openHAB 2.5 released: More possibilities for the Smart Home

Alex Alex 17 December 2019
openHAB 2.5 released: More possibilities for the Smart Home

A whole year has passed since the release of openHAB 2.4 and it is now happening a lot. A new Release is long overdue and we are pleased to announce today the Release of openHAB 2.5!

Many users have been waiting for quite some time on this Version. In the past, we have tried to realize at least two publications per year, this summer we had to a skip. The reason for this is that behind the Scenes some big Changes have taken place, for the user directly visible, but which have a significant impact on all developers: We have changed the underlying Build System completely. This led to more effort than originally expected, and it took many months until the Maintainer and contributors worked on Features and not to Build - and IDE-related content. Nevertheless, we are pleased that the developer can work through this circumstance is now a lot easier with alternative IDEs such as IntelliJ and VisualStudio Code, which has been requested often in the past. In addition, we can shorten with the new Build System, the build times significantly in the future, and external dependencies to better cope.

another major restructuring, which has taken place in the Background, is the Reintegration of the Eclipse SmartHome Codes in openHAB, which was successfully completed and us a much simpler project, and Community structure, as well as less cross-project dependencies, earned.

Despite all of these internal efforts, I am impressed by the long list of the functional Changes mentioned in the official Release Notes: In the Distribution of 46 new Add are included-ons, what is since the last Release almost an Add-on per week – makes another big step in terms of device support, openHAB is a very versatile integration platform.

As usual, I will not go into all the Details, there I recommend a look at the Release Notes in Detail. Instead, I would like to mention only a few Interesting new features:


The new Ephemeris Feature allows the automation rules to create much more granular: It provides information about the days: it Is a weekday or a weekend? It is a holiday? It's the birthday of someone, or maybe time to take the trash out? With the help of the Ephemeris information is within the rules, it is much easier, for example, the times for the automatic shutters, the alarm clock, the corresponding info messages in the Morning, etc.

This function is pre-configured for many countries and regions, the official Bank holidays, but can also be adapted to other situations and requirements.

Tesla Binding

With the increasing spread of photovoltaic systems and is revolutionizing the automotive industry with electric vehicles, the discipline of energy management in the Smart Home is gaining more and more importance. Especially since Tesla's Model 3 on the market, and in 2019 the best-selling electric vehicle has been developed, it was important to support it with openHAB.

as a result, the openHAB Tesla-binding was extended to support all of the current models (S, 3, X), and even the coming Model-Y. The Binding offers a huge list of Channels, the access to all the information of the vehicle and, in particular, to all of the Details about the condition of the battery, the available range, the load settings and the Auto-climate control offers.

in addition to the access to the vehicle of openHAB is it is of course also possible from the vehicle on openHAB to access, as it offers, for such purposes, a perfect screen.

openHAB 2.5 Tesla

source: openHAB

Shelly Binding

another very popular technology, the had in the year 2019, a fast-growing Community, is the the Shelly-devices. These devices are based on ESP-Chips that feature Wifi connectivity and Maker not appeal, by relying on a Cloud-Service providers, but local connectivity via MQTT and CoAP protocols offer. It is nice to see that this strategy to be very successful has been proven, and thus, the offered product range is growing fast.

While it was possible to use these devices with the MQTT binding, makes the new openHAB Shelly-Binding it is for people who have no experience with MQTT, much easier to integrate these devices. The Binding supports the automatic detection and uses internally, the modern CoAP Protocol for communication.

Apps and Skills

in addition to the Work on the openHAB Distribution, there have been many innovations in other Parts of the entire openHAB solution, which are also worth mentioning. I would like to give the floor to the Maintainer of the appropriate components:

openHAB Alexa Skill

Jeremy Setton, the Maintainer of the openHAB Alexa-Skills:

The new Alexa-Skill supports Amazon's latest Smart Home Skill API V3, which is a much more extensive set of functions for the modeling of devices for the voice control features. While the V2 Version of the APIs, basic lighting, Thermostat and lock enabled control, you can use the new API with native support for virtually all model: AV equipment, security systems, scenes, and advanced support for thermostats, locks and lighting/power devices. But above all, the Skill also supports the flexible APIs of the modules that extend and expand the voice control on all devices, from fans through to complex devices such as washing machines, blinds, and doors, if you are connected with the latest semantic extension functions. Finally, the new API introduces the notification of the state, which allows the current state of the modeled devices in the Alexa Mobile App query.

