Creating Automations in the Smartthing app

I am doing programming on the Smartthings app, programming Lutron Caseta switches. I have about 10 switches installed in our new home. The documentation for the app sucks and I am having to learn app programming in bits and pieces. While I am in the learning mode, I have been using a Lutron lamp module as part of my learning tools. It’s convenient as I have it right next to my desk. If I mess up a program/automation, I can just delete it and start over. I’ve been using smart home technology for about 40 years. I contemplating writing a book about programming with the app.

Sorry, I’m confused.

Do you mean you are using the built in rules engine and the official features in the smartthings app to create automations for your account?

Or do you mean you are using the developer tools either to write smartapps in the groovy language, the new rules API, or writing your own code and using the new platforms integration features to control your devices?

Or are you using webcore, which is essentially a scripting language for the smartthings groovy platform, to create “pistons“?

FAQ: What is WebCoRE? (And what was CoRE?)

There aren’t actually any programming features in the official SmartThings app itself.

Guess I did not make myself clear.

I am using/programming built into the app. Not interested in developing any apps using the groovy platform.
Thanks for asking.

Ok, that’s a rules engine, not considered “coding” or “programming” in a SmartThings context. :sunglasses:

The rules engine has been evolving rapidly over the last year or so, but there’s a decent set of getting started articles in the official support knowledgebase:

But definitely, there’s no comprehensive documentation for it, in part because it is still changing so rapidly. If you have specific questions when creating automations, just start a new thread in the following section of the forum and people should be able to help you:

I’m a retired (some think retarded) computer science professor. I’ve been using smart home technology for the better part or 40 years starting with X-10, moving on to Insteon/Universal Devices and Caseta and Smartthings. Along the way smart home technology has gotten more sophisticated and more difficult to use particularly if you are pushing the outer boundaries of its capabilities.

The thought process of using any somewhat sophisticated app is like programming without the system and program flowchart. I guess I could call it a roadmap too.

In thirty-five years of teaching, I taught a number of programming languages and mainframe job control languages. Toward the end of my career, I moved on to networking technology teaching Novell Netware and Windows 2000 server and other backbone hardware from Corvis and Cisco. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the years I had five one-year sabbatical leaves in Sillycone Valley.

When I have called both Lutron and Smartthings tech support the skill set of the support people is all over the map. Samsung has outsourced Smartthings support to a third party vendor. The one time I called Smartthings support recently I actually got a Tier 2 person who was filling in for Tier 1. We could actually have “programming-like” conversation.

You are aware that Smartthings is a cloud service. Hubitat is not, but the programming is more difficult and I am too dam old (I’m 83) to start working at that level again. Two of my nephews are software engineers and they both steered me away from Hubitat. They both use Hubitat as they like things being local.

1 Like

Looks like you’ve been a great help to people on the site.

Are you retired too?

1 Like

Retired due to disability, yes. I am now quadriparetic with a progressive neuromuscular disease. I stopped working about the same time that I began using a wheelchair full-time As I also lost much of the function in my hands and my voice is somewhat difficult to understand on the phone.

Sorry to hear about your disability. How wonderful you can have something meaningful to do and can give back to the community.
Are you able to use Dragon Dictate? You can train it to understand the nuances of your voice. That said it takes time.

When I had rotator cuff surgery a bunch of years ago, I used Dragon Dictate successfully.

I had a number of students in my programming classes with significant disabilities. I remember one who wore a headband with a pencil-like device sticking out of the headband and he poked at the keyboard like a chicken poking the ground. He had a great sense of humor as he sometimes clucked like a chicken and had us all laughing. Another blind student had a German Shepard guide dog. We let the dog run loose in the lab, until he starting crawling around the computer tables and scaring the hell out of whoever was sitting there.

I worked for IBM at the time I became ill and did use their dictation products. I now use the built-in dictation in iOS, which is very good. And I use Amazon echo a great deal.

Nonetheless, there are some days when I am still difficult to understand because of slurring and on those days none of the voice recognition products will work well of the variability in my enunciation. That’s not something you can train the programs for.

BTW, a well trained guide dog should simply lay at the feet of the handler when not working. It’s bad for everyone if they disrupt the activities of other people. :sunglasses:

You’re absolutely correct. But the owner and the dog were so gregarious and I let the owner and the dog get away with it until the dog caused other problems. The dog did lay at her feet, but everyone loved the dog. Peoples would start petting the dog.

What did you do at IBM and where did you work for them?

1 Like

It can be confusing for users of the community because one can use a programming language to work with devices and applications. There has also been a shift in the language too because I remember “programming” my VCR and my universal remotes.

Now that everyone is on the same page maybe we can get you help with configuring the automations and smartapps.

1 Like

Richard, I’m 60. I think you are over thinking this. I just started transitioning from WINK to SmartThings. The automations SmartThings uses is like the old FORTRAN program it with “IF THEN” statements. I hope that helps

1 Like

It’s not “If” “Then” for me. It is the order in which one does things. Also, I had to log out of both the Lutron connected service and the Smartthings app a few days ago. When I logged back into the Smarthings app, Rooms, Devices and Automations were all scrambled.

The app is supposed to be able to notify you when an event happens. All it has is notification to your phone with no explanation of what you are be notified about. I’m told they are implementing a text messaging. I have several automations in use. I want to know exactly which one I am being notified about. When I used the Universal Devices app with Insteon, I could email myself and decide what the notification should say. Smartthings is a work in progress.

I have a very large home and I moved away from Lurton and Phillips products in favor of the Z wave products that seem to work very well.