[RELEASE] Ask Alexa

When I “test” it within Webcore by clicking on the Test button both pistons work fine.

Did you turn on logging to see if the piston is even being activated? Is Contact Sensor 2 actually open when you activate it via Ask Alexa?

I recommend removing the “IF” statement and just have the action in there (create a new DO piston. I also recommend you look at the events under My Locations in the IDE. It should give you useful information on if this is working or not.

I did. It’s not being activated.

There seems to be some disconnect where it’s not triggering the piston. It was working fine up until I upgraded everything.

Hmmm…Are you still getting the event logs via the IDE (not the real time logs, but the Location Events Log)? If not, then the migration must be closing the ability for this app to send that command any longer. Someone else who has done a full migration will have to chime is as I am NOT doing my migration until I have to :slight_smile:

I would still do a test with JUST a DO piston (like in my example above where there is ONLY an action). It literally took me a minute to set this up and it will definitively give you instant results if it works or not.

One thing that is confusing with your piston is that you are ‘closing’ a contact sensor. That technically isn’t possible unless the Contact Sensor 2 in your piston is actually an actuator (which is the assumption I have).

1 Like

Your idea of creating a simple Do piston helped me solve the problem. I was able to execute a Do piston so I knew the messages were passing. I ended up just rebuilding the other pistons and all works now, even with the conditions. Something in the transfer messed up the execution of the pistons with external triggers, but it’s fixed now. Hopefully everyone won’t have to rebuild their pistons just to work on the new platform.

In response to your question about the contact sensor, the device is a Linear GoControl Z-Wave garage door opener that uses its own contact sensor to determine it’s position, and also works as a relay to open and close the door. I have another tilt sensor on my garage because I don’t always trust it and it seems convoluted.

Anyway, all is working now. Thanks for taking the time to help me figure it out. Hopefully others can learn from the my trial and error.

TLDR: If your WebCore pistons aren’t executing after the transition, you may just have to rebuild them.


Hello community,

With all of the changes within the SmartThings environment, I wanted to take a small ‘poll’ as to whether Ask Alexa is still part of your portfolio of smartapps.

I ask as I got a renewal notice about my SSL cert and web page used to assist you with setting up Ask Alexa. If no one is using the app, there is no reason to pay for this service going forward.

However, if you ARE using this, please let me know here. In addition, if you DO enjoy this app, please consider donating to assist in paying for the website that allows for easy setup:

This is NOT a requirement, but it is highly appreciated.

Full transparency: Ask Alexa WILL eventually go away when the IDE for SmartThings is deprecated. I do NOT plan to move Ask Alexa to the SmartThings API as most of the functions can be accomplished via other methods.


1 Like

Thanks for all of your hard work on Ask Alexa. Smartthings became a bit of a nightmare so I decided to move my automations to Home Assistant. Smartthings still controls the devices.

Because of this I am only using Ask Alexa to open and close my garage door with a macro. That’s probably not enough to warrant my input that you would continue to pay for an SSL. I will be donating either way, as you’ve put a lot of work into a great smartapp, even if it’s time is up.

1 Like

To be clear, with how things are moving with the migration, Ask Alexa will probably be usable for another year or so! Good to know that you are still using it for your garage. That was my use case as well!

Outside of you that have responded publicly and privately, anybody else using Ask Alexa on a daily basis? No issues until after the first of the year, but after that I may shut down the app (or at least the ease of installation piece) to save a bit of money of the back end services it uses.


Appreciate all the hard work Brother! Even though it’s still installed, I am no longer using the App.

Good to know! Thanks for using it when you did! I am impressed with how far Amazon has come with its ‘core’ app.

1 Like

For those of you that were wondering what I am going to do with Ask Alexa long term, I have finally made my decision. As long as you have Ask Alexa installed and operational on your device, it will continue to work as long as Groovy is still supported within the SmartThings environment. However, behind the scenes I have a domain and web hosting service for THE SETUP PIECE ONLY, that is costing me money.

As such, as of May 1, 2021, NEW installations will be a bit more complicated (but not impossible). For those of you that have been around for a long time, the original setup process required a lot of cutting/pasting of code to Amazon to get the app to work. I slightly simplified that process with the web site setup piece. That set up piece will go away, which will require you to use the old process (which is in the documentation).

While Ask Alexa is my baby, it is time to let it go. Personally, I abandoned its use a few months ago when the whole Echo Speaks situation was going on (not because…just at the same time). I found, quite honestly, that 99.98% of the stuff I wanted to do could be done natively, through WebCore or through routines/voice monkey. As of now, outside of my virtual device creator and WebCore, I have NO smartapps that I rely on, and only custom DTHs that are needed. This WAS the original dream of SmartThing and Alexa, and we are finally there.

Again, I want to stress that this decision does NOT affect anyone who is currently using Ask Alexa. Only new installations.

As for the e-mails I receive about what I am going to do (i.e. am I jumping ship to another hub), I have thought about it, but honestly I see no need. The ONLY things that would have me jump are: lose of use of one of my critical DTHs, or the monthly charge by Samsung for a service that has been ‘free’ all of this time. Outside of that, I have a heavily automated house that is maintenance free at this point, with only a glitch or two here and there.

I am pleased at installation of Ask Alexa by THOUSANDS of users (yes…I counted) and for the opportunity to create something special while Amazon finally caught up to my vision of what “voice home control” meant. I expect great things from Alexa going forward! And I still have a little bit of faith that SmartThings will be a platform for the future as well.