There are a number of different home automation servers out there, and the number is constantly growing, so to be able to pick one it is important to know why a specific one exists. The NetHomeServer was built with a number of specific goals. At the time of it's creation no other project fulfilled these requirements:
- It must be able to mix hardware from different vendors - Home automation is still a immature field, and there are still new technologies emerging for control of lamps and appliances. It is important that you don't get locked in to a system and that the investments you made so far are not wasted when the next technology emerges.
- It must be portable People are changing platforms more often now, and a home automation server will live for years. You may start up by using your Windows HTPC, moving over to MythTV on Linux and then perhaps move it to your old MiniMAC (to save energy).
- GUI must be WEB based A home automation server often end up on an old server in a cupboard and it must work without keyboard and monitor.
- It must be usable without having to learn a script language Ok, some people love to dig in to a new scripting language, but when it comes to home control it is nice to be able to just select what you want to happen when you press that button without getting a syntax error…
- It must be fast and easy to build in small steps Home developers know that most larger home projects end up half-finished. There is only a limited amount of time a normal person can put on this kind of hobby, and if something takes too long you will lose focus or interest. It must be possible to add functions in small incremental steps without having spend time writing GUI layout and other non functional stuff.