Hosted home automation server

Hi.

Some years ago I created a home automation system with a couple of Arduinos. The arduinos can measure different things like power and heat cunsumption, temperatures etc. and send the data to a webpage I have created on a hosted server. In this way it is possible to display the measured data in graphical charts.

Also in the webpage it is possbile to send commands to the Arduinos by pressing a button on the page and in this way I can turn on and off the lights by using RF controlled plugs.

Now I am thinking about making a version 2.0 of my home automation system, and with this I would like to have a webpage that looks nicer than the one I have created myself (I am not so good with web design).

I was then wondering if there exists some hosted services for this, so that I would not have to create my own page again. For example it should be possible to configure the page to show different graphs, and there should then be an open protocol to the server that I could use to for example send my messured power consumption, and the page would then make it look nice.

Also it should be possible to design a page with buttons that you could push, and there should then again be a open protocol that would send data to my Arduino when a button is pushed at it could then turn on the lights.

In this way I would only need to make the software to the Arduino that would interface to the already defined protocols and the hardware that is should control/measure.

I have been googling for this and I have found some softwares for this, but it seems that it is software that you should install on a computer at home which should then be always on. What I would like is that this should run on a hosted server, where you would only need to create a login and make configuration. In this way I would avoid having a server at home that consumes power and I would not have the trouble to set it up.

Does a service like this exists?

Try the folks at www.temboo.com.
They were at MIT, Boston, MA Arduino Day a few weeks ago, and also featured on the home page recently.

In this way I would avoid having a server at home that consumes power and I would not have the trouble to set it up.

So what will be running at the home that would communicate with the hosted server?

Tried fancy online pages, but when the internet went down, I couldn't control anything anymore.

Now I'm using several modded pages based on this article.
Leo..

Now I'm using several modded pages based on this article.
Leo..

You will need to understand a non-English language to read that article. Seems like a rather tease to reference it.

Thomas, it is Dutch, maybe you didn't see the link that clearly points to the English version ?

English version

The developer(s) certainly have made a nice job and for small projects, it would seems quite good.
For larger automation I personally wouldn't have the Arduino as HTTP server, but rather, just as the smart, but lower level I/O interface to the world.

Other options people use is to use a hosted HTTP server and have the Arduino push data to it, where the data is then saved typically into a MySQL database and PHP is used to handle the communications from Arduino and also to HTTP client.

This method has a lot more advantages in terms of being able to support many HTTP client connections and the advantage of being able to store large amounts of data into a database.

A third option is to use an online data service like has been mentioned. They are great for very quick setups and are relatively easy to setup, albeit with very limiting methods to view your data. You are constrained by what they give you in terms of features.

A forth way to go is to have you own system that has everything you want. This would mean developing your own complete system.

I have been through all of the options, starting with having my Arduino being its own HTTP server, and I thought it was great, amazing, until I found its limits and flaws for my needs.

I then moved to using an online service and again, thought wow, so easy, until I wanted more.

I then setup my hosted site to take data from my Arduino through using PHP and MySQL and developed a large web application for real time data using AJAX. Again, I thought, this is great, how much better can I have. I wanted more control, I wanted not to rely on a server that was and could go down at any moment.

I wanted and really needed that my data was closer, and not dependant on traversing the internet for part of the system.

What I thought to do was to create my own system that would give the features of all of the above, but be even better, in terms of performance and extendibility as well as longer term reliability.

I then thought about how would I develop such a system, in regards to what coding language would I use.
I put C at the bottom and too hard basket and tinkered with node.js. I then researched the various aspects of different languages and made a list.

On my list, the top was Python, so I started to delve into this language and liked its cleanliness, but the thought of an interpretive language remained a niggle.

For some reason, maybe through distraction I landed in the too hard basket of C, and that is where I stayed.
I knew this was going to be the best language in terms of knowing that this was really the underlying basis of most other languages and that I could do everything I ever wanted. It was just a matter of learning more than I knew for the lowly Arduino.

All that occurred in the early part of 2014. Today, the application Quadlog is my project of passion.
I have a few sites that are currently either testing it or are in the beginning stages of setting up.

I started the project to complement what I do in my industrial engineering work, where I use top of the line expensive PLC hardware and SCADA software. For a long time I have thought I would love to create my own system that I could then share with other people. My thought is that Quadlog would be just great for people doing home automation or renewable energy systems such as solar.

Mention was made by the OP about a computer at home that consumes power. Quadlog runs on a few different systems, and can be compiled for Intel 64/32 bit as well as ARM processors. At present it is tested to operate on GNU/Linux 64 bit and 32 bit as well as Mac OSX and also ARM systems.

I mentioned ARM as that is my end point. I operate on a solar system and so low energy devices are at the forefront of my thinking. I use a nice little board called a Cubieboard II, which has a dual core ARM processor on it. Quadlog runs on this just beautifully. It should run on many of these small boards, such as Beagle board, and RPi.

I'm in the process of a major update and getting it up on GitHub, and then I'd like to hear from others some input or comments about their needs and how they might use such a system.


Paul

I am on a similar quest, except on the other side I guess. If I understand correctly, you’re looking for a service to make the PHP site prettier and host it on their server? If yes, hostgator.com/ offers that service. I found the site from a YouTube tutorial and followed the instructions given there. Now I am stuck on both sides of my project with no knowledge how to get my Arduino properly linked to my website. The site is built in WordPress and hosted on hostgator. My monthly bill is about $9 USD. I am still playing around with the layouts of my pages, but once setup with the addons as depicted in the YT tutorial, editing the site is then very similar to editing in MS Word.

How To Make a WordPress Website - YouTube ← That Youtube tutorial I watched

I am now looking at the suggestion given above by CrossRoads (Temboo.com). Temboo does look a bit more expensive, but if I find that Temboo can be used to bridge my gap, I’ll subscribe to it.

Tried fancy online pages, but when the internet went down, I couldn't control anything anymore.

Assuming your lan is still operating, just put a copy of the web page on your desk top. You may need to change the control URLs embedded in the html to local lan IP addresses.