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Why Your Understanding of the vCAC Development Kit (CDK) is Holding You Back

You may have noticed a change to the vCACTeam.info site within the past few weeks. Yes, the colors are different but there's also no longer any references to "Customization"--instead the sections of the site talk about "Extensibility". This site, does not, and probably will not focus on customization. We would much rather show you how to extend the tool out to be able to get the functionality you need while maintaining upgrade paths.

There's a huge difference between "Customization" and "Extensibiltiy", both from cost, upgrade process, and required skills. Below is a little table I created to compare the two topics to hopefully illustrate the differences.

Extensibility Customization
  •  DOES NOT require the CDK. It can, however use an INCLUDED workflow designer tool
  • Requires the CDK license
  •  More likely to survive an upgrade, or easily be converted to the new version
  •  *Potentially* breaks the upgrade path (depending on what is done)
  •  DOES NOT require that you code in .Net
  •  Requires .Net experience

Below are some examples of functionalities that would fall into the two categories

Extensibilty Customization
  • Calling to a 3rd party system (IPAM, LDAP, CMDB, ITSM, etc, etc) through PowerShell, vCO etc.
  • Gathering additional information on a custom "day-2 operation" (the list of actions to the right of the VM).
  • Creating a complex naming convention for provisioned machines
  • Adding a NEW workflow stub (this usually doesn't happen as 6 stubs come out of the box which cover most of the needed change states)
  • Sending emails at specific times throughout the machine life cycle
  • Making you coffee in the morning
  • Calling vCO workflows

You'll notice that the functionality in the left side column is very robust. You can do a ton without the CDK, and to reiterate--NOTHING on this site requires you to have the CDK. The fact of the matter is, is that you're really selling yourself and your organization short by thinking that everything that doesn't come out of the box requires a CDK license as well as .Net coding skills.

Give me your thoughts/questions on the topic on Twitter @vCACTeam. Either way, let's get this cleared up in the community!