Home Control Assistant Newsletter for Jan 1 2023

Have you read the Important Announcement posted on August 1, 2021? If you haven't you need to.
HCA 17.0.50 is now available for download

This build contains several bug fixes and functional changes. If you are currently using HCA 17.0.46 or later you can download and install this new build at no cost. If you are using an older version of HCA, please review your options in these past weekly messages here and here.

Downloading this is the same as always: Go to the HCA website current version page, enter your V17 reg code, and the resultant page contains the link to the download. Use the same password as you used for the upgrade to 17.0.48. If you lost your V17 reg code or the password, send me an email and I'll help you out, but you have to promise me that you will save them away for the next time!

Besides the bug fixes there are some changes that I'll introduce here. For all the changes, view the build notes on the current version page.

This build continues the theme of the last several releases: To make it easier to maintain your HCA design. I'm not adding new features to expand function, but rather to create tools that allow you to, should you choose to, keep going with HCA.

Over the last few weeks I was working on my own home design and I needed to find some design elements as I made changes. There are existing ways to find some things like the “Referenced by” tab on a device/program/group properties. Or I could print to a file and search that. But there was no way to find some of the things I needed to find.

So I created a new "Find" tool.

Select “Find” from the “Tools” ribbon category. It’s a non-modal dialog so you can use the button in the results table to open the object referenced, close that, and go on to the next found object if you want. You can search for all sorts of things: Devices, Programs, Triggers, Compute element functions, Tiles, etc.

It has already answered several questions I had about my own design:
  • What programs do I send email from? I wanted to find them and instead route them all to one program so I can suppress all email sending with a simple switch.
  • What programs use the _TileUpdate function? Also what are all my tile names and where are they used?
  • What programs have “special” triggers? I’m really looking to see if there are any programs that are set to “run at startup” as you really want to have only one.
One more thing you will notice in B50: There is now an "Online resources” ribbon category. The nice thing about this is that it auto-configures based upon a hidden file that resides on the support website. This way what you see in online resources can change over time without a new HCA release. For example, new technical notes will probably be listed there for easy access.
If you are using a version of HCA prior to version 17, you may have questions about the wisdom of upgrading to version 17 given the future of HCA. Here is something to consider:

The support policy for older HCA versions has been changed
 as I can no longer devote time to past version users. Support will only be available for HCA 17 users.

If you are on version 16 or earlier and want to continue using the cloud features and want to be assured that if you have a question that it gets answered, it is indeed time to upgrade.

HCA is fully operational for several more years so the update cost, spread out over that time, is very little. Knowing support is available when you need it is worth it.
Upgrade to HCA 17
Anyone who is using Hubitat with HCA – not SmartThings – please drop me a note as I would like to add you to a discussion list for those users. I have some Hubitat ideas that I would like to “kick around” and it would help to have a group of users who have experience with Hubitat. Please just send a note to the regular support address saying you would like to be added to that discussion list.
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