Announcing the Community Marketplace

Dear openHAB community,

I am thrilled to announce the official opening of the new Community Marketplace category on this forum, along with the related feature available from openHAB 3.2 Milestone 3.

Apart from a more user-friendly “add-on store” experience for discovering and adding functionality to their openHAB system, add-on creators can now self-publish their work very easily by simply posting in the Marketplace category, and have it featured in the main UI. It replaces and extends the Eclipse IoT Marketplace that was available in openHAB 2.

By choosing that, for now, everyone is able to self-publish their work by default, unhindered by any approval step, we are putting a lot of faith in the community to moderate itself; this means we trust it to swiftly remove vandalism or malicious entries, and make sure it remains a good place for everyone to exchange add-ons and profit from others’ work, in a safe and well-meaning environment. If it doesn’t work (but I’m sure of the contrary), then we might revert to a more conservative approach where trusted users would have to approve marketplace entries prior to publication.

That being said - and this is especially true for Java add-ons distributed with JAR or KAR archives - be always aware that the code of add-ons published in the Marketplace category didn’t go through the same review process that the official distribution add-ons go through. They might also not be compatible with your openHAB runtime version, because of API or dependencies mismatches. Before installing add-ons from the Marketplace, especially those published recently with no or few “likes”, be sure to do your due diligence and trust the author enough as well as read the description carefully. When in doubt, look for the “openHAB” mention and the “verified” check mark to make sure that you install an official add-on from the openHAB project, that is guaranteed to be compatible with your instance and has been reviewed thoroughly.

Add-on Types Supported by the Marketplace

The Marketplace currently supports these types of add-ons (there will likely be others in the future):

Use this category to publish Java bundles in JAR or KAR format. Be sure to follow the guidelines in the template when you make a new post. These are cached in the $USERDATA/marketplace directory and they will be automatically re-installed when you clear the cache or update openHAB - there will be a mention in the logs when that happens. Note that there is a possibility that a marketplace add-on that worked prior to an upgrade will not work anymore afterwards: you are responsible of checking your logs and diagnose why that happens. There might be a new version - to upgrade, uninstall the add-on and reinstall it from the add-on store.

Rule templates can be used when you have a common use case for a rule and for instance need to bootstrap several of them, or share with others how to solve that use case in a configurable manner. These will appear in the Main UI when you create a new rule, and will present you with the configuration parameters - after the rule is created, the pre-configured rule modules (triggers, conditions, actions) will appear based on your choices.

This category is for main UI widgets authors to share their personal widgets in YAML format that can easily be added by users. Note that the widgets installed by the marketplace will have tags added in the marketplace:<id> format - this is to track which add-ons come from the marketplace and can be removed as well. If you modify a widget in the Developer Tools, be aware that as long as you keep this tag, if you “remove” it from the add-on store, it will indeed be removed and your eventual changes might be lost. So remove the tag if you want to decouple the widget from the marketplace add-on.

:point_up_2: Note: I have moved several UI Widget topics that were good candidates for the Marketplace, but have not added the published tag yet (see below) to make them available in the add-on store until the original authors give consent for them to appear in it; I will reach out to these authors via PM, but in the meantime, if you see this and your post is now in the Marketplace category, and are happy for it to be “published”, please add the published tag to your post and check that it works!

How to Publish an Add-on in the Marketplace

Be sure to follow the instructions given in the template, especially regarding necessary tags. Make sure you post in the right category - you can’t post in the general Marketplace category, only one of its sub-categories. if you don’t see the “New Topic” button make sure you’re viewing a sub-category and not the overall Marketplace. The published tag determines whether or not an add-on appears in the UI (if you’re a marketplace add-on author and want to debug it before publishing, use the Settings > Community Marketplace > Show Unpublished Add-ons parameter to temporarily show unpublished add-ons, and remember to disable it afterwards).

If you have questions, DON’T post in the Marketplace category - it is only for actual entries - and open a topic for example in the official Milestone feedback topic, or Development - openHAB Community.

Hope you find this new feature useful - it’s exciting what the community will make of it!

Yannick

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