Migration to V2 - Hurdles and Best Practices

Right on and agreed on iOS device migration model. The core challenge has been that the device networking standards do not have good provisions for this. E.g. there is not an established way in Zigbee or Z-wave (let alone Wifi) to emulate an existing controller. In Z-wave, you can go through a process to join a network as a secondary controller and then shift that to become primary, but that won’t work if a Hub died for some reason as you need to have the old controller on hand. On Zigbee there isn’t any such method today.

So we’re pushing some frontiers on it. In our ideal world we could ship a new Hub and be able to have it emulate a users existing network and make device migration completely seamless. Lots of security implications to think about since most of the standards really try to make that impossible. But that would be our ideal.

In some cases we will even be pushing on standards evolution to support it (easier now that we are becoming one of the “big guys” and are on the boards for Z-wave, Zigbee, etc.).

Anyhow, thanks for the kind words and continued feedback. We LOVE our customers and community, and it is incredibly painful to watch some of the flaming as we adjust to this big change, even though I have 100% conviction that we are making the right moves.


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Thanks for your recap.

Control4 has had this functionality in their code for awhile now.

But then again, I’d have to pay my dealer to do it.

Could you address the whole local processing of IDE installed community DeviceTypes and SmartApps not available right now and forced to run in the cloud?

This essentially makes most of the reasons why people who use community code and wanted hub v2 local processing a dead issue.

I just don’t see any practical reason why this wasn’t allowed, unless it just wasn’t coded up to be allowed. In that case, was it part of the plan from the beginning?

Awesome. One thing I beg you guys to focus on is Mobile Presence. It’s the achilles heel of Smartthings and it’s such an important core part of home automation. I have not been reliably able to get it working with my wife iPhone’s for the past 18 months and a lot of other community members here have had their struggles too. I am not sure if BTE is the answer due to it’s limited range and only being able to pair one device at a time.
I have worked endlessly with support on it and there is no answers at this point besides asking my wife to rebuild her entire phone and pray it fixes it.

Is this something that will eventually be looked at?

I’m glad to see this acknowledged. While a hardware failure in any situation would sting, I think we can rely on Tech Support to send a replacement very quickly. Without a migration tool, however, the situation would drift into pain mode again, as even a Hub V2 to replacement Hub V2 will require the same minimum 3 5 hours of effort.

No… I’m pretty sure Alex wrote the comment himself, though a review by a social media editor might have suggested that the comment can appear to trivialize the pain involved or oversimplify the process.

Are you referring to the current limitations on which devices and SmartApps are able to run locally?

If so, that is something where we will very rapidly expand the list in the coming days and weeks. Covering anything that is certified and is able to be controlled locally (i.e. any device that doesn’t rely on cloud-to-cloud integration).

The current limitation while we harden the AppEngine component of our Hub firmware is that the local Device Type Handlers and SmartApps are actually packaged in with Hub firmware updates for all users. So we need to proceed with some caution. It also seems further away than it actually is right now since any given SmartApp will fall back to cloud processing if even a single device that it uses isn’t certified to run locally. So even though Smart Lighting works locally, it falls back to cloud if a Hue is included since that isn’t marked to run locally yet (even though it will be soon).

As I said, the list will expand quickly over the coming days and weeks to cover all the most popular scenarios. For me, that means Smart Home Monitor, Smart Lighting, and Routines will all be able to execute locally even if Internet is down.

Our definite goal will be able to support the sandboxing someday so that a developer could get their own SmartApps and DTHs to run locally if desired, independent of what happens across the broad consumer base.

I hope that helps! I will ask Jeff Hagins to write a post on this topic to make everything more clear.



Understood. That’s a big part of why it’s a priority even though many early adopters will often sort through the migration themselves before the tool exists.

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Excellent feedback, Alex. While you would be considered an edge case in speed, it was good info for the rest of us.

To that end, with such an environment as HA and IOT, everything is very personal to each user, and homes are unique. There was never to be a silver bullet to appease the masses. I agree to move on, get it out there with hardware, and then iterate the software which is far easier. Its a good order. The masses will be watching how quickly that software process moves to validate that the lack of iteration the last 9-12 months was about v2 and scaling personnel. You have a chance at a big victory the next 4 months. Good luck, we are behind you.


