@JDRoberts @joshua_lyon @Tim99
I was a Zealous advocate of Smartthings buying in when Hub 2nd gen came out and filling my home with zwave and zigbee devices, lights, switches, motor controls and thermostat, security, and sensors and I used bruce ravnels rule machine to automate everything and made my old hot tub smart and my old whole house fan smart and bought into terry gauchat’s smarttiles and actiontiles to give my family and friends oauth token controlled access to my custom panels, and later happily redid everything when Adrian came out with core and webcore, because it was capable of what I had brought together and offered further expanded, faster and powerful capability…
And then smartthings became “classic” and not long later we reached the dark ages. I ran 2 android smartthings apps for a while as functions broke, my hot tub custom device no longer worked, my automations for linking windows sensors to the thermostat and to the house fan. The IDE is gone. The impression I have is that smartthings is little more than a brand name of the vision it once held. We had heard that a rules engine would be IN the new iteration of smartthings but it’s been 5 years and every time I’ve checked back here for anything LIKE the simplicity and power of those predecessors, all I see is people advertising sharptools but it seems like its just a version of actiontiles that has some simple automations, but does less for a price, no offense to sharptools because that seems to be limited by smartthings… and for custom work, you could require yourself to be WAY more of a developer than copy/paste groovy IDE ever did.
I miss the old smartthings. my investment is little more than app-controlled lights anymore… I’m going to look into this node-red and maybe it’ll help me feel a little bit of the light I once knew with that platform.
I started this reply to just say thanks and ask if things were getting better for us… but I ended up ranting, and I’m guessing everyone else who feels like me is gone and everyone who stayed is either trying to build a new community like JDRoberts and JoshuaLyon or a worthless dormant lurker like me, (or too new to remember all this)
Things are different. Some parts are better, some parts are worse and of course there’s a good bit of “who moved my cheese“ anxiety since smartthings has not done a good job of documenting the changes for power users.
Here’s the community FAQ on what people are doing. There are a lot of different choices with different pluses and minuses but you do have to do a good bit of research to figure out what will be best for you.
Replace Groovy with Automations—what’s your plan?
And advertising it without having used it, which is a red flag in itself.
What in the tin foil hat are you talking about, Alwas? Having used both Rule Machine and WebCoRE, I had some hesitation with yet another solution but I’ve been impressed with how well SharpTools works. I had several automations from WC I thought were too much for ST, but I’ve been impressed with the ST community and Josh helping get things converted.
Give it a try. I originally switched from AT to get some more features on my dash and reluctantly switched some rules over and was surprisingly impressed with the features. Way more so than I realized.
Well @jt323bd, I hope you feel better after getting that off your chest.
All I can tell you is this method as given me a new sense of enthusiasm for the SmartThings platform.
Suggest you look at running Hubitat with SmartThings. There are two options to bridge: HubiThings Replica and Mira that allow you to move fairly seamlessly between the platforms. I was a huge ST Classic fan but jumped as they changed the development model. You will find the move to Hubitat easy since you understand the basic principles.
SharpTools is good for basic rules and automation and allows bridging between HE and ST.
Not sure when it became a SmartThings OR Hubitat world, but honestly, running both gives an incredible amount of flexibility and stability. IMHO.
Thanks for sharing your SmartThings journey, @jt323bd. Sounds like you’ve been around the SmartThings ecosystem for a while and experienced quite a bit!
Why not give SharpTools a whirl? Many of our community members came from other platforms looking for a more feature-rich / polished dashboard and our Rule Engine is all about powerful yet straightforward automation. I think you might be pleasantly surprised to find that SharpTools has more features than you might suspect.
If you hit any roadblocks or have questions, feel free to post in our community or tag me here directly – I’m here to help. There’s always a bit of adjustment when switching things up, but I’m confident you’ll see why SharpTools stands out once you dive in.
Looking forward to seeing what you think!
You just described me!!! Lol! I started with Smartthings and learned so much from this community, although I was forced to move on to Home Assistant because of the changes, I still lurk around here to help others who encounter issues that I have dealt with before. I have 4 Aeotec V3 hubs sitting around gathering dust.
I did see a lot of hoopla and noise about Sharptools also, but it has never been effective in doing anything I needed to get done.
Hey @Redcentauri! I hope things are going well with your Home Assistant setup.
If I remember correctly, you were looking for a replacement for your Rental Lock Automation for your rental properties. While SharpTools is not specifically tailored for rental integrations like AirBnB, the rule engine is very versatile and dashboards are quite adaptable.
