Fix IllegalArgumentException thrown for category without namespace URI.
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Fix IllegalArgumentException thrown for category without namespace URI.


Article ID: 312117


Updated On:


VMware vCenter Server


This article will provide a method to fix "IllegalArgumentException" thrown when trying to fetch category which doesn’t have the namespace URI and only consists of a local part and update the associable types via jExplorer.

java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Illegal associableType : VirtualMachine
        at com.vmware.cis.core.tagging.internal.helper.TaggingConverter.getLocalPart(
        at com.vmware.cis.core.tagging.internal.helper.TaggingConverter.internalToVmodlAssociableType(
        at com.vmware.cis.core.tagging.internal.helper.TaggingConverter.internalToVmodl(
        at com.vmware.cis.core.tagging.vmodl.MoCategory.getInfo(
        at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
        at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(
        at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(


VMware vCenter Server 6.0.x
VMware vCenter Server 7.0.x
VMware vCenter Server 6.x


Before 7.0 u1, if you had only passed local part while creating category it would have automatically added the namespace. From tagging view, "associable types" is just a string that user stores, usually associable types consist of two things namespace uri + local def. i.e., if you see an associable type "urn:vim25:Folder" then namespace is "urn:vim25" and local object def is "Folder".

For example, when before 7.0 u1 using REST call passing only local part in request body was valid and tagging service would have prepended namespace uri to associable type:
"create_spec": {
"associable_types": [
"cardinality": "SINGLE",
"description": "example category description",
"name": "cat-name"

But since 7.0 u1, you have to pass namespace and it's not prepended anymore, and above request body should look like:
"create_spec": {
"associable_types": [
"cardinality": "SINGLE",
"description": "example category description",
"name": "cat-name"

So, with VC version greater than 7.0 u1 you have to add namespace uri to associable type.


Currently there is no resolution.

If upgraded to VC version "greater than 7.0 u1" the namespace URI has to be added to associableType. Associable types are also harder to update because once you add a type you can't remove it, you can only add more types to it. Hence, it may be necessary to recreate tags and reassign associations under new categories since after version 7.0 u1, you have to pass namespace and it's not prepended anymore so you don't lose the associations when you delete the old categories with invalid associable type.

Method 1:
You may use jXplorer to update associable types of existing categories.
For every entry, we need to update associableType field(s).
Login -

To login to vcva ldap table, use the input params as below:

host: <vcva-ip or hostname>,
port: 389
user dn: cn=Administrator,cn=Users,dc=vsphere,dc=local
base dn: dc=vsphere, dc=local
level : User + pwd
Note: Make sure to update the params as per your vcva settings.

Once logged in we can browse the ldap tables, for example navigate to vsphere->services→Tagging
To edit the entry:
1. Click the entry row on left navigation pane.
2. On right side, click Table Editor tab.
3. Locate the attribute (row(s) with name) vmwTaggingCategoryAssociableType on first column.
4. For each row, append corresponding field value on 2nd column with urn:vim25 example. change value from StoragePod to urn:vim25:StoragePod
5. Click Submit button just below the right pane showing attributes.

Method 2:
Alternatively, one may directly edit the associable types for categories from the VC replacing the cn of the category under consideration and modifying the associableTypes as necessary:
/opt/likewise/bin/ldapmodify -h localhost -p 389 -x -D "cn=administrator,cn=users,dc=vsphere,dc=local" -W << EOF
dn: cn=urn:vmomi:InventoryServiceCategory:24645066-09c7-4b17-8676-e8cdc122ce8e:GLOBAL,cn=urn:vmomi:InventoryServiceScope:default-scope:GLOBAL,cn=Tagging,cn=Services,dc=vsphere,dc=local

Changetype: Modify
Replace: vmwTaggingCategoryAssociableType
vmwTaggingCategoryAssociableType: urn:vim25:HostSystem

One may replace the cn field of the category by using the Category REST APIs:
1. After creating a session and getting the session ID, you may use the APIs to list out all the categories:
2. Get each category ID using this REST API:

The mapping of the Associable Object type that we see on the vSphere UI to the actual associable types that is created by the backend service.

Folder = urn:vim25:Folder
Datastore = urn:vim25:Datastore
Datacenter = urn:vim25:Datacenter
Resource Pool = urn:vim25:ResourcePool
Content Library = urn:vim25:com.vmware.content.Library
Host = urn:vim25:HostSystem
Library Item = urn:vim25:com.vmware.content.library.Item
Cluster = urn:vim25:ClusterComputeResource
vApp = urn:vim25:VirtualApp
Virtual Machine = urn:vim25:VirtualMachine


Distributed Port Group = urn:vim25:DistributedVirtualPortgroup
Datastore cluster - urn:vim25:StoragePod

Distributed Switch =