Advanced Usage

HABApp Topics

There are several internal topics which can be used to react to HABApp changes from within rules. An example would be dynamically reloading files or an own notifier in case there are errors (e.g. Pushover).





The corresponding events trigger a load/unload of the file specified in the event

RequestFileLoadEvent and RequestFileUnloadEvent


All infos in functions and rules of HABApp create an according event



All warnings in functions (e.g. caught exceptions) and rules of HABApp create an according event

HABAppException or str


All errors in functions and rules of HABApp create an according event. Use this topic to create an own notifier in case of errors (e.g. Pushover).

HABAppException or str

class RequestFileLoadEvent(name)

Request (re-) loading of the specified file


filename (str) – relative filename

class RequestFileUnloadEvent(name)

Request unloading of the specified file


filename (str) – relative filename

class HABAppException(func_name, exception, traceback)

Contains information about an Exception that has occurred in HABApp

  • func_name (str) – name of the function where the error occurred

  • traceback (str) – traceback

  • exception (Exception) – Exception


Create a readable str with all information

Return type


File properties

For every HABApp file it is possible to specify some properties. The properties are specified as a comment (prefixed with #) somewhere at the beginning of the file and are in the yml format. They keyword HABApp can be arbitrarily intended.


File names are not absolute but relative with a folder specific prefix. It’s best to use the file name from the RequestFileLoadEvent from the HABApp event bus.

Configuration format

  depends on:
   - filename
  reloads on:
   - filename



depends on

The file will only get loaded when all of the files specified as dependencies have been successfully loaded

reloads on

The file will get automatically reloaded when one of the files specified will be reloaded


# Some other stuff
# HABApp:
#   depends on:
#    - rules/
#   reloads on:
#    - params/param_file.yml

import HABApp

Running Python code on startup

It’s possible to run arbitrary code during the startup of HABApp. This can be achieved by creating a module/package called HABAppUser. HABApp will try to import it before loading the configuration and thus execute the code. The module/package must be importable so it has to be in one of the PATH/PYTHONPATH folders or in the current working directory.

Invoking openHAB actions

The openHAB REST interface does not expose actions, and thus there is no way to trigger them from HABApp. Even if it is not possible to create an openHAB item that directly triggers the action, there is a way to work around it with additional items within openHAB. An additional openHAB (note not HABapp) rule listens to changes on those items and invokes the appropriate openHAB actions. On the HABApp side these actions are indirectly executed by setting the values for those items.

Below is an example how to invoke the openHAB Audio and Voice actions.

First, define a couple of items to accept values from HABApp, and place them in /etc/openhab2/items/habapp-bridge.items:

String AudioVoiceSinkName

String TextToSpeechMessage
String AudioFileLocation
String AudioStreamUrl

Second, create the JSR223 script to invoke the actions upon changes in the values of the items above.

from core import osgi
from core.jsr223 import scope
from core.rules import rule
from core.triggers import when
from org.eclipse.smarthome.model.script.actions import Audio
from org.eclipse.smarthome.model.script.actions import Voice

SINK_ITEM_NAME = 'AudioVoiceSinkName'

@rule("Play voice TTS message")
@when("Item TextToSpeechMessage changed")
def onTextToSpeechMessageChanged(event):
    ttl = scope.items[event.itemName].toString()
    if ttl is not None and ttl != '':
        Voice.say(ttl, None, scope.items[SINK_ITEM_NAME].toString())

        # reset the item to wait for the next message., '')

@rule("Play audio stream URL")
@when("Item AudioStreamUrl changed")
def onAudioStreamURLChanged(event):
    stream_url = scope.items[event.itemName].toString()
    if stream_url is not None and stream_url != '':
        Audio.playStream(scope.items[SINK_ITEM_NAME].toString(), stream_url)

        # reset the item to wait for the next message., '')

@rule("Play local audio file")
@when("Item AudioFileLocation changed")
def onAudioFileLocationChanged(event):
    file_location = scope.items[event.itemName].toString()
    if file_location is not None and file_location != '':
        Audio.playSound(scope.items[SINK_ITEM_NAME].toString(), file_location)

        # reset the item to wait for the next message., '')

Finally, define the HABApp functions to indirectly invoke the actions:

def play_local_audio_file(sink_name: str, file_location: str):
    """ Plays a local audio file on the given audio sink. """
    HABApp.openhab.interface.send_command(ACTION_AUDIO_SINK_ITEM_NAME, sink_name)
    HABApp.openhab.interface.send_command(ACTION_AUDIO_LOCAL_FILE_LOCATION_ITEM_NAME, file_location)

def play_stream_url(sink_name: str, url: str):
    """ Plays a stream URL on the given audio sink. """
    HABApp.openhab.interface.send_command(ACTION_AUDIO_SINK_ITEM_NAME, sink_name)
    HABApp.openhab.interface.send_command(ACTION_AUDIO_STREAM_URL_ITEM_NAME, url)

def play_text_to_speech_message(sink_name: str, tts: str):
    """ Plays a text to speech message on the given audio sink. """
    HABApp.openhab.interface.send_command(ACTION_AUDIO_SINK_ITEM_NAME, sink_name)
    HABApp.openhab.interface.send_command(ACTION_TEXT_TO_SPEECH_MESSAGE_ITEM_NAME, tts)

Mocking openHAB items and events for tests

It is possible to create mock items in HABApp which do not exist in openHAB to create unit tests for rules and libraries. Ensure that this mechanism is only used for testing because since the items will not exist in openHAB they will not get updated which can lead to hard to track down errors.


Add an openHAB mock item to the item registry

import HABApp
from HABApp.openhab.items import SwitchItem

item = SwitchItem('my_switch', 'ON')

Remove the mock item from the registry


Note that there are some item methods that encapsulate communication with openhab (e.g.: SwitchItem.on(),, and DimmerItem.percentage()) These currently do not work with the mock items. The state has to be changed like any internal item.

import HABApp
from HABApp.openhab.items import SwitchItem
from HABApp.openhab.definitions import OnOffValue

item = SwitchItem('my_switch', 'ON')

item.set_value(OnOffValue.ON)    # without bus event
item.post_value(OnOffValue.OFF)  # with bus event