FAQ: I have no idea what Edge is. Is that a new developer tool? (2022)

SmartThings is in the middle of a transition to a completely new architecture, part of which is called Edge.

The Samsung-hosted free groovy cloud will go away beginning on September 30, 2022. For hub-connected devices, including Zwave and Zigbee, the DTH replacement will be Edge Drivers, which are written in the Lua programming language and will run locally on your own hub.

Here are the official announcements:

Announcement | Changes to our Legacy SmartThings Platform

Announcement | SmartThings Edge for Devices and Automations

The End of Groovy Has Arrived

Official transition FAQ:

https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us/articles/9339624925204

Official timeline for what gets shut off when:

The End of Groovy Has Arrived - #765 by SmartThings

And here is a thread on which hub models will work with Edge:

Smartthings Edge and code/hw requirements

Some of your devices may be automatically transitioned to stock edge drivers as this rollout takes place.

Using a custom edge driver

You can find a list of community-created Edge Drivers in the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki. You are limited to a total of 50 Edge Drivers per hub, but many handle many different models in one Edge Driver.

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Quick_Browse_Lists_for_Edge_Drivers

To use a custom Edge Driver, you have to subscribe to the author’s channel, which means following a weblink they will give you. It can then take a little time for the driver to be downloaded to your own hub (in some cases as much as 12 hours has been reported).

Once it is on your hub, you can add a device of that model to your account by using the “scan nearby” option in the ST app and it should automatically use the driver that matches its “fingerprint.” The device should then show up in your app under “no room assigned.”

@Terri_Baker has an excellent post that details the complete process for getting a new Edge Driver on your hub. Or removing one you don’t want anymore.

How To tell if your device has a driver already available on your hub

If no driver is listed that just means you don’t already have one on your hub. you may still be able to find a custom driver and download that.

How to see which custom driver channels your hub is subscribed to

To see which custom driver channels you are subscribed to, go to
your hub device page in the mobile app, tap the upper right menu and choose Driver.

IDE Information will be incomplete for devices using Edge Drivers

Note that the IDE will be going away when the groovy cloud goes away, and it has not been updated to deal with non-groovy code, so all the edge drivers will show up just as “placeholder“ and if you try to make changes to them through the IDE you can break communications with the device. :persevere:

The following thread may also be helpful:

Life after the IDE: Questions and Answers

Questions about a specific edge driver

If you have any questions about a specific edge driver, ask in the author thread for that channel.

The future for groovy

And, yes, this means that all groovy DTHs, stock and custom, will stop working once the transition is complete. SmartThings says they are working on a method to automatically transition everyone if there is an Edge Driver with a matching fingerprint, but if you are using a custom DTH that might lose you some features unless you can find a custom Edge Driver with feature parity. But this is just something you’ll have to research model by model. :thinking:

More tools

The following thread discusses how to use the CLI to get device information in the new architecture and how to set up a development environment if you want to write your own edge driver.

CLI: How to Install and Use

A note about “fingerprints“

You will see a lot of discussion of “fingerprints“ with respect to edge drivers. A “fingerprint“ is the smartthings’ term for a numeric code representing the manufacturer and model number of a device. Zigbee and zwave Devices will send this information to the hub at the time that they joined the network for the first time.

@jds13 had a very good post on the details

a note about edge driver integrity

The old smartthings architecture was unusual in that you could look at every line of custom groovy code that was going to run on your account. But of course that’s not how most apps work. If you download something from the Google playstore, you don’t really have any idea what the code does and you are not typically given a means to look at it.

Custom edge drivers are more similar to google play store apps in that regard.

edge drivers run on your own hub.

In order to get them onto your hub, you have to download them from a “channel“ which is in the smartthings cloud.

In order to do that download, you will follow a link that the channel owner gives you that takes you to a webpage which is accessing the smartthings cloud.

You sign into your SmartThings account on that webpage.

It then displays the channel details. You can subscribe to the channel and then select individual drivers that you want to have downloaded to your hub. ( the download process can reportedly take as much as 12 hours, but it’s usually pretty quick.)

Once the driver has been downloaded to your hub, you will be able to see its presence through the smartthings app.

In order for a developer to get a channel in the smartthings cloud, they have to go through some paperwork and sign up. But it’s not like an app in the Apple store: they are not required to have the code reviewed for malicious intent before it becomes publicly available.

So at no point does the code have to be available for the end user’s inspection. And even if there is code in GitHub that the channel owner says is what will be downloaded to your hub, there’s no guarantee that it will be the same.

Which is pretty much the same as apps on the Google playstore, if I understand that process. There are promises, but no guarantees that the promises will be kept. :thinking:

There is a thread in the developer section of this forum which discusses these issues in detail if you are interested in that.

Note that a lot of community developers welcome this change, because it allows them to charge a license fee for their work Without concern that someone will get a copy and then just share it around.

OK, that’s edge drivers. What about groovy smartapps, including webcore? Are those being shut off, too? Are there edge smartapps?

Yes, all custom Groovy cloud that runs in the SmartThings cloud will be shut off, including Webcore. And, no, there are no edge smartapps. That’s because we as customers are not allowed to add anything to the hub except edge drivers.

Wait…what? So how do I replace my custom smartapps?

The short answer is you can still write your own customs smartapps, even in Groovy, but you have to host them yourself, either at a hosting service or on a local server. The smartapp will then communicate with the SmartThings cloud through a REST API. (There is no option for a smartapp to communicate directly with an ST hub, so the new architecture for SmartApps is very similar to the old groovy cloud architecture in that regard. Your smartapp basically requests the cloud to talk to the hub for you.)

And, yes, that’s a lot more work and potentially money.

Noncoders May prefer to use other prebuilt alternatives. One of the most popular is SharpTools. It has a very user-friendly visual interface that runs in any browser. More powerful than the routines built into the SmartThings app, although not as powerful as Webcore (yet). There’s a free tier that may be all you need, or a pro tier for $30/year. And a free trial. So if you’re not a programmer, it’s worth a look.

There are other options, too. See the following discussion thread:

Replace Groovy with Automations—what’s your plan?

Just remember that when it comes to smartapps, you are usually talking about “automations,” not “Edge.”

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Yup, everyone just sit tight (no pun) and dont make any drastic moves like jumping to another platform as it just might have underlying hidden problems of its own.