The Skill is using the benefits of using openHAB-metadata instead of Tags. This allows for a higher level of Item customization, which Alexa are available. Existing Tags will continue to work with the new Skill, so that users do not need to migrate your current configuration – unless you want to use the advanced features offered by the new Version of the skill. In addition, it automatically optimizes the Item-configuration, and uses some of its properties such as type, condition, representation and measurement, as well as the regional settings of the server.

It is in all currently supported languages and countries the Alexa Skills available:

English (AU) English (CA) English (GB) English (US), English (US), French (CA) French (FR), German (DE), Hindi (IN), Italian (IT), Japanese (JP), Portuguese (BR), Spanish (ES) Spanish (MX) Spanish (US)

The current guide contains all the necessary information and examples to take advantage of the benefits of these new features.

openHAB Google Assistant

Mehmet Arziman, the Maintainer of the openHAB Google Assistant:

The Google Assistant Integration for openHAB received great improvements, as well as a restructuring. The total integration has been much more robust, flexible and future-proof. The main architecture used is a stable, server-less architecture with high security standards.

The Integration works in all languages supported by Google Assistant, and the latest actions of the Google Smart home API.

Google has now added better documentation, examples, and more support for device types. The openHAB Google-Assistant-Integration now supports almost all possible devices, e.g., shutters, doors & window, vacuum cleaner, curtains, (door)locks, and much more.

openHAB iOS App

Tim Müller-Seydlitz, Maintainer of the openHAB iOS App:

After a long time of inactivity, the iOS Client has received a variety of new activities that bring the application in the modern world.

Although there are numerous Changes and Updates, is by far the largest no that is for the end user is not immediately visible, but rather of crucial importance for the future development: The Objective-C based Code has been fully ported to Swift. The effort for the Revision and rewriting of code for this task was enormous. With our code base is now in Apple's preferred language, we have adapted ourselves to the development on other platforms. We have also laid the Foundation for further improvements to our iOS application and an active Community of contributors is established.

The most visible Change that resulted from the porting to Swift, was immediately after the release of iOS 13. The iOS App now supports Dark Mode.

ioslightdark openhab 2.5

source: openHAB

in addition, the video will be extended support by the Support mjpeg. The barrier-free access is improved by the ability to Change the font size. We have implemented a haptic Feedback, and a search bar added for items in the Sitemap. The authentication process has been improved and now supports TLS-Client-certificates.

openHAB Android App

In the last versions of the openHAB App for Android has received two new Features that have been requested for a long time: Widgets and Tasker Plugin. With the latest Version of the App also received support for the new Dark Mode Android 10.

home screen Widgets can be used to put an item in a specific condition or switch. You can create Widgets from the Widget menu in your Launcher, or by a long click on an Element.

The Tasker Action Plugin supports Setting of an element in a solid state, or on the value of a Tasker variable. It supports both Item commands, as well as Updates and reports errors to Tasker.

android openhab 2.5

source: openHAB


With the Release of the 2.5 Version has shifted our focus to the Major Release of Version 3.0.0. This means that there will be in the future, will probably not have the openHAB 2.6 Runtime, while still 2.5.x-will appear in Updates. The focus of the developers is now clearly on openHAB 3, which will lead to larger Changes, which will be discussed for some time. The existing user interfaces will be replaced by a single, which will be fully implemented from scratch. The „Next-Generation“ Rule Engine is the default that all users powerful Python Scripting offers. It will be discussed many more Changes that will bring a completely new experience, while at the same time provide an Upgrade path for all existing users.

I would like to thank all our developers, contributors and users represent such a fantastic Community. It is great that we have achieved with the release of openHAB 2.5 another major milestone, and it was a great experience – openHAB will celebrate next year its 10th anniversary! Spread the news and help to grow the Community.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday season, check out the new openHAB Version and share your experience with us, your family and your friends!



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