2020 Developer Year In Review

Developer Outreach

From the early Kickstarter days in 2012 through the acquisition by Samsung, SmartThings has remained an open platform focused on helping developers create enhanced smart home experiences.
In 2020, we renewed our commitment to our vibrant developer community with monthly newsletters keeping them informed of the new capabilities of our platform. Before we close this gruesome year, we want to thank each and every developer who has followed us along this journey, and cannot wait to show you what we have in store for 2021.

In case you missed it, here is a summary of everything we’ve accomplished this year:

Community Refresh

To kickoff a new era of developer outreach, we refreshed the design and layout of the SmartThings Community. We reorganized the developer topics to a central area and created the new Tutorials section to make it easier for you to find content.

We also added two support staff — @erickv and @nayelyz — to answer developer questions.
You will be seeing more from them in the coming months as we continue to grow our developer support initiatives on Community.

A new Command Line Interface for SmartThings

In June, we announced the SmartThings CLI — the first of many new developer tools.

As we move away from the legacy Groovy platform, we are building new tools for developers. The CLI, built on top of the new SmartThings SDK, will serve as the primary interface for building experiences on the new platform. While it is fully extensible with plugins — using the open source CLI Framework (OCLIF) — the current version is just the first step in a new journey for developers. Watch on GitHub to track updates as we continue adding features.


Core SDK for Javascript

You can now leverage the same SDK we used to build the CLI to add SmartThings into your existing application or project. From dashboards to mobile apps, you can enhance your user experience by integrating the SmartThings platform into your service. Learn more about using the SDK here:

Rules API

We released a new way to create and execute Automations on the platform with the Rules API. This new API moves beyond Groovy with faster execution, creation of complex powerful Automations, and lays the groundwork for local execution with a future update to the API.

SmartThings Schema

Preparing the transition away from Groovy, we introduced a new and easier option for integrating your Cloud Connected Devices. SmartThings Schema allows developers to onboard their Cloud Connected Devices with less code and a more standard method of deployment.

Custom Capabilities

After working within the constraints of a standard Capability model, developers are now free to create their own custom Capabilities. This feature has been requested since the inception of the platform, and marks a big milestone for developers building on SmartThings. Unlike Commands and Attributes, these new Capabilities will be visible to other apps, services, and integrations.

Direct Connected Devices

Using Direct Connected Devices, makers can now connect their hardware directly to the platform using the MQTT protocol. Direct Connected Devices do not need cloud or server infrastructure as they communicate directly with SmartThings.

The Future

We are committed to building an open and inclusive ecosystem with you in 2021. Along with the monthly newsletters and tutorials, we will be delivering more new and exciting developer content and continue to work with you, the developers, to turn everything into a smart thing.

We have a few closed betas for both app and device makers happening now. If you are interested in participating in future betas, please follow the developer announcements in future newsletters or us on the SmartThings Community.


Yes, but I’m not sure if you’re aware Jody, but with these recent changes, we’re no longer able to see what triggers our devices, like we could with the classic app, will this functionality ever return?

@erickv is missing his official SmartThings flair :slight_smile:


It’s just a disguise :dark_sunglasses:


@jody.albritton, thanks you very much for the hard work! It was a hell of a year. I hope you have some time during the holiday season to rest a bit and focus on other important things.

We are all looking forward to 2021 to see what SmartThings will bring to us!