Migrate light control webcore app to Routines

I have one webcore piston that controls a few of my outdoor lights. Without any if/else/elseif condition I would have to break this up to a whole bunch of routines. I would like some help converting this to routine. @nayelyz

SharpTools seems like your best option. It can do if and else.


Hi, @rumrunner424

I am Andres, a member of the Developer Support team.

Routines/Scenes have a very user-friendly UI, but they are limited in what they allow you to do. If you want to create more elaborate automations, I strongly recommend you to create a Rule. Here you can find an introduction about what are they: Getting Started with Automations, and here you can find the API Rules Specification. Oh, and we also have some Example Rules.

Please, try creating one and if you happened to have any kind of trouble let us know, we will be happy to help you.

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Hey @andresg - How about those of us with complex webcore pistons that can’t code, so your rule solution doesn’t work? I feel like I am going from 2022 back to 2010 in terms of functionality.


Hi, @KenW48360

Can you please share an example of a condition that can’t be triggered with Rules but can be triggered with WebCore? Maybe we can try help you overcome it

@andresg - Let’s start with this one. It uses math in the piston. Migrate a Webcore Automation with Maath to Routines

Then let’s do something simple. A simple lighting trigger. I want a light to turn on 90 minutes before sunset. I can’t do it. The trigger is limited to 60 minutes. Additionally, if I want to use a timeframe that utilizes sunset or sunrise, I need two routines. It is easy to do 5pm to 11pm in one routine, but I can’t do sunset to 11pm in one routine.

You cannot write a routine that requires two different inputs from the same capability on the same sensor; i.e. if the temperature is >x degrees or temp is < y degrees.

I live in a cold climate. I have a heat mat that keeps ice from building up on my porch. The trigger to turn it on is webcore is if the weather is snowing, sleeting, or freezing rain. In routines, I can only pick snowing.

I could go on, but you get the point. Routines are extremely rudimentary, and you are limited in how many you can write. My math example will require 10 routines to approximate what I did exactly with one piston.

I see conversations here about how it is just power users who may be disappointed. I am not a power user. I can’t code. I only install stuff that other people figured out. Even for us regular users, this is a huge step backwards.


It’s not always that a condition can’t be triggered with Rules but can be triggered with WebCore, it’s how non-developers/non-power users/non-programmers (everyday users) gain access to Rules and then how to write the code.
The documentation does not clearly state the steps (in order) needed to even get to a point where you can access and start to even try to write a rule for people who haven’t used terminals or cmd or CLI before. There are several non-developers/non-programmers who used webcore to run complex automations because it had clear concise steps that any non-programmer could follow to get things up and running.


Hi, @KenW48360

Sorry for the late response. I noticed that you complain about Routines being extremely rudimentary, and I agree. But I already answered this above.

Did try creating a Rule? They are way more powerful than Routines.

Hi, @Terri_Baker

Sorry for the late response. If are not a developer, then I am afraid we can’t offer a friendlier UI. What we can do is help you in the process of getting familiarized with Rules. Please, give them a try and aks me anything you don’t understand, even the basic things, I will be more than happy to help you with that.

@andresg - Please see my prior posts on this thread. I have no coding capability. None. Haven’t coded since fortran and cobol 101 in the mid 80’s. Rules engine is way beyond my capability. The loss in functionality for us simpler users is dramatic because we can’t use the highly complex tools to make up for the relatively simple webcore.


I’d be happy to try them if you provide the step by step process of gaining access and getting set up without clicking through all the getting started documents and getting lost and confused. I’ve read through them multiple times and believe I have created the access tokens appropriately but don’t have a clue what to do next. Maybe since your focus is basic users and developers you could provide clear concise guidance for those in between?

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Hi Ken - I briefly mentioned it in the other thread, but we built out a math feature in the SharpTools Labs environment.

The labs version isn’t quite point and click yet, but I suspect you’d be able to set it up… and I’d be happy to help if you have any questions. Otherwise we’re actively working on building the math features out as a first-class feature in the SharpTools.io Rule Engine, so follow along in the linked thread if you’re interested as it’s coming soon!

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I agree definitely that it’s very frustrating that there isn’t an easier to use interface to the new rules API. That just seems like a missed opportunity. :thinking:

To avoid further confusion, I did want to say within the software industry, “power user” is typically used to describe someone who is NOT A coder, but who uses advanced features of the software that 75% or more of the every day users do not. Which is pretty much everyone using webcore.

A power user is a user of computers, software and other electronic devices, who uses advanced features of computer hardware,[1][2][3] operating systems,[4] programs, or websites[5] which are not used by the average user. A power user might not have extensive technical knowledge of the systems they use[6] but is rather characterized by competence or desire to make the most intensive use of computer programs or systems.

So I think many of us here, and it sounds like you too, are “power users“ as the term is currently being used.

Smartthings employees have said a number of times in this forum that the vast majority of hub owners have 15 or fewer devices and never use any custom code. So that’s their “typical user.“ And they are likely to be unaffected by the transition unless they have one of the older devices that is being dropped.

But I think it’s clear that the majority of people participating in this forum fit the “power user“ definition and have considerably more than 15 devices if you count virtual switches and all protocols. And some of us are going to be hit hard. :disappointed_relieved:

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@joshua_lyon - This is one of the main reasons I love my SharpTools dashboard. Support is superb. Thanks.


Hi, @KenW48360

I totally understand your concern, but I am afraid that, for the moment, that is all we can offer: Rules, Routines and Scenes.

Hi Ken!
In case you didn’t see, Expressions are available in beta for SharpTools now. :slight_smile:

Here’s a quick example of some of the neat things you can do with expressions. I was moving pretty quick to keep it under a minute so feel free to pause as needed, but the video includes some basic math with variables, date manipulation, logic and more!

We’ve also started stubbing out the documentation here:

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