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SmartThings has Announced the End of Groovy Interface

I received a email from a SmartThings Staff Member announcing the end of the SmartThings Goovy IDE interface. The Groovy IDE will be terminated effective September 30, 2022.

Quoting from the email, “On September 30, 2022, Groovy device DTHs, SmartApps built on Groovy, and the legacy developer IDE will be removed from the SmartThings platform and will no longer be supported. This means that devices and automations previously using Groovy will now exclusively operate with our latest hub and cloud technology.”

Continuing to quote, “Recognizing trends within the smart home industry, SmartThings has been working diligently to evolve our platform into a modern REST API framework. Lua-based Edge drivers are a major step, which is being followed quickly with the launch of the Matter protocol, providing a greater focus on interoperability and local communication. All of this platform growth has increased reliability, decreased latency, and reduced the need for data transfer outside of the home environment.”

SmartThings states that the transition for most hub connected devices will be seamless, as will their abilities, which will be supported through standard Edge drivers. As I announced in previous updates, the transition is well underway and SmartThings expects to fully complete the transition over the next one and on half months. If you have devices that are currently supported by a Custom Device Handler you are reminded that these custom groovy capabilities will not be supported and you are therefore urged to contact the community member who created the Custom DTH.

SmartThings have affirmed that some devices may not transition automatically and will need to be re-onboarded. They did not specify the specific devices that may be impacted nor did they give reference to the quantity or percentage of devices that would need to be deleted and reinstalled. Also and devices which are no longer supported by their manufacturers on the legacy platform will not transition or be supported on the new platform.

SmartThings did provide a link to the current list of available Edge drivers. Just reference the link “Current Edge Drivers List

SmartThings also affirmed that Developers can now share drivers with specific users or groups by creating a driver channel and providing a URL to channel invitees, eliminating the need to copy and paste code.

Also in this email, the SmartThings team has confirmed that it is their intent to launch Matter this fall. For those of you unfamiliar with the Matter, Matter is a smart home interoperability protocol. It was launched as a joint effort by a handful of the industry's biggest players. Over 170 companies are involved, with Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Google and the Zigbee Alliance being the most prominent names. The goal of Matter is to ensure that smart home devices can work across different ecosystems. So, as an example, with the introduction of Matter, an Amazon Echo Show display should work with a Google Nest doorbell just as it currently works with Amazon’s own Ring doorbells.

I did a quick survey of my devices and I found that out of the 66 devices which are current in use in my smart home, 31 devices or about 50 percent of them have already been migrated to Edge Drivers. An easy way to check which of your devices have been converted to an Edge Driver is to login to your ST Account, (the groovy IDE) and look within the My Devices tab to see which devices have the “placeholder” designation. These devices are already using the new Edge architecture

So what is the demeanor on the SmartThings Community forum regarding this change? I would characterize it as fairly somber with a lot of concern and pessimism due to how quickly ST is terminating the Groovy IDE.

Briefly, here are a couple of notable items in the negative or minus column:

There is concern that nearly all of the Smart Apps such as Speaker Companion and Enhanced Auto Lock Door are going to be eliminated on September 30th. As a result any the automations that you created with a Smart App will need to manually recreated in a Routines. Two Smart Apps that are not to be eliminated are the Smart Lighting and the Smart Weather Smart Apps. These Apps will be migrated to the new Edge Architecture and be integrated into ST Routines.

At this point it looks like the Developers will not develop an integration for WebCore or Action Tiles, so you should not look for any support in the new Edge environment.

There is some items in the positive or plus column

It is confirmed that SharpTools will continue to work after the migration, and their Rules Engine looks to be the best/easiest option for complex automations. They now have an option to connect through the new API and have said they’re working on a migration plan of their own to move existing customers from the old to the new API.

It was also confirmed that there will be a custom Edge Driver for the Harmony Bridge which you are able to use to integrate RF devices such as and Air Condition, Fan, TV, etc.

It was also confirmed that the Philips Hue integration will continue to work.

And finally, there was confirmation that there will be Edge Driver support for the use of virtual switches in the Edge Environment.

The conventional wisdom on the ST Community suggests that we should be patient and not jump in to manually delete and reinstall devices. Rather we should wait and let ST migrate devices and see which device are left behind. Those currently using webcore will need to begin to rewrite their automations using ST routines. If using routines are not adequate, you can check out the SharpTools Rules Engine to see if it gives you the additional features that you need. If you need some help in setting up SharpTools there is a video I created on that topic. See the link above.

To the question of will SmartThings continue to dedicate resources to improve Edge Drivers beyond the termination of the Groovy IDE, SmartThings have stated, and I quote: “As we continue to bring you more features and new tools and to move SmartThings forward in the IoT space, we will always do what we can to ensure any transition from legacy systems during this time will be as seamless as possible and keep you informed on changes as they come.”

You can stay informed by checking platform updates in the SmartThings Community and also here on this channel. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you on the next episode.

Keep automating and God Bless

Useful Links:

Virtual Things Edge Driver

TAustin’s VEdge Creator

Current Edge Drivers List

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