Getting Groovy with Google Home – September 2017 SETT Article


By Ryan Vanderwerf, OCI Software Engineer

Google Home is Google’s entry into the smart home personal assistant market. They have made the strongest competitor to Amazon’s Alexa to date.

Google has made an excellent built-in system of conversation interaction that is arguably more advanced than Amazon’s. With built-in smart home and Chromecast integration, it’s a pretty powerful device that can help automate your home or office.

In this guide, you are going to learn how to create a Grails application to host a Google Action for your Google Home device to interact with. We will build, deploy, and set up everything necessary to facilitate this on Google App Engine Flexible and Google APIs.

We will be using the early access unofficial Java SDK to build actions. This is because the only official SDK is built with node. The first part will mostly consist of the Grails guide currently at

The second part of the article covers making actions that interface to Google’s API.AI service and Grails. We will use a Grails plugin to help us accomplish this through their Webhooks and Data Service API.

Please keep in mind that these APIs worked at the time of this writing – however, Google is famous for changing things at any time that may break functionality and force you, the developer to update things to keep up! Keep in touch on Twitter or the Grails or Groovy slack communities if you encounter any of these issues, and I’ll do my best to keep things current or help you out.

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