Replace Groovy with Automations—what’s your plan?

Before we start, for any given piston/custom smartapp it’s worth checking to see if you can do that with routines in the smartthings app. You can ask for help figuring out how to solve any one use case in the following part of the forum:

So far, it looks like most people who have found that the basic routines in the ST app aren’t enough to replace the custom groovy they are losing are doing one of the following:

  1. try the third party rules engine in SharpTools. Very nice browser-based visual interface. More powerful than the basic ST app, although not as powerful as Webcore. They have a free tier and a pro tier at $30/year. Free trial. Works with the new ST architecture. They do accept feature requests for new features voted on by the community, but as you can imagine there’s a long wish list right now. Worth a look for most people. (It doesn’t run locally, but then neither did your old custom groovy.)

This option lets you keep your ST/Aeotec hub and continue to use the ST app. It just gives you a new place to create rules. So probably the least disruptive choice.

2.a. jump ship, rebuild everything from scratch in Hubitat, use Webcore over there, and maybe add SharpTools since the hubitat app is a little rough.

This is a lot of work to setup, but it still runs groovy so will feel very familiar to developers. Most devices will work although early generation GE switches might not. Everything runs local except third party integrations like voice assistants. Active forum community. But Family members will have to learn a new interface.

2.b. keep your devices in SmartThings, add a hubitat hub (hubitat just announced in late December 2022 that they are going to offer Webcore as a built-in application on their hub.) and use a community-created integration between the two platforms.

This will probably be a little more fragile than option 2a, but means you don’t have to go through the effort of moving each individual device over. Instead, you’ll be creating proxies for them on the hubitat system.

[Endpoint SmartApp] HubiThings Replica

  1. move most logic to home assistant, while maybe keeping your ST network running as well. This might be the most powerful option but also requires the most technical skill. Open source. Programmers who switch to HA generally say “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” Non programmers often try it for a month or so, then move on to a friendlier system. It’s always a candidate just because of its power and relatively low cost, but it can be overwhelming. Some people add SharpTools to it for a family-friendly interface.

Of course there are other options as well, including writing and hosting your own custom smartapps that use the ST REST API, but so far the above 3 seem to be the most popular.

  1. The official replacement is the new Rules API, but it seems to have a steep learning curve and not a lot of documentation so there haven’t been that many people who report using it. It does have its own section in the forum.
  1. Tasker and the REST API. If you have an android phone and are comfortable using the third party app Tasker, @Jake_Mohl has been doing some great work figuring out how to use Tasker to access the smartthings cloud API, essentially substituting Tasker for some of the previous custom groovy smartapps. It’s very clever work, and as long as you’re OK paying the license fee for Tasker, or already have it, it can be very useful for those with android phones. Here’s the thread with the examples that he has so far:

This method feels more technical than using SharpTools, but it’s also less expensive, and may not cost anything extra if you’re already using Tasker for other android functions.

  1. If you have strong, technical skills, and you’re willing to set up a separate device to be a server, one community member has a “how to“ on creating an “automation box“ (that server device) using Node Red to create the automations. This supports some very complex rules, but it definitely has more of a learning curve than Sharptools.

Unleash the Power of SmartThings with Advanced Automations Using Node-Red


A) Probably the most common of these was combining a relay and a tilt sensor into a garage door control. Zooz had a smartapp to do this with its devices. There were a couple of other custom smartapps with a similar purpose.

For those specific use cases, there is a very clever virtual device edge driver that might be able to give you the same outcome. Here’s that one.

[ST Edge] Virtual Hub Kit [BETA]

B) vacation Lighting was another popular smartapp on the old architecture. As of September 2023 there are now several different ways to replace this, depending on your exact needs and set up. Here’s the thread discussing those:

Is it possible to create a routine to turn lights on/off when away?

Rboy Smartapps

If you are using any Rboy SmartApps, he has been working with SmartThings on a transition plan, but there aren’t a lot of details. There is a transition FAQ on his site: