“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” — Lewis Carroll
But… if you know you are heading toward the new HTML-based vSphere Client and you want to develop a plugin that is compatible with it, then the road you take is the new HTML Client SDK Fling! On August 3, 2016, VMware announced the first fling release of the vSphere HTML Client SDK, which is included on the vSphere HTML client fling page.
The HTML SDK Fling provides libraries, sample plugins, documentation, and various tools to help you develop and build user interface extensions which are compatible with both the vSphere Client (HTML5) and vSphere Web Client (Flex).
The HTML Client SDK Fling builds upon the existing HTML Bridge API which allows already-existing HTML Bridge plugin functionality to be fully supported in the new vSphere Client (HTML5). You can use the HTML Client SDK Fling to extend existing HTML Bridge plugins or build pure HTML5 plugins from scratch and test them in the vSphere Client (HTML5). Because the HTML Client SDK supports both the older vSphere Flex web client as well as the new HTML vSphere client, there is no reason not to start creating your HTML vSphere plugin or start moving your existing Flex plugin to HTML using the HTML Client SDK. Extension points to the Flex and HTML clients are provided as part of the SDK.
There are a few things that will catch your eye:
The HTML SDK Fling comes with a detailed “Getting Started with HTML Client SDK Fling” guide available from the SDK’s Docs directory.
This document contains requirements and quick steps for HTML SDK Setup, instructions for vCenter Server registration, building and running samples, quick startup guide, and more details which will help you through your journey of developing a vSphere HTML Client Plugin. If you already have a plugin based on the existing HTML Bridge API, pay special attention to the “HTML plugins compatibility guidelines.”
HTML samples running on the HTML Client Fling
The sample directory keeps the source code of four samples (chassisA, chassisB, globalview-html, vsphere-wssdk) which give examples of how to implement summary portlets, tabs, actions, object lists, and other user interface elements. You can deploy them on the vSphere HTML Client Fling.
There are new scripts to create template projects from the command line. Scripts are available from “…\html-client-sdk\tools\Plugin generation scripts” and called create-html-plugin.sh for Mac OS and create-html-plugin.bat for Windows OS. There are also new scripts to create the plugin package folder. The scripts are called build-plugin-package.sh for Mac OS and build-plugin-package.bat for Windows and appear once pluginName-ui and pluginName-service are created.
The road ahead
While the API itself is not going to change, the HTML SDK team will continue to update tools, documentation, and samples. The Fling release enables us to be highly interactive and we aim to make incremental improvements up until the release of the HTML SDK as part of the existing vSphere Web Client SDK.
Please feel free to provide your feedback on the Fling site and the vSphere Web Client SDK forum. Both sites are monitored by our engineering team, and fixes and updates to the SDK are provided frequently.
If you will be attending VMworld Barcelona, please check out our vSphere Client Roadmap session and stop by the VMware Theater at Solutions Exchange for some presentations discussing the experiences and perspectives of VMware plugin partners on their journey to building HTML vSphere plugins. Also, look for an announcement of the vSphere plugin certification program for the vSphere HTML client. Follow us on Twitter @VMwarevSphere for the latest news!
Related blog posts:
Senior Product Manager, vSphere client SDK
Staff Engineer and Product Owner, vSphere client SDK