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 for simplicity.
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.