Flings are awesome!
Have you heard about VMware’s Flings website? It’s packed with free tools (130 at the time of writing) that can make your life much easier, and it’s where a number of features are road tested before they get rolled into a product. One of the most popular examples of this is the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling, which was productised when the HTML5 client was launched with vSphere 6.5. This interface (now known as the vSphere Client) is now the primary method of managing your vSphere environment, with the older (Flex based) vSphere Web Client being deprecated.
What a lot of people aren’t aware of is that even though the vSphere Client is now a core part of vSphere, we still continue to use the Fling to continuously deliver new vSphere Client UI features in order to obtain valuable customer feedback. This post covers a few of the cool new features that we’ve introduced recently.
Version 4.0 of the fling went live in January 2019, so is a little over 3 months old at the time of writing. This version was only compatible with vCenter Server 6.5 and above, introducing support for vCenter Server 6.7. It was largely based on the vSphere Client embedded with vCenter 6.7, and included the dark mode theme introduced in Fling 3.42.
Some of you may remember Onyx. This was another Fling that worked with the legacy C# vSphere Client and the Flex based vSphere Web Client in order to allow you to record your actions in the Web Client and generate PowerCLI code that would achieve the same effect. Version 4.0 of the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling introduces a similar feature called Code Capture – see the below section on Fling 4.1 for an example!
One of the most asked question topics to the Tech Marketing team at events is around certificates: a lot of you wanted a way to handle generating Certificate Signing Requests and import a third party signed certificate in the UI. We push these things back to the teams building the products, and you can now generate a CSR and import when using this Fling!
A little over a month ago we released version 4.1 of the HTML5 Web Client Fling. We enabled you to connect this version of the Fling to vCenter Servers starting at 6.0 based on your feedback.
In this release we added a few features – we introduced the Developer Centre, which is where you’ll find the API Explorer (previously this lived at it’s own URL on the VCSA, but embedding this in the client means that you’re automatically authenticated by virtue of being logged into the client). The API explorer exposes all of the REST APIs available within vCenter, so you can walk the APIs and run sample commands against them. Code Capture also moves to the new Developer Center.
Also added (and again, this was based entirely on feedback through the Fling) is the ability to hide VMs when in the Hosts & Clusters view. This was available in the legacy C# client, and is located in My Preferences in the Fling. Also in My Preferences are options to configure settings such as language and time zone.
And now, HTML5 Web Client Fling 4.2
And now for the main reason for this post – last week we released the latest version of the Fling. With this latest release I’m proud to introduce vSphere Perspective Management: this allows an administrator to configure custom views, defining which aspects of the UI are available to both individual users and groups.
A final feature that not too many people know about is the feedback button. You can use smiley face in the top right hand corner of the vSphere Client (both the default one built into the VCSA and the Fling) to submit product feedback. If you want to provide feedback to the team building the client you can do so using this – feedback, bugs, or even just a note to say what you particularly like. While we have awesome engineers they’re also people too!
Remember: VMware Global Support Services do not offer support for Flings! In this case the Fling is only calling the available APIs, so shouldn’t be a cause for concern. If you need to raise a support issue (or you just want to provide feedback to the engineers who made the Fling) you can do so through the Flings site itself. Go and have a look, you might find something super cool!