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vSphere Java API is a set of Java libraries that sits on top of existing vSphere SDK Web Services interfaces. It provides full managed object model and run-time type checking, resulting in a dramatic productivity boost. With the new Web Services engine in 2.0, it also performs much faster than engines like Apache AXIS (up to 15 times faster). The API has been widely used by the developer community with great feedback (http://vijava.sourceforge.net/testimonial.php).
You can use any machine or virtual machine that can run Java. You will require Java + dom4j parser (included in binary package).
Follow the steps outlined in the VI Java Get Started Tutorial.