Workflow, best practices and concepts when using openHAB 2 for Z-Wave automation

Hi! I am a Fibaro HC2 user, currently experimenting with openHAB 2 in order to consider a transition. I have a feeling that this moment may be a bit difficult to start using openHAB 2, as I lack experience from openHAB 1, and openHAB 2 seems to be in a rapid development phase. Anyways, I am struggling with some concepts which seem to be new to openHAB 2, and hope you can enlighten me about workflow, best practices and concepts.

  1. Is maintenance (adding/removing/configuring parameters of devices) of the Z-Wave network meant to be performed by openHAB, or a third party such as OpenZWave Control Panel? Is it OK to alternate between both, or would openHAB “get out of sync”?
  2. It seems like openHAB 2 supports adding items/things manually in text files, but also via GUI where entries are stored in a database. I feel like the latter option makes it harder to e. g. transition to a new controller (say I have to replace the Raspberry Pi hosting openHAB, or temporarily want to run it on my computer). Am I wrong? Is adding items manually going to be deprecated, or can I just chose that method?

It can be performed within OH directly.

Yes - this should be ok. OH will resync when it starts - it will read back dynamic information such as configuration data. Of course, there’s always the possibility that things will get out of sync, but it shouldn’t happen…

The GUI in turn stores data into a JSON text file, so it’s not too hard to edit this.

No - the DSL configuration won’t be deprecated.

in my personal view, using the UI, and storing into the JSON text file is a good compromise, but this is a religious topic - everyone has their own views on how they want to run things and the nice thing here is you have options in OH ;).

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I am also experimenting with OH2 coming from OH1. I have added some things and items in the paperUI but when adding lots of stuff I get the feelings it would be better with text files like OH1. Is there any way to get the items and things I have added in the ui synced to text files for manual editing or how would you experienced people do if you prefer text files but want to use paperUI sometimes.

Please give me some advice.

When you edit in the UI, the data is stored into a text file in the JSON format. You can edit this manually if you want - if you do though, you need to restart OH as it doesn’t read the file back again.

This allows you to use the UI for day to day updates and changes, or to do large cut and past changes directly in the text files.

It’s a religious topic ;). Everyone has their own idea on this. I prefer to try and do as much as possible through the UI as it avoids typos and obvious errors. The UI on the other hand can be difficult sometimes and it can be nice to do a cut and paste, or search and replace on config data. Therefore, for me, the above is a good compromise - I’m sure others will have a different idea - good luck :slight_smile: .

Thanks for the advice… I had a look at the JSON text files, yes you can edit but i think it will be difficult to maintain. From my view you will get the best overview from text files (I think) and mixing paperUI and text files looks to be a bad ide, then you don’t know what you gave and don’t have I think.
OK… so now its just i need to understand all the consents to link all text configurations together and also get to know the syntax.