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Getting Started with Automations

Automations allow you to create powerful routines, incorporating Devices and Connected Services that are on the SmartThings Platform. The different types of Automations you can create are outlined below.

Automations in the SmartThings App

Automations can be found in the Routines tab of the SmartThings app, and are divided into Manually run routines and Automatic routines.

  • Rules are represented as Automatic routines in the app.
  • Scenes are represented as Manually run routines in the app.

See Routines in SmartThings to learn more about routines in the SmartThings app.


Rules use the Rules API to automate control of Devices and Connected Services, allowing you to define one or more actions that will occur when certain conditions are met.

Automatic Routines Created in the SmartThings App

Automatic routines ("rules") you create in the SmartThings app are a superset of what you can create with the Rules API. Routines created in the app will not appear when sending a GET request to


Scenes use the Scenes API to simultaneously set a group of Devices to a particular state. Scenes differ from Rules in that Scenes do not have triggers; a Scene is activated by tapping the Scene from within a SmartThings Client.

Complex Automations

If you want to build complex Automations that run on your own platform, we recommend building a Connected Service.