Same company different focus, let me know about your API wants!

For over a year I have been focused on improving VMware Command Line Interfaces including PowerCLI, vCLI, vMA, ESXCLI & DCLI.  I have tried to stay close to what the users of VMware want from a command line interface and have been delivering this as part of our current offerings and future offerings, I have been working with some of the best development teams in the industry (I may be biased) and have enjoyed talking to customers who use my products to do a variety of awesome things.

Well, none of that changes yet! I mean I am still responsible for working with the command line tools so please keep the feedback coming.


imageI have however recently taken over a new role and focus at VMware, one which I am highly excited to work on and make a real impact.  Around a month ago I took over the responsibility for the vSphere API and the vCloud Suite API, SDKs and CLIs.  There is a lot going on here and obviously that does not mean I am responsible for every feature which has an API!  In this new role I will be helping drive VMware APIs forward, working with customers and partners to identify gaps in our API/SDK/CLIs, define new APIs/SDKs/CLIs and work with multiple products and services within VMware to drive a better experience for people who use VMware products for automation or customers/partners who develop against our APIs to provide integration or DevOps engineers who want to just automate the entire experience and provide a constant lifecycle for their business processes or products.

Talk to me

Hopefully those who I have spoken to before, be it on twitter or via phone call or email or even over a beer know that I am an approachable guy, I may not always be able to talk about timeframes or where we are headed with our products but I promise you I will certainly take your feedback and prioritize it to produce the most valuable product to you.  Please do feel free to let me know what you think about the VMware APIs/SDKs/CLIs, the good, the bad and the ugly!

I would appreciate your quick thoughts on our APIs and what you would like to see going forward from us, feel free to use the comments on this post to pass them along or contact me via the other means mentioned.

10 thoughts on “Same company different focus, let me know about your API wants!

  1. Bjørn Anders Jørgensen

    Congrats on your new job!

    API stability is our main concernt.
    The 5.0 -> 5.1 vCNS API change really screwed us.
    We need ensurance that API’s will not change between major versions.

    And there are examples of order of parameters in functions changing,
    completely with documenting…. 🙁

  2. Markus

    Hi Alan,
    the last few weeks I was struggling with the automation of vCloud / vRealize Automation administrative tasks with vRO like: New BusinessGroup, New Resservation, Adding Properties, New Entitlement and bringing all these together.
    I think there is a lot of space for improvement of the APIs. Very curious for an Automation Product…

    Kind Regards,

  3. Alberto Gonzalez (@agonzalezmartos)

    Hi Alan, some requests i did some time ago but never got any feedback:

    1. SDK for .NET (powercli vmware.vim.dll): could you update these libraries to support running on the new MS cross-platform .NET Core so we can develop/run C# applications that integrate with vsphere in Linux/MacOS also?

    2. Publish SDK for .NET in nuget gallery. Nuget is the standard repository/way to obtain/update 3rd party libraries for .NET. So we dont need to extract/update and copy them from a powercli installation.

    3. I also vote for a way to automate vmware tools install first time from the previous comments.

  4. Alan Post author

    Thanks for the feedback Ron, whilst I am not responsible for the VMtools area I will certainly pass your valuable feedback to the PM for this as im sure they would like to make this easier. I agree, we really need a better and more automated way to install tools into the guests.

  5. RonP

    Hi Alan.. I’ve been deeply embedded in the world of vCloud/vRealize Automation, vCO/vRO, vMA, PowerShell and PowerCli for the past 4 years now and can honestly state these interfaces, utilities and Programs have allowed me to become very efficient and very proficient in my job…Simply put, the benefits to leveraging them have been plenty..

    Recently, a requirement surfaced in the environments I support to develop and introduce automated routines that would facilitate “new” installations of VMware Tools at the Guest OS level. I soon discovered the ability to complete this tasking, using existing VMware practices, presented a few challenges for us. I acknowledge many vSphere/vRO options currently do exist that will allow automated maintenance and “updating” of VMWare Tools but, for the most part, the Tools do need to exist beforehand at the Guest OS level..

    I have already reviewed and evaluated a few (other) suggested methods of performing “unattended” installs of VMware Tools, using various s/w Packaging deployment tools, e.g. MSI(exec), or interacting with the Guest OS remotely through PowerShell, via WinRM for example, but these solutions and options just aren’t practical nor feasible in a large/complex vSphere Production/DevOps environment..

    To summarize my request, the ability to completely automate “new/fresh” installations of VMware Tools at the Guest OS level woud be a great feature to have as an option. Is this something that VMWare would be targeting to achieve at the API/PowerCli level now or in the (immediate) future?


  6. TimC

    Correct. It’s been a while, but I seem to recall the options were windows + powershell, or setup a linux vm and ssh to it.

  7. TimC

    Well that’s easy – where’s my native OSX support? If I missed it somewhere along the line, my bad. But I seem to recall it being the odd man out… despite being the most widely used desktop *nix on the market by a LONGGGGG shot.

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