vSphere Client Design Guidelines

Overview of UI Extensions

You can extend the UI in the vSphere Client in these areas:

Evaluate the needs of your plug-in, then determine the extension points that best meet those needs.  Your plug-in need not use every extension point.


Add a Pointer on the Shortcuts Page

A pointer to your plug-in can go on the vSphere Client Shortcuts page.  Use this extension point to provide faster access to a  global view or inventory list that is not accessible through the top-level of the Navigator.

Design Guidelines | SDK Documentation


Add Pointers in the Navigator

The Navigator is a fixed, multi-level side navigation that enables users to move between views in vSphere Client.  You can:

  • Extend the top-level of the Navigator with a pointer to your plug-in's main view
  • Extend the Administration level with a pointer to your plug-in's settings view
  • Create your own level in the Navigator with pointers to your inventory list and global views
  • Alternately, extend the Global Inventory with pointers to your plug-in's inventory list

The main menu in the vSphere Client header offers the same navigation targets as the top-level of the Navigator. This menu minimizes the number of clicks to your plug-in because the menu is always available.

Design Guidelines | SDK Documentation


Create or Extend an Object Workspace

The object workspace is where you display the fundamental building blocks of your plug-in—your objects' details.  You can extend the main workspace to display an object workspace for your plug-in's custom objects.  You can also extend an existing oject workspace with your plug-in's data. 

The object workspace consists of Summary, Monitor, and Configure tabs.  Related objects are categorized under a More Objects tab. Each tab has a defined intent, pattern, and layout.


Example of an object workspace for a custom object


The Summary tab shows an object's key information and rolls up information from the Monitor and Configure tabs.  The Summary tab serves as an entry point to more detailed information.

The Monitor tab helps administrators understand usage, alarms, issues, and remediation actions.  Data visualizations, such as graphs and charts, work well on this tab

The Configure tab is all about showing an object's setting.

The More Objects tab shows the peer and child objects that influence the state of an object.  The subtabs enable navigation to related objects.

Design Guidelines | SDK Documentation


Add a Global View

A global view is a home page, configuration page, or other general-purpose view of your plug-in. These views appear in the main workspace, outside the object workspace. 

For users to access a global view, you must add a pointer to the Navigator, Shortcuts page, or both.

A global view can have nearly any function.  Although the object workspace has strictly-defined patterns, a global view offers more choices for using pre-defined vSphere patterns.



Design Guidelines | SDK Documentation


Create or Extend an Object List View

A list view contains a table with information about the objects of a particular type.  A list view appears in main workspace when the user selects an inventory list in the Navigator.  The list view also appears when the user selects a categorized relation tabs in the object workspace.

You can create a list view for your own custom object type.  You can also extend the list view for an existing object type by adding one ore more columns of data to the table.



Design Guidelines | SDK Documentation


Add Actions to an Object

The Actions menu provides access to all actions available on an object. If extending an object, your actions are added at the end of the menu.

Design Guidelines | SDK Documentation