Wait, so this is the limitation, you have to push out the deviceTypes and SmartApps in Firmware?

If that is the case, that finally makes sense. I don’t like it, but it makes sense.



Yes. It’s impacted by the underlying tools in each mobile OS, but we are thinking about ways that we could add new mechanisms to establish presence (e.g. trigger it when the phone is on the same LAN as the Hub). Keep hammering us on this as we now know about being on the same network due to work we are doing to make streaming from cameras faster when you’re viewing while in the home.

Correct. We will look for ways to make it dynamic, but that’s the reason this is happening step by step in the first stages.

Personally I must be an early adopter when it comes to everything. I have had some bad experiences with migration tools in the past, and now I rarely choose to use them. Windows has had migrations tools, but I back up my files and reinstall everything clean. Same thing with my phones. Android has had migration tools for quite a while and I always install clean. In the past few weeks I have torn down and rebuilt my SmartThings setup multiple times, and barring issues out of my control it goes by faster every time. I would not use a migration tool for SmartThings if one were released today. Just my two cents.


Appreciate the openness @alex, thanks for posting. Even though the process for me was lengthy, it was beneficial because of the past couple years of experience with ST and these devices has helped me develop an a better way of designing my HA experience and a migration plan (still with the lessons learned I mentioned above).

I’m personally stuck on adopting ST’s new direction on replacing Dashboards with SHM and Smart Lighting. I think as ST adds functionality back that I’ll make the switch, so I’m looking forward to more good stuff to come.

As others have said, thank you for taking the time in the transparency on this. Really appreciate it.

In my case, I am quadriparetic, use a wheelchair with limited hand function.

As much as I like the minimote, neither my service dog nor I am able to use it.

One of the great advantages of SmartThings for our household is that we have so many device choices based on community-developed device handlers and smartapps.

There is a Zigbee 3 toggle device from SmartenIT with big flat toggles that both the dog and I can use. So that’s what we use instead of the minimote most of the time when we need a button device.

Not having that available during a cloud outage would considerably reduce our plan B options. So for some of us, the variety of devices available is exactly why we chose SmartThings in the first place.


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I hope you realize that this is entirely different than the expectations set by your team, and a huge disappointment to those of us that are developers / heavy users. My house is failing in various ways every hour, and in each case the finger points to the cloud processing one way or another. I’ve been around long enough to know that these “sh*t storms” happen from time to time with ST, but it has gotten beyond old. What has gone on for much too long is really poor expectation setting from you guys. Promises made, over and over, and never fulfilled. Being transparent is nice, but I can’t get beyond the lack of credibility in what you say Alex, and what your team says.

Ah yes, 3 hours is not what it took.


Wow man. Thank you so much. We are pouring our hearts into this, and indeed I feel like everyone is going to see a serious increase in pace of improvements now that we have the multifaceted V2 Hub/Devices/Cloud/Apps/Certification (aka the pig in the python) out the door.

One little thing as an example that will help us move faster is that developers can now impact the core product and UX. Smart Home Monitor itself was built using our IDE and is an example of how the community is going to get equipped to really move the experiences forward with us. We are just hardening the core platform and tools right now and catching up with documentation, but we’re on a mission to open it up further as well.


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Great info. Minimotes with Smart Lighting and Routines and SHM will indeed all work locally, so you’re good there. Send info to our support team on additional devices you’d like to see run locally and we’ll work hard to make it happen wherever possible.

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It took me way more than 3 hours to migrate 40 devices. I didn’t do it in one shot, but it took a couple of evenings and a good part of Sunday. I’d estimate 6 hours at least, which is on average 9 minutes per device.


I can’t physically use minimotes. That’s why I use the SmartenIT 3 toggle device.

So unfortunately, the opposite of good.


That’s my personal approach too. Still working on migration tool for those who feel differently and for the replacement Hub scenarios, but I actually enjoy and benefit from the clean setup and finding better ways to approach things. Feels like home improvement or decorating which I also enjoy refreshing from time to time.