When you collect data from one of your Systems, NIM queries that system, retrieves its current dataset, and loads it into the Vault. A system's data in the NIM vault is then interpreted through the system's data model (see Data models) for use in Filters and other features.

To get started, Collect and load a system.

In addition to performing manual collections, you can configure NIM to perform automated collections. For example, as part of Sync tasks. Automated collections are an important part of The NIM workflow.

Note that there is an important distinction between collecting and loading data. They are not identical operations. Collecting data necessarily loads the collected data into the vault, but loading data does not necessarily collect new data. It is possible to Load a past system collection without performing a new collection. To view all past system collections that are available to be loaded, View past system collections.

Loading a past system collection into the vault is a relatively uncommon procedure. One scenario is when a system's current data has become invalidated or corrupted, and you want to use NIM to provision old data into the system, to roll it back to a previous state. Another reason is to investigate the collection history, to figure out when or why something changed in a target account due to differences between collections.


You should collect data often, especially after altering a system's configuration or data model. There is little to no downside involved in collecting data, and it ensures that the vault is up to date.

Every time a collection occurs, a new folder is created for it in C:\ProgramData\Tools4ever\NIM\sysdata\systems\<system>\<YYYYMMDDHHMMSS>. These folders and all collected data are retained indefinitely. If necessary, you can reload them at any time.