Managed objects are accessed via a virtual information store, termed
the Management Information Base or MIB. Objects in the MIB are
defined using the subset of Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) 
defined in the SMI. In particular, each object has a name, a syntax,
and an encoding. The name is an object identifier, an
administratively assigned name, which specifies an object type. The
object type together with an object instance serves to uniquely
identify a specific instantiation of the object. For human
convenience, we often use a textual string, termed the OBJECT
DESCRIPTOR, to also refer to the object type.
The syntax of an object type defines the abstract data structure
corresponding to that object type. The ASN.1 language is used for
this purpose. However, the SMI  purposely restricts the ASN.1
constructs which may be used. These restrictions are explicitly made
The encoding of an object type is simply how that object type is
represented using the object type's syntax. Implicitly tied to the
notion of an object type's syntax and encoding is how the object type
is represented when being transmitted on the network.
The SMI specifies the use of the basic encoding rules of ASN.1 ,
subject to the additional requirements imposed by the SNMP.