APNT-9 - Basic Guide to Zipato Rule Creator

The Rule Creator is an online graphical tool that enables you to easily create rules, scenes and schedules for your Zipato home automation system to follow. No programming experience is required,

This application note introduces the basics of the Rule Creator and includes brief descriptions of the most common 'puzzle' blocks and their uses.

Meet the Rule Creator

In the Rule Creator you select and drag 'puzzle' blocks to create a scene or rule to control your network.

From the Zipato Control Center go to the Rule Creator by clicking the 'Rule Creator' button in the top-right of the screen.

Zipato Rule Creator WorkbenchFigure 1 - The Zipato Rule Creator Workbench


The Rule Creator workbench is divided into four windows.

Puzzles (Left)

All puzzle blocks are stored in this window and divided into Puzzle types. These are used to build your home automation scene and control various sensors and devices on your network. See 'The Puzzle Blocks' section for an explanation of the common puzzle blocks.

My Home Rules (Top Right)

Rules that you have created and saved are stored here. You can activate/deactivate, edit, rename and delete each rule in this window. This window also includes the 'Synchronize' button that copies any changes you make to your rules from the Rule Creator to the ZipaBox - otherwise they will not work.

Devices (bottom left)

Displays all active devices on your network. These are divided into types of device such as actuator, control, sensor, climate etc.

Rule Workspace (Center)

This is the main Rule Creator workspace where you build and edit you system's rules. To build rules you 'drag & drop' puzzle blocks and devices from their respective workbench windows. The central workspace also includes a 'Waste Bin' - to delete rules from your workspace and the 'Brush' - to quickly clear your workspace.

The Puzzle Blocks

Rules are created by dragging puzzle blocks onto the central Rule Creator workspace and combining them with devices and other puzzle blocks. By doing this you can easily build a complex rule to control you home automation system.

Each Puzzle Block has a specific function, and importantly, the shape of the block helps you to understand how it should be used with other blocks.

Zipato Rule Creator Puzzle BlocksFigure 2 - Rule Creator Puzzle Block shapes and how they slot into each other.


As you can see from Figure 2, each block has a shape and can only slot into the same shape 'hole' of another block.

The Puzzle Blocks

Control blocks provide a framework to control and make decisions for your rule or scene based on conditions.
Zipato - Action If/Else
  • WHEN - surrounds the whole rule and performs Actions WHEN a condition is true.
  • IF - usually included within a 'When' block; it performs an Action IF a condition true
  • IF / ELSE - similar to the IF condition, but performs the ELSE action unless the IF condition is true
  • REPEAT - usually included in a 'When' block; it repeats the Action a specified number of times

Note - blocks with 'diamond' shapes are inserted into the 'diamond' hole of a control block to act as the condition for the control block - these can be Sensor, Operator or Variable blocks.

Action blocks perform an action such as controlling a network device - turning on a On/Off switch, setting a dimmer to a specific brightness level etc.
Zipato - Action Block

Action - controls an Actuator device by setting it to a specific value or increasing/decreasing its current value. This block only accepts Actuator device blocks

Zipato - Set Block

Set - sets a device to a specific value. This block does not accept Actuator device blocks

Zipato - Wait Block

Wait - add a delay to the rule for a set number of seconds

Sensor blocks act as part of a condition for other decision making blocks.
Zipato - Scheduler Block

Scheduler - enables a rule (or part of it) to run at regular times of the day, days of the week or until a specified date.

Zipato - Control Block

Control - condition block to be used with 'Control' devices.

Zipato - Sensor Block

Sensor - condition block to be used with 'Sensor' devices

Zipato - Alarm Block

Alarm - condition block to be used with 'Alarm' devices.

Zipato - Meter Block

Meter - condition block used as part of an Operator or Variable block. It has rounded sides and slots into blocks that have rounded holes..

Operator blocks perform calculations or comparisons between Variable, Control or other Operator blocks.
Zipato - Operator (rounded)

Operator (rounded) - used as an operator within another Operator or Variable block.

Zipato - Operator (diamond)

Operator (diamond) - used as an operator within Control and some Operator blocks with 'diamond' slots.

Variable blocks are time or date based variables used by Operator or Control blocks to perform calculations or comparisons.
Zipato - Variable Now

Now - used as variable in time and date dependent variables.

Zipato - Variable Time

Time - used as a variable in other Variable or Operator blocks that accept 'rounded' blocks.

Zipato - Variable Date

Date - used as a variable in other Variable or Operator blocks that accept 'rounded' blocks.

Zipato - Variable between times

Condition - used as a condition variable in Control blocks.

Advanced blocks enable more sophisticated control of your rules.
Zipato - Join function

Join - stops all other executions of the same rule.

Zipato - Stop function

Stop - stops the current execution of the rule (similar to Return statement in regular programming).


Take a look at the video to see just how quick and easy the Rule Creator is to use.

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