Alexa Variables and Action Group Naming Best Practices

Posted on
Thu Jul 01, 2021 8:31 pm
ryanbuckner offline
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Alexa Variables and Action Group Naming Best Practices

I'd like to hear from Alexa custom skill users which variable and Action Group naming practices are working and not working. I'm struggling to find naming conventions that are both acceptable to Alexa, and easy to remember for members of my household who are not Indigo pros .

For example, the action group "all garage doors closed " was designed because it's easy to remember "Alexa, tell Indigo to set all garage doors closed" .. But Alexa hears "closed" and thinks it's a device and fails. "There is no device named all garage doors" .

This seems like an art meets science experiment. Let's talk about it here?

Posted on
Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:12 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Alexa Variables and Action Group Naming Best Practices

How about Alexa, tell Indigo to make "the garage secure"?

This is assuming that you don't want to open the garage doors via Alexa. If that's not the case, then you could create a Virtual On/Off device that runs action groups to open and close both doors, then publish that virtual device as a garage door (which would give you the security of the PIN code).

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Posted on
Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:40 am
ryanbuckner offline
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Re: Alexa Variables and Action Group Naming Best Practices

jay (support) wrote:
How about Alexa, tell Indigo to make "the garage secure"?

This is assuming that you don't want to open the garage doors via Alexa. If that's not the case, then you could create a Virtual On/Off device that runs action groups to open and close both doors, then publish that virtual device as a garage door (which would give you the security of the PIN code).


I'll try that action group naming and see how it goes. Having the wife remember the exact wording is bigger than the technical challenges :roll:

I did have a question about how the virtual garage door would work. If you have a minute would you mind responding to this one: viewtopic.php?f=359&t=25310&p=203699#p203699

Posted on
Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:50 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: Alexa Variables and Action Group Naming Best Practices

ryanbuckner wrote:
If you have a minute would you mind responding to this one: viewtopic.php?f=359&t=25310&p=203699#p203699


viewtopic.php?p=204006#p204006

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:13 pm
ryanbuckner offline
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Re: Alexa Variables and Action Group Naming Best Practices

Another interesting one:

I have a virtual device group for all the lights and fans (bathrooms) in the basement. When I published that to the Alexa plugin as a switch device, and named it "Basement", Alex would respond "OK" to the command "Alexa, turn off Basement" or "Alexa, turn on Basement" . But Indigo did nothing, and nothing was reported in the log. There are no other devices called "Basement" published

I changed the published name for the same device group to "Dungeon" , and everything works fine.

Posted on
Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:19 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Re: Alexa Variables and Action Group Naming Best Practices

I have a virtual device group for all the lights and fans (bathrooms) in the basement. When I published that to the Alexa plugin as a switch device, and named it "Basement", Alex would respond "OK" to the command "Alexa, turn off Basement" or "Alexa, turn on Basement" . But Indigo did nothing, and nothing was reported in the log. There are no other devices called "Basement" published

I changed the published name for the same device group to "Dungeon" , and everything works fine.

I believe that can occur if you have a room (group) "Basement" defined in Alexa, but the switch named the same is not in it. May not apply in your case but I have run into an almost identical scenario before... :-|

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