Cloud Computing

Install an Application from VMware Marketplace using VMware Cloud Director Content Hub

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could select an application from VMware Marketplace and deploy it in your Virtual Data Center(VDC) using the VMware Cloud Director(VCD) portal?

I have good news for you.

The wait is over!

Now it’s very much possible with VMware Cloud Director 10 .5 Content Hub.

VMware Cloud Director 10.5 had recently been released, bundled with some of the enhancements and features like Content Hub, support for NSX Federations, IP Space Migration Wizard, etc. To know more about these features in detail, please refer to the Release notes and the VMware Documentation.

This blog is intended to give you an overview of the deployment of an application from Marketplace and use cases. For more details, please refer to the blog here.

What is Content Hub?

Let’s first understand what Content Hub is and how it works.

Content Hub is a feature to present a unified interface in VMware Cloud Director to consume VM and container-based content.

It merges the existing VMware Cloud Director Catalog and App Launchpad into a unified experience for tenants and providers. Content Hub does not require the installation of any additional components.

With Content Hub, it is now possible to integrate external content sources such as VMware Marketplace and other Helm chart Repositories into VCD.

Content can be imported from these integrated external sources into VCD catalogs and then can be consumed and users can use an application-focused interface to visualise and consume catalog content.

Catalog items can now be seen as Application Images where application-specific details such as application name, application version, application logo, screenshots and additional information needed to consume an application are seen.

Users can still see the catalog items as vApp Templates (with Virtual Machines underneath) and Media items.

After the upgrade to VCD 10.5, all existing catalog items (vApp Templates and Media) can be seen as Application Images. Users can edit the application name and versions of such auto-generated Application Images for their existing vApp Templates and Media items.

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You can find the details about the Application from Content Hub:

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What is an Application Image?

Application images contain the application Specific data such as Application Name, UI, Source and documentation about the Application.

Application images represent all the items that VCD store in its catalog.

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Application Images in UI:

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Integration with Marketplace

To integrate Marketplace with VMware Cloud Director, a Cloud Provider needs to create a CatalogContentSource object of type VmwareMarketplace

Cloud Provider can create more than one CatalogContentSource objects of type VmwareMarketplace if needed.

The API Token ID of a Valid Marketplace Token is needed to access Marketplace and for the creation of CatalogContentSource for Marketplace.

VCD uses to connect to Marketplace. The URL for the Marketplace will be auto-populated and can’t be modified.

CatalogContentSource object created to represent a Marketplace external source can then be used to browse the remote contents and import specific apps into a VCD catalog.


  1. From the top navigation bar, select Content Hub.
  2. From the left panel, select VMware Marketplace.
  3. Click New.

The New VMware Marketplace dialog opens.

  1. Enter the details like Name, Description, URL and Token ID
  2. Click Save

Helm Chart Content Type Supported In VCD Catalogs

Before VCD 10.5, VCD catalogs supported only vApp Template and ISO Media types. In 10.5, we now support Helm Chart as a new content type in VCD catalogs.

Helm Chart content consists of a TGZ file that contains various files needed to create a container App in a Kubernetes Cluster.

You can add Helm Chart content in VCD catalogs by importing the content from external integrated sources.

We currently don’t allow the local upload of Helm Chart content in VCD 10.5

Integration with Helm Chart Repositories

Cloud Providers and tenants can create Helm Chart repository content sources. Tenants need to have Edit the External Source in Content Hub right.

Password-protected Helm Chart repositories are also supported. 

For More details about integration with the Helm Chart repository and deploying an application, please refer to the VMware documentation.


  1. From the top navigation bar, select Content Hub.
  2. From the left panel, select Helm Chart Repository
  3. Click New.

The New Helm Chart Repository dialog opens.

  1. Enter the details like Name, Description, URL and Authentication Type
  2. Click Save

Please refer to the short demo video below to understand the below topics:

  • Integration with Marketplace
  • Import an application from Marketplace
  • Deploy an application from Marketplace

Use Cases

Below is a summary of a developer and provider use case.

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A developer persona sees that a Bitnami application available in Marketplace (pick any app) is needed.

Until VCD 10.5, only the templates available in VCD catalogs could be used, but now the person can follow these steps to quickly have a VM-based application up and running:

  1. Identify the application from Marketplace by its name.
  2. In your tenant org (if the provider has given Marketplace access to your tenant: This is done by the provider creating a Marketplace CatalogConentSource object in system org and then sharing it with one or more tenants). Go to a catalog and browse the Marketplace from within VCD tenant portal and select the application you want and import it into your catalog.
  3. Once the application image is available in your catalog, click on the Launch button to deploy an instance in your VDC of choice.

I hope this was informational for you and feel free to reach out to us for any queries.

Thanks to Manu Pratap Singh and Joerg Lew for the support and collaboration in this effort.