A newly created organization has no catalogs in it. After an organization administrator or catalog author creates a catalog, members of the organization can use it as a destination for uploads or a source of subscription-based content.

Catalogs contain references to vApp templates and media images. You can configure a catalog in several different ways:

as a repository for local content that can remain private to the catalog owner or can be shared with other users, groups, or organizations in your cloud

as a source of published content, to which other clouds can subscribe.

as a local repository for content published by another cloud or any Web site that hosts a VMware Content Subscription Protocol (VCSP) endpoint.

An organization administrator or catalog owner controls catalog sharing. Organization administrators in organizations that have permission to publish catalogs control publication and subscription options for catalogs in their organization. A system administrator can enable background synchronization of catalogs with external sources and set background synchronization schedules to regulate consumption of network bandwidth by this activity.

A catalog initially grants full control to its owner and no access to other users. The catalog owner or a user with organization administrator or catalog author rights can grant catalog access to other members of the organization, individually or collectively. See Controlling Access to vApps and Catalogs. Organization administrators and system administrators can share a catalog with other organizations in the cloud.

The VMware Content Subscription Protocol (VCSP) is an open standard that can be implemented by any system that can provide HTTP or HTTPS access. Because vCloud Director implements this protocol, catalogs can subscribe to content that originates in another instance of vCloud Director or at any remote site that supports a VCSP endpoint. When content at a remote site changes, you must synchronize the catalog items that hold local copies of that content. Synchronization keeps a catalog up to date with its external subscription. A catalog owner can synchronize individual catalog items or entire catalogs at any time. A system administrator can also schedule background synchronization for catalogs, so that all externally subscribed catalogs in the system are synchronized on a common schedule.

As part of VCSP support, catalogs and catalog items have version numbers, which are integer values that increment monotonically. The catalog item version number increases whenever any of the following changes occur.

A file in the referenced entity is added, removed, or changed.

The name or description of the catalog item is changed.

The catalog version number increases whenever any of the following changes occur.

A catalog item is added to or removed from the catalog.

The version number of any contained catalog item changes.

The name or description of the catalog is changed.

A catalog with an external subscription contains the most recent version of each of its catalog items if it has been synchronized with its external source.