Understanding the Simple Network Management Protocol, or SNMP, can be daunting. You will at minimum need a program that can communicate in SNMP, of which there are many. If you have ScanEngine Explorer, you have one. But to read or write an object in SNMP you need to identify the object. This is a fundamental way programs that communicate in SNMP differ.
SNMP is a communication language (that's what's meant by calling it a protocol), and in this language objects are all uniquely numbered. People deal with things by number all the time. You call someone on the telephone with their phone number, and in the same manner you interrogate an SNMP managed object by it's Object ID, or OID. Suppose you want to read the signal strength from a wifi radio. That object has a number. When you dial a phone number, you have to enter the destination phone number. For this signal strength object, the OID is: 188.8.131.52.4.1.149184.108.40.206.1.1.4! How'd you like to enter that number of digits when dialing a telephone?
We've all become accustomed to having a calling list in our phones, so all we need to do is select the person's name we want to call from a list, and the phone calls them. But not all telephones have such a capability, and we still have to deal with entering digits when we want to call someone that's not been entered into our calling list.
In ScanEngine Explorer, we provide a calling list like capability for managed objects. When you want to select the wireless station transmit signal strength, we simply select the mtxrWlStatStrength from a list, and it knows the OID for that object is 220.127.116.11.4.1.14918.104.22.168.1.1.4.
In today's cellphone we not only use the calling list to select a destination, but also to display the identity of an incoming call (if their name/number is in our calling list). ScanEngine Explorer provides the same capability.
Finally, the task of entering OIDs into an SNMP program reference list differentiates programs that support working with OIDs by name instead of number. A single device which supports SNMP may contain anything from a single object to THOUSANDS of objects. ScanEngine Explorer does not know a single OID, but provides a simple and effective means for importing OID definitions in bulk from Managed Information Block definition files, known as MIB definition files, which can be thought of as telephone directories for collections of OID objects.