We’ll be referring to the new client as the vSphere Client, as it
better describes the product, and isn’t a ten syllable mouthful (vSphere
HTML5 Web Client).
Looking to the Future
VMware has been working towards the transition to HTML5 with the
Platform Services Controller UI, vCenter Server Appliance Management UI,
and the Host Client. All three of these were very well received and
have become the official interfaces for their respective components.
The last (and biggest) one to tackle was the management interface for
vSphere Web Client has always been intended to be the replacement for
the Desktop client, and many of our users have tried to embrace this
during the vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6.0 periods, spending their time
working within the Web Client even with the Desktop client available.
While there were certainly issues with the 5.5 and 6.0 Web Client,
many users that committed to the experience came to enjoy many of the
new features and usability improvements. We also continued to listen to
our customers, making further efforts to improve the Web Client
experience have been made across 5.5U3, 6.0U1 and 6.0U2, including VUM
(vSphere Update Manager) in 6.0U1 Web Client. We have made the Desktop
client available during this period, which was much longer than
originally planned. But now that time is ending.
Additionally, due to the shift in backend services going from vSphere
6.0 to the next version, updating the Desktop client would have
required a huge investment. This may have been okay in a vacuum, but
the required resources would have severely impacted the progress of the
new vSphere Client, only to end up with four clients for users to
juggle. We decided to focus on bringing the new vSphere Client (HTML5
based) up to speed as fast as possible, simultaneously offering a great
user experience and getting off of Flash.
The new vSphere Client (HTML5)
(Try it here: https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vsphere-html5-web-client)
This decision is about VMware trying to provide the best user
experience: a fast, reliable, scalable modern interface that allows you
to get your work done is our primary goal. The new vSphere Client is
the best way to achieve that goal. Many have already tried out the
with approximately 40% of survey respondents deploying it into
Production and using it daily to manage their critical environments.
With this Fling, we’ll keep the user experience mostly the same as the
Web Client, which we’ve improved, based on your feedback. We also plan
on making additional improvements to make it easier for C# users to
One benefit of the Fling delivery model is very fast turnaround.
We’ve been able to release a new version of the Fling every week, with
new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. More
importantly, we’ve been able to quickly incorporate user feedback into
the product. Sometimes this means simple bug fixes, sometimes this
means changing our priorities to better address user needs. While this
pace and model of delivery may not be used for the fully supported
releases, due to testing time required, we likely will continue to use
the Fling releases to stay on track with users. A fundamental part of
this high touch engagement model is users staying as up-to-date as
possible, and most of our Fling users are doing just that, so thank you!
We also recognize how important plugins are, and the transition from
Web Client to vSphere Client will take second and third-party plugins
into account. We’ve already started engaging with plugin developers of
all sorts to get them moving to the HTML bridge, which will allow the
creation of a single plugin that is forward and backward compatible with
both the vSphere Client and the Web Client, creating a smooth
transition path. If you require more information on plugin migration,
please contact us. One great source of information is this site which
contains a lot of future looking information about vCenter. This site
will be updated as more information becomes available, so keep an eye on
We do expect the plugin transition to take some time, and this means
that we expect to ship the Flex based Web Client and the HTML5 based
vSphere Client side by side for some uncertain period. Everyone is very
eager to have the new vSphere Client as the only client, but we want to respect the porting development time our partners require.
Seeking your Feedback
Hopefully these announcements come as a shock to no one – they are
simply a reiteration of the message VMware has given for years. We are
continually working to make vSphere Client a fast, reliable, and
scalable product that provides a great overall experience. If you have
any comments, please post them below. We’d like to hear feedback from
all points of view, as we look to the future instead of the past.
Article belongs to Dennis Lu
Product Manager, vSphere Clients