VMware vSphere API Reference Documentation

Welcome to the VMware vSphere API Reference documentation. This API reference provides comprehensive information about all data structures available through the vSphere API:

The vSphere API is exposed as a Web service, running on VMware vSphere server systems. The API provides access to the vSphere management components—the managed objects that can be used to manage, monitor, and control life-cycle operations of virtual machines and other virtual infrastructure components (datacenters, datastores, networks, and so on).

This vSphere API Reference is a core component of the VMware vSphere Web Services SDK. The vSphere Web Services SDK enables developers to create custom solutions for managing virtual components, and to integrate existing datacenter management solutions with VMware technologies. For example, using the vSphere API, you can quickly create, customize, or migrate virtual machines.

What’s New in vSphere API 4.0?

The “Since vSphere API 4.0” label identifies new managed object types, data object types, properties, and operations in this API Reference documentation. These summary pages provide listings of new types, by object type:

All API versions available are listed in this API Versions Reference page. This reference page shows whether each version of the API contains the listed object type. Types (and associated property or operation) include:


Note:     This release of the SDK encompasses several product name changes, including a new name for the API. However, not all mentions of the products or the new features of the API have been updated in this API Reference documentation. You may find references to the previous product names in this and other SDK documentation. The table highlights the current and previous names.

New namePrevious or other name that may still exist in documentation
vSphere API 4.0VI API 4.0
vSphere API (without a version number)
API 4.0
VMware vSphere Web Services SDKVMware Infrastructure SDK
VMware vCenter ServerVirtualCenter Server

Navigating the API Reference

The vSphere API Reference is an HTML frameset. Click an entry in the left-hand pane to display information in the right-hand pane. You can find specific object type definition by clicking the appropriate category name and then refining your search by entering the specific object name in the search text field.

To quickly find an entry, start typing its name in the Quick Index field.

For More Information

For conceptual and “how to” information, see one of these vSphere Web Services SDK technical publications:

The most recent published versions of these guides are available at: