Up until vSphere 8.0, there were two primary sets of vSphere APIs:
Note: Technically, there are other vCenter Server API endpoints including vSAN, Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM), etc. but for the purposes of this article, we are focusing on the core vCenter Server functionality.
The vSphere Web Services API was available starting with the Virtual Infrastructure (VI) 2.x release back in 2007. To date, the vSphere Web Services API supports the latest vSphere 8.x release and still also has full backwards compatibility going all the way back to Virtual Center 2.x!
As you can imagine, the vSphere Web Services API covers an extremely large amount of functionality over the past 16 years since its introduction and it continues to be widely used by almost all customers either directly or indirectly through the various vSphere SDKs including PowerCLI, pyvmomi (vSphere SDK for Python), govmomi (vSphere SDK for Go), Terraform Provider for vSphere to just name a few. In addition, we also have many 2nd party solutions from VMware and thousands of 3rd party offerings from our broader ecosystem of partners that provide integrations with the vSphere platform, all consuming the vSphere Web Services API!