Getting Started with vSphere SDKs - Updated for SDK 4.1 release

Getting Started with vSphere SDKs - Updated for SDK 4.1 release

I am new to virtualization, where can I get more information ?
Start by reviewing VMware information on virtualization.

What are the names of the VMware vSphere SDKs and CLIs and how can I find out what is new ? (Updated for vSphere SDK 4.1 Release)
The VMware SDKs are organized into two categories, for Developers and  Administrators. We encourage you to visit the SDK / CLI product pages  and review the Release notes and Documentation.

AudiencevSphereVMware Infrastructure 3.x
DevelopervSphere Web Services SDK 4.1VMware Infrastructure SDK
DevelopervSphere SDK for Perl 4.1VMware Infrastructure Perl Toolkit
DevelopervSphere SDK for Java (Tech Preview)VMware Infrastructure for Java (Tech Preview)
DevelopervSphere Guest SDK 4.0VMware Guest SDK
DeveloperVIX API 1.6VIX API
DeveloperVirtual Disk Development Kit 1.2Virtual Disk Development Kit
DeveloperVMware StudioVMware Studio 1.0
DeveloperCIM SDK 4.1CIM SDK
AdministratorvSphere Management Assistant 4.1VMware Infrastructure Management Assistant
AdministratorvSphere Command Line Interface (vCLI) 4.1VMware Infrastructure RCLI
AdministratorVMware OVF Tool 1.0Not Available
AdministratorvSphere PowerCLI 4.1VMware Infrastructure Toolkit for Windows

What can I do with the VMware vSphere SDKs and APIs ?

The VMware vSphere SDKs and APIs allow developers, and administrators to  integrate and automate solutions using the vSphere APIs. Administrators  can use our easy to use tools such as the vSphere PowerCLI to automate  day to day tasks using PowerShell. Software developers can integrate  with existing appications using standards based solutions. As a general  rule of thumb our SDKs and Toolkits can do what the vSphere Client can  do.

What are the common tasks that can be automated using the vSphere APIs ?

  • Provisioning
  • Hardware Health Monitoring
  • VM Lifecycle
  • TroubleShooting
  • Performance Monitoring

Where can I download the latest SDKs, get Knowledge Base Articles, Code Sample and Community postings?
Visit the

I need to create scripts for ESXi - where can I go to find out more about what tools are available ?
Visit the VMware Automation Tools site for CLI downloads, documentation, sample code and community contributions

Where can I find a high level overview of our APIs ?
Brief description of our APIs can be found here

Where can I learn about latest webinar events ?
We have started a webinar program we call VMware Coffee Talk Webinars.  We update the latest event on our calendar visit Home page Events. You can also see our reference links for past recorded events:

Can you briefly describe the vSphere API architecture?
The VMware  vSphere API provides a complete set of language-neutral  interfaces to the VMware Virtual Infrastructure Management (VIM)  Framework. The vSphere API I is implemented as industry-standard Web  services hosted on VirtualCenter Server and ESX Server systems. The  vSphere API complies with the Web Services Interoperability Organization  (WS-I) Basic Profile 1.0, which includes XML Schema 1.0, SOAP 1.1, WSDL  1.1. For more information see the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0

The Web service provides all the operations necessary, including  life-cycle operations, to monitor and manage virtual infrastructure  components—compute resources, virtual machines, networks, and storage.

VMware has Perl (vSphere Web Services SDK) and PowerShell (vSphere  PowerCLI) bindings to facilitate management for Perl and Windows  developers / administrators.

What is the vSphere Web Services SDK, and what does it include?
The vSphere Web Services SDK facilitates development of client  applications that target the vSphere API. The vSphere API is exposed as a  Web service on the vSphere 4.x, VMware Infrastructure 3 platforms (ESX  Server, VirtualCenter Server systems). The vSphere Web Services  includes:

  • Pre-compiled Java client libraries -- vim.jar, vim25.jar -- for development and testing;
  • A complete set of documentation for setup, programming guide, and the API reference.
  • Sample code for Web-services client applications Java and Microsoft C# environments.

I am new to the vSphere Web Services SDK where do I start ? (Updated for vSphere Web Services SDK 4.1)
1. Download the Software Development Kit.

2. Read the Developer Set Up Guidehttp___communities.vmware.com_servlet_JiveServlet_downloadImage_3526_icon_pdf_a.gif

3. Understand the capabilities by reading the Programming Guidehttp___communities.vmware.com_servlet_JiveServlet_downloadImage_3526_icon_pdf_a.gif

4. Review Reference Guide which provides a complete description of objects, methods, and properties.

5. Review Release Notes

I am stuck what kind of help can I get for me or my organization ?
VMware now offers dedicated developer support for your organization when  using the vSphere SDKs / APIs and CLIs. Developer support contracts  sold per developer seat with unlimited usage. Please be sure to read the  scope of support. Developer Support can be purchased online, through a  VMware Partner or by calling VMware directly. Developer Support Program  Information

What programming languages does VMware recommend when using the vSphere Web Services SDK?
The following are recommended languages when interfacing with the VMware vSphere Web Services SDK.

Developer Community

  • Development Environment / Framework
  • Java: J2SE 1.5_0_08 or later
  • C#: Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft Visual Studio 2003, Microsoft Visual C#

  • Web services client development tool set
  • Java: Apache Axis 1.4
  • C#: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

Which versions of Apache Axis and Sun’s JDK are used to generate and compile the VI SDK client stub in Java?

  • Apache Axis uses Apache Axis 1.4 (recommended) or Apache Axis 1.2.1
  • Java uses Java Standard Edition 2, version 5.0 (J2SE 1.5.x) or J2SE 1.4.x. VMware recommends using J2SE 1.5.0_08 (or later).
  • For further details on the above please refer to the chapter  “Setting Up for Java Development”, chapter in the “Developer’s Setup  Guide.

Where can I find more information about Web Services?
See the following industry sites:

Where can I find more information on the vSphere and VI SDK Licensing Agreements ?
Please review our VMware SDK Frequently Asked Questions Document

What is the VMware Perl Toolkit and when should I consider using it?
The VI Perl Toolkit provides an easy-to-use Perl Scripting interface to  the VMware Infrastructure API (VI API). Administrators and developers  who may be more familiar with Perl can readily leverage the VI API. The  VI Perl Toolkit has many uses ranging from day to day management,  automation of VI, to prototyping concept projects and applications.

What is the vSphere PowerCLI ?
The VI Toolkit for Windows provides Windows administrators with a  familiar and easy to use interface to manage VMware infrastructure. If  you would like to download, please visit for more information. We recommend you review our Managing VMware with PowerShell Frequently Asked Questions.


Top 10 Best Practices Using vSphere SDKs. A Must Read For Every Developer.

Check it out here:

Steve JIN

Author of VMware VI and vSphere SDK (Prentice Hall)

Creator of vSphere (VI) Java API

Blog: DoubleCloud.ORG

Twitter: @sjin2008

Version history
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Last update:
‎08-22-2008 10:27 AM
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