VclAbstractObjectValue - Unable to serialize object

I’ve been working on some automation that will create metadata against objects in vCloud Director using vRealize Orchestrator. If you’ve ever had to do this before you’ll know how painful it can be to get your head around all of the objects/transformations you need to make before you can even set the metadata to the object.

First you take the metadata value (in this case a string) and create a new VclMetadataStringValue object. You need to then load this new object into a VclAbstractValueObject object before you can add it to your VclMetadataEntry object.

I wanted to create an Action that would take the normal string value, create a VclMetadataStringValue from it, then load it into a VclAbstractValueObject object and return it to the calling workflow or action item. However, when doing this I got the following exception:

ch.dunes.model.type.ConvertorException: Unable to serialize object of class : com.vmware.vmo.plugin.vcloud.model.VCloudAbstractObjectDecorator

It seems that when a function is attempting to return an object of type VclAbstractValueObject into a return type of Any, the Orchestrator engine fails to serialize the object. I’ve tested this quite a bit and can’t find a way around it.

This means that you’ll need to perform the VclAbstractValueObject transformation within the same function that creates your VclMetadataEntry.

Here are some examples.

This doesn’t work:

// Create new metadata value object
var vclMetadataStringValue = new VclMetadataStringValue();
vclMetadataStringValue.value = "stringData";
System.log("Metadata string value object created successfully with value: " + vclMetadataStringValue.value);

// Create abstract object of the metadata value
System.log("Creating vCloud Abstract Value Object...");
var vclAbstractValueObject = new VclAbstractValueObject();
vclAbstractValueObject.setValue(vclMetadataStringValue);

return vclAbstractValueObject;

If you run this code in an Action inside a workflow, you’ll receive the previously mentioned exception.

However, if you run the same code in a Scriptable Task minus the return you can continue to work with the VclAbstractValueObject and set it in a VclMetadataEntry object.

It’ll work if you do something like this instead in a larger scoped function:

// Creates a vclMetadataStringValue object, a vclAbstractValueObject and a VclMetadataEntry object in 
// one function.

// Create new metadata value object
var vclMetadataStringValue = new VclMetadataStringValue();
vclMetadataStringValue.value = "stringData";

// Create abstract object of the metadata value
var vclAbstractValueObject = new VclAbstractValueObject();
vclAbstractValueObject.setValue(vclMetadataStringValue);

// New metadata object
var metadataObject = new VclMetadataEntry();

// Add object properties
metadataObject.key = "keystring";
metadataObject.typedValue = vclAbstractValueObject;

return metadataObject;

This is fine and it works but I was wanting to have a generic function to create VclMetadataEntry objects regardless of the type of metadata. Now I’ll need to double up on the code, or I can write a switch statement based on the metadata provided to create different VclMetadataXXXValue objects based on the metadata value provided.