Very well-organized reply. And, yes, more research is the next step.
Before you spend too much time on that, we need to bring up one more issue, which is that smartthings itself is in the middle of a complete platform architecture rewrite.
From Groovy to Edge
The old architecture used a Groovy programming language cloud and individual customers were able to write their own custom “device type handlers“ (abbreviated DTH) in groovy and use those. So pretty much any threads in the forum which are older than October 2020, will be referring to that first generation architecture.
The new architecture, which is still in development, will not use the groovy programming language. Or DTHs. Instead, it will use the Lua programming language and the replacement for DTHs Will be “Edge Drivers” that will run on each customer’s own smartthings hub instead of in a common cloud. And there will still be cloud to cloud integrations, usually provided by a third-party service or a device manufacturer.
The goal of all this is a faster, more reliable system, but it means a lot of changes are coming and most of them are still in beta right now so the new stuff can be glitchy. But the old stuff will be going away pretty soon, we just don’t know exactly when. (Originally the transition was scheduled for December 2020, but obviously they missed that date and they haven’t given us a new one yet.)
Getting Started in a Time of Transition
So what does all that mean for you?
It means that you can start researching and you may very well find some custom groovy DTHs in the forum that work with the devices you have and you can use them right now. But you should be aware that they will be going away pretty soon.
So you might want to just start with Edge Drivers. Although edge itself is still in beta and there are some glitches, that’s where smartthings future will be. Also, edge drivers are easier to install. You just get a link from the code author and follow it and the code gets automatically downloaded to your own hub.
You can find both the groovy DTHs and the currently available edge drivers by checking the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki.
For more about edge, start with the community FAQ. The FAQ also has the links to the official announcements about all this, if you’re interested in those:
FAQ: I have no idea what Edge is. Is that a new developer tool? (2022)
It’s up to you whether you want to use DTHs, Edge Drivers, or some of each right now. There are pluses and minuses to both. Just be aware of that at some point smartthings is going to shut down access to the groovy cloud and any custom DTHs that you have will stop working.
(Anything using a Samsung provided “stock“ DTH is supposed to be automatically transferred to a new stock edge driver eventually, but historically smartThings as a company has not been great at automatic migrations, so we will have to see how that goes.)
The Future Isn’t Here Yet
So you’re getting started with smartthings at a time of great change when we are all feeling a little uncertain about the details of how things will work in the future. It doesn’t mean you can’t move forward, it just means you have to be aware that more changes are coming and there may be more than the usual number of glitches for a little while.
I myself am feeling mildly optimistic about where smartthings will be in 2023. I like the direction they’re going, and some of the staff, particularly @nayelyz and @SamsungZell have been participating a lot in this forum trying to help us all get through it. Plus occasional participation from other staff as well, of course.
And there are some community members who have been doing a lot of research and a lot of coding on the new edge drivers and have been super helpful to the rest of us as well. @Automated_House , @orangebucket , and @jkp, Again among others, have been doing lots of detailed research on the new architecture and sharing that with the rest of us.
And community coders like @TAustin , @Mariano_Colmenarejo , @ygerlovin , @philh30 , @erickv , and again others have been producing beta edge drivers on a regular basis and doing some pretty amazing stuff with them. (I’m sure I left out a bunch of names, but you get the idea: it’s a busy and creative community with a lot of positive things happening.)
So welcome again. I’m sorry there’s not an easy beginners guide for using tuya Zigbee devices with smartthings right now, but at least you’re in the right place with the right questions. And hopefully you’ll be able to find the right answers for what you want to do.