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Infrastructure Management

SDK or API Description
VMware vSphere Automation SDKs A group of service APIs that allow you to implement service features in your vSphere environment. Language bindings are available for Java, .NET, Python, Perl, REST, and Ruby.
VMware vCenter Server Appliance Management API An API and associated SDKs that provide support for your vCenter Server Appliance infrastructure including services to perform management operations in your vSphere environment.
VMware vSphere Management SDK Bundles documentation for the following SDKs that help developers create management applications that call VMware API functions to access vSphere Web services:
vSphere Web Services SDK
vCenter Single Sign On SDK
vSphere Storage Monitoring Service SDK
VMware Storage Policy SDK
vSphere Solutions Manager, ESX Agent Manager, and vServices SDKs
VMware vSphere Client SDK and vSphere Web Client SDK The vSphere Client and vSphere Web Client have extensible interfaces for building your own vSphere management plug-ins.
VMware HTML Console SDK VMware HTML Console SDK offers a library to handle keyboard, mouse, or touch screen input, and perform screen refreshes, for the desktop console of any virtual machine. Use this library to write browser-based applications for vSphere and other VMware products.
VMware Remote Console SDK The VMRC SDK contains plug-ins for browsers that connect to the console of Windows or Linux virtual machines running on vSphere. This SDK is based on deprecated APIs, so VMware recommends the HTML Console SDK instead.
VMware vSphere SDK for Perl A client-side Perl framework that provides an easy-to-use scripting interface to the vSphere Web Services API.
VMware CIM APIs Common Information Model (CIM) APIs manage hosts using the System Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH) standard.

Appliances, Backup, and Virtual Disk

SDK or API Description
VMware VDDK Describes how to implement backup and recovery software for vSphere platforms. The Virtual Disk Development Kit (VDDK) includes a C function library and utilities to create and access storage in VMDK (virtual machine disk) format.
Open Virtualization Format (OVF) Tool A command-line utility that supports importing and exporting OVF packages to and from a wide variety of VMware products.
Site Recovery Manager (SRM) API Documents how to programmatically initiate tests or failovers and collect results using a Web Services API for vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) components. Includes sample code, WSDL, and documentation.
VMware Studio VMware Studio supports transforming software applications running on Linux or Windows into virtual machines for delivery as quick-starting virtual appliances.

Guest Virtual Machines

SDK or API Description
VMware vSphere Guest SDK Enables software running on a guest operating system to collect various statistics, such as virtual machine memory use and CPU speed. Also includes programming components for HA Application Monitoring.
VMware vSockets Documents a programming interface for fast, efficient communication between guest virtual machines and their ESXi host.
VMware VIX API An easy-to-use API for automating virtual machine and guest-OS operations. Includes C, Perl, and COM bindings, with code samples. Compatible with VMware Workstation, ESXi, and vSphere.

Legacy Interfaces

SDK or API Description
Programming API Available on VMware Server 1.0 and earlier only. Documents how to create scripts and applications for automating virtual machine test and development operations. Replaced by VMware VIX API.
Scripting APIs Legacy Perl and COM interfaces supported on ESX 3.0 and GSX Server. VMware strongly recommends that developers use the vSphere SDK for Perl or the vSphere Web Services SDK rather than Scripting APIs.