New bindings and more

Home automation: openHAB 1.8 and first beta for openHAB 2.0 available

Michael Thomas
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As openHAB (Open Home Automation Bus) founder Kai Kreuzer announced, there are currently two new updates available for the open source, OSGi-based home automation platform. Aside from new bindings and features, the beta version of openHAB 2.0 in particular with the “openHAB Distribution” project presents an interesting innovation for developers.

openHAB 1.8

As was already the case in most releases of the 1.x version string, in openHAB 1.8 great importance was placed on increasing the quantity and diversity of bindings (technology connections): of the 24 new add-ons, 18 are bindings; all in all, the openHAB project currently offers 195 add-ons.

As a part of the release notification, Kreuzer directs attention in particular to two bindings: the connection to the especially popular RWE SmartHome system in Germany (which however due to lacking official APIs needs to fall back on an unofficial mechanism which with regard to latency still has shortcomings), as well as the LCN (Local Control Network) installation bus system by Issendorff KG, which is above all used in professional home automation (for example lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning technology.) In the case of LCN, we speak of an official binding which supports all LCN features.

Further features and improvements of openHAB 1.8 include the replacement of Google Calendar integration with a generic CalDAV integration, in which case in the future every CalDAV compatible calendar can be used to trigger actions. Moreover, the communication layer of the my.openHAB cloud service has been evidently revised such that remote access to openHAB instances can be configured more quickly and dependably in the future.

openHAB 2.0 Beta

After the release of openHAB 1.7 was accompanied by the publication of the second alpha version of openHAB 2.0, the first beta of the next main version is now available. One of the biggest changes in the beta is that the Runtime is set on the Apache Karaf OSGi Container from now on. As a result, the implementation of numerous new features, such as for example dependency management for all add-ons has been possible, whereby the Runtime automatically takes care of the installation of any dependencies needed for an add-on.

The changes in Runtime are accompanied by a few more new features in openHAB2. These include for example additional bindings – for the SMA Energy Meter (measurement solution for intelligent energy management), Lutron system (lighting control), as well as for Samsung C, D and E-series TVs, and a new user interface which is set on Material Design, as well as the current REST API with SSE support.

Interesting feature for developers: the new openHAB Distribution project now provides them an environment in which the openHAB Runtime, along with add-ons from openHAB1 and 2. An automatic IDE setup process which allows the selection of desired projects is also a part of the project.

Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas studied Educational Science at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and has been working as a freelance author at since 2013.

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