Access to Managed Objects
Your client application obtains access to managed objects through the ServiceInstance managed object and its associated ServiceContent data object. The ServiceContent data object contains managed object references to services and manager entities, and to the root folder of the inventory.
The ServiceInstance managed object is the root object of the inventory on both ESX/ESXi and vCenter Server systems. The server creates the ServiceInstance, and creates the manager entities that provide services in the virtual environment. Examples of manager entities are LicenseManager, PerformanceManager, and ViewManager.
The ServiceInstance is the primary point of access to the server inventory. Your client application starts by connecting to a server and creating a reference to the ServiceInstance. After you have connected to the server, you can call the ServiceInstance.RetrieveServiceContent method to a ServiceContent data object. ServiceContent provides access to the vSphere managed object services. See Overview of a Java Sample Application for an example of connecting to a server and using the ServiceInstance reference to retrieve the ServiceContent object.
ManagedObjectReference Data Object shows the object model for the ServiceInstance and ServiceContent objects. The figure shows some of the ServiceContent managed object references and the target objects of the references. Each managed object reference identifies a specific managed object on the server with its type and a value. (The value property is an opaque string.)
ManagedObjectReference Data Object