Account Sharing Update

[quote=“slagle, post:10, topic:28653, full:true”]It has to do with our global changes. Having two environments made this kind of tough. I’m sure there are a few other reasons but that was the main one.

Allowed to get into the technical nitty gritty? It’s probably over my head but it makes for a fascinating read :smile:

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@Benji I started HA with ST Hub v2. I had my wife’s phone initally set up with my user. When the update allowed her to create her own account, I too had to delete the 1st instance of her phone from ST. As I noted in the other User thread, my phone’s presence was wonky the next morning, but that was fixed by shutting off the phone for 5 minutes.

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Maybe it’s just me, but I have absolutely no clue what the intended function of add a user is supposed to be, and what parts of that intention have either been implemented or not.

Can somebody give some use case examples? Why would the second user be administrator of a location the first user isn’t?

Here are the typical cases i’ve seen in some other systems. Not all systems offer all options. But I’m just unclear what option SmartThings intends to offer.

  1. equal users. Each user has full access to everything, including adding devices and inviting other users. One location. Typical household: two spouses.

  2. landlord/tenant. one master account can set everything up, add users, all devices. Tenant account is added for one location. Can do anything for that one location including add devices, delete devices, add routines, invite other users. The idea here is that you add control of the location for the tenant for the period of occupancy.

  3. master/secondaries. One master account can set everything up, add users, add devices. Secondary user can control devices through the app, but cannot add or delete devices. Cannot invite other users. Can see all devices. Cannot set up routines. In the security industry the secondaries are sometimes referred to as “guest account” even if they are other family members. The idea is they can’t change any of the set up, they can just use it

  4. “parent/child” (also called “master/limited access secondary”) one master account can set everything up, and users, add devices. Child account can control a limited set of devices through the app, but can’t do anything else. Specifically cannot disable motion sensors, cameras, alarms, etc. Pretty much just let them turn lights and music on and off. Typical for a parent with teens.

The only thing that’s different between three and four is that three can see all of the devices, and four can’t even see that some devices are there. In a lot of rental situations, you’re not allowed to have surveillance equipment the tenant is not advised of. So that’s what three is for. They know the cameras are there and they know motion sensors are there, but they can’t turn them off. Four is more for a family situation (or in some states for a nanny cam) where You don’t even want the person to know that some devices exist.

Some systems allow you to have multiple master accounts for any of these four, for example both parents would have full master access while the teenagers would not. Some only allow for one master account per location.

Anyway, which of these (or a fifth), is SmartThings trying to deliver through add a user?


Our goal is to allow you to decide at a granular level each user’s access level. You decide :smile:

OK, that’s the end goal. What’s the current reality?

Which of the four use cases can be implemented with what’s now in production?

Inquiring minds and all that… :sunglasses:

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So would you suggest using this functionality to solve the problem of having multiple locations but only one being allowed 3rd party OAUTH integrations (IFTTT, Echo, etc…) as discussed here Echo and Multiple SmartThings Locations (Hubs)?

Aka should I ask support to spin off one of my locations into another account and then cross share access to each location? Or is this issue likely to be resolved without needing a one location/account workaround? If so I’d like to be patient and keep my single account. However if its not coming I’ll go ahead and use this as a workaround. Thanks!

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Current reality as I understand it is #1, but for all locations (I.e. All hubs in the account).

@slagle how will ST handle scenarios such as @JDRoberts provided above?

I would like to see ST implement User ROLES to handle permissions, which provides a flexible method for control for both ST and Users.

Example Roles:
Admin - full capabilities
Parent - no ability to add/delete things/routines, but able to EDIT everything
Child - only able to edit selected things/routines
Guest - only able to VIEW selected things/routines



The reality is the information we provided already is all we can provide at the moment. When we know more detail about how granular controls will work we will let you know. We just wanted to let you see a little bit into the future of this feature.

Understand that permissioning is not yet possible but I think all Jdroberts wants is an example of what location sharing does for an owner based on the release. Is there some cases to simplify this to people.

I can’t find any definition of the term “admin user” which is used in the new FAQ on account sharing. It doesn’t seem to appear anywhere else in the official support database.

The definition of that might help clear up some of the confusion.

Because I’m still trying to figure out a use case where user B is the admin of a location that user A doesn’t have access to when user A sends an invite to user B as in the official support FAQ example.

Missing something. Apple Store has 2.0.4, nothing on 2.0.5.

If that is an Android release, how does that add functionality to iOS?

I don’t have Account Share option on my iOS device?

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It is available on iOS as well. It was already in iOS

Sorry, still not there. Latest version in the app store of Oct 22, ver 2.0.4.

Is there more than one app, a beta or something.

No what @slagle means is that the account sharing was already available on iOS app 2.04 but it required Android app 2.05 to be released before it could be turned on for both.

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Thanks! English language is such a wonderful creation.


When having a second user, should the “messages” tab show routines fired from the correct user? For example when I fire a routine it shows JW as firing it. But when she fires a routine I would expect KW to be next to it. Or is this not meant to work this way? I was hoping to use this as a tool to see who turned on what when.

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Perhaps something like this…?

  • Alfred (User A) has SmartThings installed and running in his home -
    he is the administrator for Alfred’s house.

  • Bob (User B) has SmartThings installed and running in his home - he
    is the administrator for Bob’s house.

  • Alfred and Bob are partners in a business, and they want to use
    SmartThings to automate the office. So, Alfred adds an “Office”
    location to his setup and then sends an invitation to Bob.

  • From his smartphone, Alfred can see and control the office and his
    (Alfred’s) home.

  • From his smartphone, Bob can now see and control his (Bob’s) home, the office
    and (unfortunately) Alfred’s home. Hopefully, in the future, Alfred
    will be able to prevent Bob from seeing and controlling his
    (Alfred’s) home.

Continuing the scenario, Bob has a son Charlie (User C). Bob sends an invitation to Charlie, thus granting Charlie access to see and control Bob’s home. In doing this, however, even though Bob can see and control the office, Charlie cannot, because Charlie did not receive the invitation from Alfred, the administrator of the Office location.

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I think it would be easier to use an old phone as the admin for the Office. You could just use a tablet as well. Have the office admin phone add Alfred and Bob to the hub there. Now they can both see the office but not the other person’s house. Basically each hub needs a master account.

You don’t even need another device, key is just adding the Office on its own account. Then Alfred would temporarily use his main device to log into the account and invite the Alfred and Bob accounts before logging out and back his personal one.

This one location/account method is essentially the question I asked @ben above and sent to support as well. I haven’t heard anything back yet, but I’m wondering if SmartThings sees this type of sharing as a reasonable method to allow a one location/account best practice which in turn solves a number of problems such as the one @chuckles demonstrated as well as the OAUTH issue I’ve posted above.

The main reason I’m curious about how SmartThings sees the workaround is that its been stated previously that problems with known workarounds are classified differently than problems without. So if they see this method as a work around for those problems, a “more elegant” solution may be de-prioritized. If that’s the case, I’d simply like to know so I can make use of the workaround rather than wait for the low priority elegant fix…

The only reason I threw in using another device is I wasn’t sure how smartthings would handle it since your phone is probably set up as a presence device already. It’s been a while since I set up an account and didn’t know if it automatically set up the phone as a presence device from the start. I didn’t want to confuse Smartthings.