Building the Device Type

The Device Handler for a LAN-connected device is generally the same as any other Device Handler. The means in which it handles sending and receiving messages from its device is a little bit different. Let’s walk through a LAN-connected Device Handler example.

Making outbound HTTP calls with HubAction

Depending on the type of device you are using, you will send requests to your devices through the Hub via REST or UPnP. You can do this using the SmartThings provided HubAction class.


The class physicalgraph.device.HubAction encapsulates request information for communicating with the device.

When you create an instance of a HubAction, you provide details about the request, such as the request method, headers, and path. By itself, HubAction is little more than a wrapper for these request details.

It is when an instance of a HubAction is returned from a command method that it becomes useful.

When a command method of your Device Handler returns an instance of a HubAction, the SmartThings platform will use the request information within it to actually perform the request. It will then call the device-handler’s parse method with any response data.

Herein lies an important point - if your HubAction instance is not returned from your command method, no request will be made. It will just be an object allocating system memory. Not very useful.

So remember - the HubAction instance should be returned from your command method so that the platform can make the request!

Creating a HubAction object

To create a HubAction object, you can pass in a map of parameters to the constructor that defines the request information:

def result = new physicalgraph.device.HubAction(
    method: "GET",
    path: "/somepath",
    headers: [
        HOST: "device IP address"
    query: [param1: "value1", param2: "value2"]

A brief discussion of the options that can be provided follows:

The HTTP method to use for the request.
The path to send the request to. You can add URL parameters to the request directly, or use the query option.
A map of HTTP headers and their values for this request. This is where you will provide the IP address of the device as the HOST.
A map of query parameters to use in this request. You can use URL parameters directly on the path if you wish, instead of using this option.

Parsing the response

When you make a request to your device using HubAction, any response will be passed to your device-handler’s parse method, just like other device messages.

You can use the parseLanMessage method to parse the incoming message.

parseLanMessage example:

def parse(description) {
    def msg = parseLanMessage(description)

    def headersAsString = msg.header // => headers as a string
    def headerMap = msg.headers      // => headers as a Map
    def body = msg.body              // => request body as a string
    def status = msg.status          // => http status code of the response
    def json = msg.json              // => any JSON included in response body, as a data structure of lists and maps
    def xml = msg.xml                // => any XML included in response body, as a document tree structure
    def data =              // => either JSON or XML in response body (whichever is specified by content-type header in response)


For more information about the JSON or XML response formats, see the Groovy JsonSlurper and XmlSlurper documentation.

Getting the addresses

To use HubAction, you will need the IP address of the device, and sometimes the Hub.

How the device IP and port are stored my vary depending on the device type. There’s currently not a public API to get this information easily, so until there is, you will need to handle this in your device-type handler. Consider using helper methods like these to get this information:

// gets the address of the Hub
private getCallBackAddress() {
    return device.hub.getDataValue("localIP") + ":" + device.hub.getDataValue("localSrvPortTCP")

// gets the address of the device
private getHostAddress() {
    def ip = getDataValue("ip")
    def port = getDataValue("port")

    if (!ip || !port) {
        def parts = device.deviceNetworkId.split(":")
        if (parts.length == 2) {
            ip = parts[0]
            port = parts[1]
        } else {
            log.warn "Can't figure out ip and port for device: ${}"

    log.debug "Using IP: $ip and port: $port for device: ${}"
    return convertHexToIP(ip) + ":" + convertHexToInt(port)

private Integer convertHexToInt(hex) {
    return Integer.parseInt(hex,16)

private String convertHexToIP(hex) {
    return [convertHexToInt(hex[0..1]),convertHexToInt(hex[2..3]),convertHexToInt(hex[4..5]),convertHexToInt(hex[6..7])].join(".")

You’ll see the rest of the examples in this document use these helper methods.

Wake on LAN (WOL)

HubAction can be used to make WOL requests.

Here is an example:

def myWOLCommand() {
    def result = new physicalgraph.device.HubAction (
        "wake on lan <your mac address w/o ':'>",
        [secureCode: "111122223333"]
    return result

The first argument to HubAction tells the HubAction class that this will be a WOL request. The argument must be in the form “wake on lan <mac address>” where the mac address is the address without the ‘:’ separator characters. For example, if the mac address of the NIC is 01:23:45:67:89:ab, the first parameter to HubAction would be "wake on lan 0123456789ab".

The second parameter simply specifies that the request will be a LAN request. This will always be the case for a WOL type request. So the value must always be physicalgraph.device.Protocol.LAN.

The third parameter is the Device Network ID, or dni. In the case of a WOL request, this parameter should be null.

The last parameter is a map representing the options on the request. For a WOL request, this map will only ever consist of one parameter, secureCode. Some NIC’s support the SecureOn feature which requires the request to not only have a valid mac address, but also supply a valid password. This password must be configured on the NIC. If the NIC does not support SecureOn or does not have a password set, simply leave out the options map.

REST requests

HubAction can be used to make REST calls to communicate with the device.

Here’s a quick example:

def myCommand() {
    def result = new physicalgraph.device.HubAction(
        method: "GET",
        path: "/yourpath?param1=value1&param2=value2",
        headers: [
            HOST: getHostAddress()
    return result

UPnP/SOAP requests

Alternatively, after making the initial connection you can use UPnP. UPnP uses SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) messages to communicate with the device.

SmartThings provides the HubSoapAction class for this purpose. It is similar to the HubAction class (it actually extends the HubAction class), but it will handle creating the soap envelope for you.

Here’s an example of using HubSoapAction:

def someCommandMethod() {
    return doAction("SetVolume", "RenderingControl", "/MediaRenderer/RenderingControl/Control", [InstanceID: 0, Channel: "Master", DesiredVolume: 3])

def doAction(action, service, path, Map body = [InstanceID:0, Speed:1]) {
    def result = new physicalgraph.device.HubSoapAction(
        path:    path,
        urn:     "urn:schemas-upnp-org:service:$service:1",
        action:  action,
        body:    body,
        headers: [Host:getHostAddress(), CONNECTION: "close"]
    return result

Subscribing to device Events

If you’d like to hear back from a LAN-connected device upon a particular Event, you can subscribe using a HubAction. The parse method will be called when this Event is fired on the device.

Here’s an example using UPnP:

def someCommand() {

private subscribeAction(path, callbackPath="") {
    log.trace "subscribe($path, $callbackPath)"
    def address = getCallBackAddress()
    def ip = getHostAddress()

    def result = new physicalgraph.device.HubAction(
        method: "SUBSCRIBE",
        path: path,
        headers: [
            HOST: ip,
            CALLBACK: "<http://${address}/notify$callbackPath>",
            NT: "upnp:event",
            TIMEOUT: "Second-28800"

    log.trace "SUBSCRIBE $path"

    return result

References and resources