I am wanting to add a feature to the ecobee thermostat plugin that allows incoming “alert” messages to trigger automation. For example, the thermostat may alert that calling for cool has not resulted in a temperature decrease, that the power company has called for a demand event, or any number of other events that the user may be interested in handling in Vera automation. I see various ways to send notifications, but no standard way for a plugin to expose a stream of incoming messages. I’ve looked in the UPnP specs and don’t see any facility for this. (Of course, there are various ways for Vera to spit out texts, emails, etc., but surfacing them in a standard way seems to be lacking.)
The underlying API will give me a list of zero or more Alert objects on every poll, and I suppose I could have a device variable called “lastAlertText” or similar, but some external activity can acknowledge an alert, meaning that “lastAlertText” might start start showing older alerts from the list if a newer alert had been acknowledged. So that approach is potentially more confusing than helpful.
Does anyone have any ideas on a good strategy that fits well into Vera?