The VIBMatrix has joined the ESXi Patch Tracker!

My ESXi Patch Tracker service is becoming more and more popular. Many of its users probably don't know that I had a very similar service long before: On the VIBMatrix pages I maintained tables of ESXi Patch releases with lists of all included VIB packages. The original reason why I created these tables more than three years ago was to prove that ESXi 5.x/6.x Patch bundles are cumulative.

Until today the VIBMatrix was a manually maintained Excel sheet that I imported to Google Docs whenever I added a new patch to it. These times are over: I'm happy to announce that the VIBMatrix is now also fully automated and integrated into the ESXi Patch Tracker service!

Of course the old and well known name and URL is still valid and now redirects you to a new view of the ESXi Patch Tacker.

Although this is a great achievement for me I would normally not dedicate a blog post to this, because for the users of this service the old and the new VIBMatrix look very similar, and there are only few changes in functionality. So the real reason for this post is that I want to share with you a real gem that I found while working on the new VIBMatrix.

For the old view in Excel and Google Docs I used a table with the first column and the header rows frozen. That makes it easy to keep track of the data and comparing columns when scrolling through the table that is too large to fit completely into the browser window. I took a lot of time researching how I can build such a table myself ... I'm not really a web designer and learn the whole HTML/CSS/Javascript business by doing as I need it. There are a lot of examples available for building tables with fixed headers or fixed columns, but it is a real challenge to have both at the same time.

So I was really happy when I finally stumbled over DataTables, a Table plugin for the jQuery Javascript library. DataTables makes it extremely easy to create appealing tables with all the fancy features that you know from spreadsheet applications like Excel: fixed headers and columns, sort by column, select and reorder columns and rows, paginating and much more ... Furthermore DataTables is an Open Source project with the support of an active community and excellent documentation. For those who are not comfortable with free support through forums there are even paid support options available.

If you want to create web pages dealing with large amounts of data in tabular format then you should definitely give DataTables a try. Have a look at my new VIBMatrix to see what it is capable of!

This post first appeared on the VMware Front Experience Blog and was written by Andreas Peetz. Follow him on Twitter to keep up to date with what he posts.


  1. Awesome work! However, when I first opened the redesigned page I was kind of disappointed. This quickly changed after I discovered the "Tracker View" link, which brought me back to the page that - at least in my opinion - is an absolute "must bookmark" page. There's no other place - not even on VMware's web site - which provides such a great overview.
    Thanks a lot for this!

  2. Holy cow, this is awesome. Excellent work!! Bookmarked and subscribed :)


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