG, TSO, consulting firms and trainers in that term) then it won't be happening.


HP's promotion of ITIL most definitely pre-dates MOF! They were one of the first major companies outside of the Netherlands to take ITIL seriously and were a major supporter of the ITIL training at the UK's Civil Service College when we were seeding the commercial marketplace. There is also a very good reason why the ISO/IEC 20000 model has a striking resemblance to the HP Service Management Reference Model.

James Finister
Wolston Limited

Indeed they did take it serious

Indeed. I traineds hundreds of HP employée in ITIL back in 2000 among which many working for HP's outsourcing ranche

BMC also tried to patent ... federation

Another strange patent filing: 6 months after having co-founded the CMDBf working group, BMC filed a patent on database federation. It may be OK, as many aspects of federation and implementation techniques are out of the scope of the CMDBf standards, but this patent claims also for query and registration methods for a federated database system (

And this claim - as far as I understand the technolawyer language - overlaps with the definition of the two main services that had to be defined by the CMDBf group.

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