Support Next vSphere Release in VI Java API: The Plan and Work Around

Recently I got several questions and even a bug on supporting the next release of vSphere in the open source VI Java API. The questions are mostly from VMware partners who have early access of the private beta of next release of vSphere and want to ship their own products at the same time of vSphere GA. I figure more partners may have the same question, therefore decide to answer it all here with a possible work around.

I have not yet checked out the beta of next vSphere, and don’t have a timeline on when to support it in VI Java API. My previous experience shows that it shouldn’t take too long for it to be supported in the open source API. That is the technical aspect.

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From program side, I don’t have access to the private beta on behalf of the open source project. So I have to work out the details on that front. If I can get formal permission from VMware on this, I will start to work on this.

Another challenge is that even I get it done early, I cannot share it with the public unless VMware is OK for the work to go public earlier. Again, as I said before, API is the “view” of a product – it exposes features in its object model. Based on that, I don’t expect VMware would agree early release of VI Java API even it’s done ahead of time.

The realistic timeline is to release the beta of VI Java API in probably the first month of next vSphere release, whatever the date is. As before, I cannot commit to any specific date.

The good news is that most of the partners don’t actually need the new features of vSphere. They simply want to make the current open source API works with the new product. That is exactly the bug I got from the API tracker. This is not really a bug but a new feature request because the current API does not support the new vSphere by design. Anyway, I am fine with that as long as we have it tracked one way or the other.:-)

The submitter of the bug, Holly Harb, actually did quite some homework and came up with a quick work around. I just copy whatever is submitted in the bug record here. The key is to hack the SOAP_ACTION to version 5.

public void setSoapActionOnApiVersion(String apiVersion)
{
  //4.0 is set by default already, so skip it here
  if("4.1".equals(apiVersion))
  {
    soapAction = SOAP_ACTION_V41;
  }
  else if("5.0".equals(apiVersion))
  {
    soapAction = SOAP_ACTION_V50;
  }
  else if ("5.1".equals(apiVersion))
  {
    soapAction = SOAP_ACTION_V50;
  }
}

I believe if you have similar simple requirement, following the work around should be good for now. After the next VI Java API is released later, just switch to the new release.

That is all about the story of next release vSpere support.

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