Http Binding

John Cocula edited this page Jan 10, 2017 · 20 revisions

feature overview


Setup intro

Linux and OS X





User Interfaces



(link to openHAB forum)



Application Integration



A good source of inspiration and tips from users gathered over the years. Be aware that things may have changed since they were written and some examples might not work correctly.

Please update the wiki if you do come across any out of date information.

Binding configurations

Use case examples

Item definition examples

Sitemap definition examples

Collections of Rules on a single page

Single Rules


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Release Notes

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The HTTP binding is available as a separate (optional) download. If you want to let openHAB request a URL when special events occur or let it poll a given URL frequently, place this binding's JAR file in the folder ${openhab_home}/addons and add binding information to your configuration. See the following sections on how to do this.

Generic Item Binding Configuration

In order to bind an item to an HTTP request, you need to provide configuration settings. The easiest way to do so is to add some binding information in your item file (in the folder configurations/items). The syntax for the HTTP binding configuration string is:

in:  http:"<[<url>:<refreshintervalinmilliseconds>:<transformationrule>]"
out: http:">[<command>:<httpmethod>:<url>:<postcontent>]"

The :<postcontent> section is optional, new in version 1.9.0, and only applies when <httpmethod> is POST. The media type used is always text/plain. <postcontent> can be a literal string, the special keyword default which means the string version of the command, or a transformation like MAP(

For the Out binding there are two special commands available:

  • * - this means the following URL is called regardless of which command has been issued
  • CHANGED - this means the following URL is called whenever the state of the given item has changed

Here are some examples of valid binding configuration strings:

http=">[ON:POST:] >[OFF:POST:]"
http=">[ON:POST:] >[OFF:POST:]"
http=">[*:POST:$s&type=text] <[*?<title>(.*?)</title>.*)]"

Here are full item examples of sending content in the body of a POST method (new in 1.9.0):

Switch MyItem1 { http=">[ON:POST:] >[OFF:POST:]" }
Switch MyItem2 { http=">[*:POST:]" }
Switch MyItem3 { http=">[*:POST:]" }

As a result, lines in the items file might look like the following:

Number Weather_Temperature "Temperature [%.1f °C]"  <temperature>  (Weather) { http="<[]" }

Transformation rules

openHAB supports several types of transformations.

XSLT transformations

In most cases, you will get the information you need into an XML structured document, and you need a way to extract only the value you want: here is where XSLT transformations can help.

Dynamic URLs

The given URL can be enhanced using the well known Syntax of the java.util.Formatter. The binding currently adds these parameters to the String.format() automatically:

  1. the current date (as java.util.Date)
  2. the current Command or State

To reference these values the indexed format syntax is used. A well prepared URL looks like this:$s&date=%1$tY-%1$tm-%1$td

Each format string starts with '%' followed by an optional index e.g. '2$' whereas '2' is the index of the parameter arg given to the format(format, args...) method. Besides the index you have to specify the format to be applied to the argument. eg. 's' to format a String in the given example or 'd' to format an Integer, or '.1f' to format a Float with one decimal place.

HTTP headers

It is possible to define optional HTTP headers which will be sent during the HTTP method call. Those optional headers can be added to the url in the form header1=value1&header2=value2.... This headers string should be enclosed in curly brackets right after the url itself (before the separation colon).



Handling JSON

Javascript transforms can be used to parse JSON input. First, define your item:

String DirecTV1_Ch "Current Channel" { http="<[]" }

Then put a file getValue.js in $OPENHAB_DIR/configuration/transform/

The content of getValue.js is:


You can also use JSONPATH which allows a direct query of JSON data:

'Number Weather_OutTemp "Value: [%.1f °C]" { http="<[http://weewx/now.json:60000:JSONPATH($.stats.current.outTemp)]" }' is a handy tool to create the JSONPATH transformation.

Configuration in openhab.cfg (optional)

By default, the binding waits for HTTP responses for up to five seconds (5000 milliseconds). If you need to change this timeout value, edit openhab.cfg and set http:timeout to the number of milliseconds to wait. For example, to wait up to 20 seconds for responses, add or uncomment this line:


By default, the binding checks once every second (1000 milliseconds) to see if any bound items should be retrieved. If you need to change this refresh value, edit openhab.cfg and set http:granularity to the number of milliseconds to wait between checks. For example, to only check once every five seconds, add or uncomment this line:


By default, the binding will format the URL to include the current state or command, or the current date/time as described above in Dynamic URLs. However, there may be cases where you want to include the special formatting characters in the URL and suppress the formatting. Therefore, please specify this in your configuration:



Since v1.3, the HTTP binding supports page caching. Caching is usable when multiple items could be parsed from the same URL.

Cache functionality can be configured in the openhab.cfg file (in the folder '${openhab_home}/configurations').

# URL of the first cache item
# Update interval for first cache item

# URL of the second cache item
# Update interval for second cache item

The http:<cacheItemName1>.url value is the valid URL. The http:<cacheItemName1>.updateInterval value is update interval in milliseconds.

Examples of how to configure your HTTP cache item:




Number temperature { http="<[weatherCache:10000:XSLT(demo_yahoo_weather_temperature.xsl)]" }
Number windSpeed { http="<[weatherCache:10000:XSLT(demo_yahoo_weather_wind_speed.xsl)]" }