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Fhem, German-engineered open automation

posted Sep 23, 2013, 9:27 AM by Daniel Berenguer   [ updated Sep 24, 2013, 2:26 PM ]
Fhem is an open source Home Automation software developed by a motivated community of German enthusiasts. The entire software is written in Perl so this is a real multiplatform application.This is in fact the kind of software that everyone wants to have at home as the central domotic server. Web interface, online charting and Perl scripting are some of fhem's main features but what really impacts the first time you read about this powerful application is the long list of supported devices and technologies.



Figure 1 : Fhem's standard web control interface - default style

Fhem also has some GUI front-ends for Android and iPhones, a bit like OpenRemote but fully focused on Fhem's centralized system. Here you may want to visit Fhem's website to see what the current offer of graphic front-ends is.



figure 2 : Fhem web GUI - Black style


Having worked in the Home Automation industry for years, Apart from Mr. House, which is now a bit "outfashioned" in my opinion, fhem is maybe the strongest competitor against the commercial army (HomeSeer, HAL, ...). Well, I have to mention other promising platforms like OpenDomo and FreeDomotic - let's keep an eye on them - but when you follow the creative activity around Fhem you can immediately feel how the community is pushing the project from behind, a real envy for anyone trying to maintain his own open source initiative, believe me.




Figure 3 : Fhem's charting front-end - ios7 style


But you know what? Now panStamp is proudly counting on some brilliant contributors from the fhem community. This brings us a lot of satisfaction since the fhem members are known to demand the best from their home systems and panStamp is again proving its extreme flexibility and adaptability to almost any environment. As result, only a few weeks took Andre to develop a fantastic panStamp plugin for Fhem. And I'm by no way exaggerating. Andre's work is probably the most sophisticated piece of software compatible with panStamp. Even more complete than lagarto in some areas and of course supporting much more technologies, fhem is probably called to become the first option in terms of software control around panStamp along the next months.



Figure 4 : panStamp RGB-driver board being controlled from Fhem


A good amount of Fhem's documentation is written in German but you'll easily find some English tutorials about how to install fhem and make it work for your preferred technologies. Otherwise, there is an active forum where you can post your questions in English (http://forum.fhem.de/). In my case I only regret the lack of time because Fhem is the perfect excuse to take my German lessons out from the drawer. Exchanging with this community has become a highly enriching experience. Thanks guys!!
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