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openHAB Skill for Amazon Alexa

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This is a nodejs / lambda application that connects the Alexa Smart Home API to a user's openHAB instance, either directly or through the openHAB Cloud service (preferred). The Smart Home API is not a general skill API, it allows the user to bypass using a application wake work and instead ask Alexa to perform a smart home action like "Alexa turn lights on"

General Deployment Instructions

Intended Audience

This document describes how to configure and deploy the skill for development or private hosting purposes and it targeted towards developers and not end users of the skill

Skill Usage

For end-user documentation and general usage, see the Usage page for examples and instructions on configuring items for Amazon Alexa within openHAB.

Requirements

Alexa Skills Kit CLI with Amazon AWS and Developer Accounts

You need an AWS account and an Amazon developer account to create an Alexa Skill.

In order to use the ASK CLI features to automatically deploy and manage your Lambda skill, ensure that you have AWS credentials set up with the appropriate permissions on the computer you are installing ASK CLI, as described in this documentation.

You will have to install the latest ASK CLI, and then configure it:

npm install -g ask-cli
ask configure

By default, the ASK CLI deploys the skill resources in the us-east-1 region. You will need to change your deploy region based on the skill language you are planning to use. You should refer to the table below, based on the smart home multi-languages development guidelines:

Skill Language Endpoint Region Deploy Region
English (CA), English (US), French (CA), Portuguese (BR),
Spanish (MX), Spanish (US)
North America us-east-1
English (UK), French (FR), German, Italian, Spanish (ES) Europe eu-west-1
English (IN), Hindi (IN) India eu-west-1
Arabic (SA) Middle East eu-west-1
English (AU), Japanese Far East us-west-2

To change your deploy region, update the awsRegion skill infrastructure user config parameter in ask-resources.json.

OAuth2 Provider

If you aren't using your own OAuth2 server (e.g. private openHAB Cloud Connector), it is highly recommended to use Login with Amazon. See this post to set it up for your private skill. Doing so allows other server level authentication methods to be used over the Alexa Smart Home skill requirements for OAuth2 authentication.

If using a private openHAB Cloud Connector, in order to setup the OAuth2 server, make sure it is accessible on port 443, and to create a client profile and scope for Alexa skills in the MongoDB database, by running the below commands with the mongo CLI tool. It is recommended to use an online random hex number generator to create a unique client secret.

use openhab
db.oauth2clients.insert({ name: "Alexa", description: "Alexa Voice Control", icon: "alexa.png", clientId: "alexa-skill", clientSecret: "<clientSecret>" })
db.oauth2scopes.insert({ name: "alexa", description: "Access to openHAB Cloud specific API for Amazon Alexa" })

And use the following settings during the skill account linking deployment step instead:

  • Authorization URL: https://openhab.myserver.com/oauth2/authorize
  • Access Token URL: https://openhab.myserver.com/oauth2/token
  • Client ID: alexa-skill
  • Scope: alexa

openHAB Server

The openHAB server you are trying to control with the skill needs to be accessible online as an AWS service endpoint. You can either use myopenHAB.org cloud service or point the skill directly to your server URL. If going with the latter, make sure to use a valid SSL certificate. It is highly recommended to use Let's Encrypt to validate your certificates.

To configure your server path and credentials, you will need to setup the CloudFormation parameters in ask-resources.json. Set your server root level path in the OpenHABBaseURL parameter if not using myopenHAB.org cloud service. The Lambda function can access your server using three different types of authentication: SSL client certificate, basic (user/password) or bearer (OAuth2 token). For certificate authentication, place the client certificate in lambda/ssl/client.pfx or set the OpenHABCertFile parameter with the certificate file relative path to the lambda directory, and optionally, set the OpenHABCertPassphrase parameter with the certificate passphrase. For basic authentication, set the OpenHABUsername and OpenHABPassword parameters, otherwise OAuth2 authentication will be used.

Deployment Steps

Create Smart Home Skill and Lambda Function

  1. Clone or download this repository:

    git clone https://github.com/openhab/openhab-alexa.git
    
  2. Deploy the skill and the lambda function in one step:

    ask deploy
    
  3. Setup the skill account linking:

    1. Create the skill account linking request file as skill-package/accountLinking.json, adding your OAuth2 provider client credentials:

      {
        "accountLinkingRequest": {
          "skipOnEnablement": "false",
          "type": "AUTH_CODE",
          "authorizationUrl": "https://www.amazon.com/ap/oa",
          "accessTokenUrl": "https://api.amazon.com/auth/o2/token",
          "accessTokenScheme": "HTTP_BASIC",
          "clientId": "<clientId>",
          "clientSecret": "<clientSecret>",
          "scopes": [
            "profile"
          ],
        }
      }
      
    2. Update the skill account linking information, using the skill ID displayed in the deploy step:

      ask smapi update-account-linking-info -s <skillId> --account-linking-request file:skill-package/accountLinking.json
      
  4. Enable the skill on your Alexa account:

    • Go to your Alexa skill console
    • Click on the "openHAB" skill under the "Dev Skills" tab
    • Click "Enable" and go through the account linking process

Update Smart Home Skill and Lambda Function

  1. Update the repository to latest commit:

    git pull
    
  2. If updating from ASK CLI v1:

    1. Copy relevant settings from lambda/smarthome/config.js (ask-cli-v1) to ask-resources.json (ask-cli-v2). If configuring OpenHABBaseURL, be aware that it should now point to your server root level and not the rest endpoint. Additionally, move your client certificate to lambda/ssl if using that authentication method.

    2. Create the ASK CLI states file as .ask/ask-states.json, adding the skill ID listed in your Alexa developer console. This will prevent duplicate skills from being created in your account.

      {
        "askcliStatesVersion": "2020-03-31",
        "profiles": {
          "default": {
            "skillId": "<skillId>"
          }
        }
      }
      
    3. Delete existing function and logs using the AWS CLI, or via your AWS Console to prevent conflicts with the CloudFormation stack deployment.

      aws lambda delete-function --function-name alexa-openhab
      aws logs delete-log-group --log-group-name /aws/lambda/alexa-openhab
      
    4. Remove old folder environment.

      rm -rf lambda/smarthome
      
  3. Deploy the skill and the lambda function in one step:

    ask deploy
    
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