Management information communicated by operation of the SNMP is represented according to the subset of the ASN.1 language  that is specified for the definition of non-aggregate types in the SMI.
The SGMP adopted the convention of using a well-defined subset of the ASN.1 language . The SNMP continues and extends this tradition by utilizing a moderately more complex subset of ASN.1 for describing managed objects and for describing the protocol data units used for managing those objects. In addition, the desire to ease eventual transition to OSI-based network management protocols led to the definition in the ASN.1 language of an Internet-standard Structure of Management Information (SMI)  and Management Information Base (MIB) . The use of the ASN.1 language, was, in part, encouraged by the successful use of ASN.1 in earlier efforts, in particular, the SGMP. The restrictions on the use of ASN.1 that are part of the SMI contribute to the simplicity espoused and validated by experience with the SGMP. Also for the sake of simplicity, the SNMP uses only a subset of the basic encoding rules of ASN.1 . Namely, all encodings use the definite-length form. Further, whenever permissible, non-constructor encodings are used rather than constructor encodings. This restriction applies to all aspects of ASN.1 encoding, both for the top-level protocol data units and the data objects they contain.