As mentioned in the other thread, SharpTools has advanced features like HTTP Triggers and HTTP Actions that can be used to interface and integrate with external systems. We’ve got a great community who can help with these custom integrations and I’ve seen some really neat use-cases that take advantage of them. Either way, I’m glad to hear you found a solution that’s helping you manage your properties!
That being said, many of our community members enjoy the simplicity of building rules, automation, and logic to enable their smart home devices to interact with each other in ways that aren’t possible with the native SmartThings automation options.
In other words, the power-user features like HTTP integrations, expressions, and variables are there for those who need them… and an easy-to-use interface for building rules is available for free that covers the needs for the typical SmartThings user!
I understood I couldn’t get every feature I wanted, but the simplest of things like an iCal integration for automation I couldn’t get working. I tried and tried, and you were very gracious in extending my trial, but I couldn’t get the basic features I needed to work.
Hmmm. I was a Sharptools user some time ago, but that sorta lapsed as I moved out of a need for an Android dashboard. But it, combined with Tasker, was quite powerful.
I might have to swing back in that direction.
I really liked Hubitat at first and would have gladly mixed the two. I went and moved about half my devices to test things out, but it became clear there is a disconnect between the hubibat UI and the underlying software/toolkit/chipset that is being run. I kept ending up with ghost devices that would eventually lead my routines to fail to run.
After resetting the whole system, I ended up putting the hubitat devices on the shelf and moving back to ST. At least ST didn’t crap out completely. That and it now had local support sounded great. Unfortunately, the routines for me definitely have seemed buggy. I’ve got some heaters in places like our wellhouse or my office (in a converted shed out back) where I can’t rely on the routines to always trigger successfully.
In case of my office - I think I’ve identified it to issues with pre-conditions regarding time and temperature status. In some statuses it will never trigger because it crossed a boundary, like it was already too cold when the precondition changed to true - and it never re-evaluated the rest, and didn’t turn on the heater - leading to a cold office. Or the wellhouse - which is set to kick on the heater when it gets below 40 degrees, and I happen to wake up at night and notice that its 32 degrees and the heater isn’t on, despite working fine the entire week beforehand.
If it could end up being reliable I’d be a happy camper, but I didn’t find Hubitat to be that reliable either .
Preconditions by definition will never trigger a Routine. It should be a normal condition in the IF in order to trigger a SmartThings Routine.
For me, the turning point as far as reliable routines was making every effort to make sure as many routines run locally as possible (indicated by the little grey house with a checkbox icon). Key to that–for me, anyway–was the use of virtual switch devices and separating anything that sent a notification to users or a text message was in its own, stand-alone routine. The notification routines run in the cloud, so keeping them separate was, for my particular cases, one of the keys to reliable, locally-executing routines.
Oh, yeah. It took months of tweaking and some recent improvements in the platform to get to this point!
While I’m missing the power of Webcore, I have to say that in the past many weeks I’ve turned a corner with the ‘new’ Smartthings. The routines, once I get them right, are bulletproof. The interactions with Alexa, with Hue, with Ecobee, with my audio/video system, even the geofencing to allow my iPhone to function as an arrival sensor, are all functioning flawlessly. Yes it depends on a handful of community-created drivers (for which I’m very thankful!) so one cannot give full credit to Samsung, but the new local architecture is working as well as I could hope.
Perhaps it was worth all the pain after all.
I also agree.
Glen, what edge drivers are you using?
The ones I’ve added:
Web Requestor Multi
HTTP Device Creator
**The Bravia driver is great. It takes a TV for which Alexa integration was promised but not delivered (sounds familiar, eh?), and allows voice integration/command. Yeah I have to create specific routines, I cannot speak a random channel and have it go there (when will Alexa commands allow variables?), but for a score of ‘usual’ channels (including YouTube, Prime Video etc) it works well enough for the time being. When I can say “alexa, turn on hockey” and it goes to the cable channel that usually has an NHL game in the evening, I’m satisfied.
Sounds a great setup you have there Glen.
Lot of these edge drivers are from Todd Austin. Hats off to Todd
I’ve been a user for 4 years and started with the new setup. Like Glen said, Edge drives have helped to make things continue to work and function. Virtual switches help with automation and Alexa integration for things that usually don’t integrate. I honestly couldn’t be happier. I wish there were more YouTube videos on more advanced SmartThings automation.
There was a short period where I thought that SmartThings might go away, but after CES this year I’m convinced that it’ll be sticking around and I’ll continue to add devices as needed.