Streamlining Access Code Management from the Manufacturer App

This guide covers how to ensure that codes created via the Seam API are easily identified and can be editable within the smart lock manufacturer app.

Most smart lock manufacturers provide a mobile (or web) app that device owners can use to manage their devices. This includes seeing and editing access codes that are programmed on their smart locks. When creating access codes using the Seam API, it's important to keep in mind that smart lock device owners may also be using their device manufacturer app to look up codes you've created and perhaps edit them. To ensure that these can easily be done, Seam provides a couple of API features for enabling this.

Access Code Name

When creating an access code, the Seam API lets you set a name attribute for the code. This name can be used to identify the code on Seam. In addition, smart lock device owners can also use this name to identify the code you created inside their smart lock manufacturer app.

Naming Codes & Best Practices

When creating an access code, it's important to use a simple & recognizable name to help device owners identify code(s) you've created. For example, if the access code is for an Airbnb reservation, it may be helpful to name the code "Anna Smith, Reservation-12345". Long uuid or random strings are generally not recommended.

Code Name vs. Appearance in App

The name you set for an access code may not necessarily match exactly the name that appears inside the smart lock manufacturer app. This is because Seam has to account for manufacturer naming constraints.

For example, some lock providers may restrict name length, uniqueness, or the use of certain characters (e.g. emojis). Some lock providers may even break down access code names into components such as first name and last name. Seam automatically takes these factors into consideration.

Since the exact name displayed inside the app may differ as a result, Seam provides an appearance property on the access code object. This property shows the exact name used inside the smart lock manufacturer app, which can be helpful for your customer support when guiding a device owner.

Access Code Editing by User

At times, a smart lock device owner may wish to edit the access code that you've created using the Seam API. For example, they may wish to edit the starts_at time of the code to allow for early access to their home. Alternatively, they want want to delete the code altogether to restrict access to their home.

Default Overwriting Behavior

The default behavior of the Seam API is to immediately override those changes made by the device owner. This is because Seam's default behavior is to keep the access code on the device in sync with the declared state of the access code on Seam.

Get Notified of Changes

When external modifications are detected, Seam will send an access_code.modified_external_to_seam event to your application. Seam will also add a code_modified_external_to_seam error on the access code. You can use these to inform your user that changes made inside their smart lock device manufacturer app are automatically overwritten.

Allow for Access Code Modification

If you want to allow device owners to be able to edit access codes that you have created through the Seam API, set the allow_external_modification flag to true when creating an access code. This prevents Seam from overwriting any changes made by the device owner to the access code. Seam also sets code_modified_external_to_seam as a warning on the code, instead of an error, when a change is detected. Note that the allow_external_modification flag can also be passed when updating an access code or when converting an access code from unmanaged to managed.

Request:

device_id = "6aae9d08-fed6-4ca5-8328-e36849ab48fe"

created_access_code = seam.access_codes.create(
  device = device_id,
  name = "my ongoing code",
  allow_external_modification = True
)

pprint(created_access_code)

Response:

AccessCode(access_code_id='1d9fe873-3393-4b29-b93e-87fe7f923462',
           device_id='6aae9d08-fed6-4ca5-8328-e36849ab48fe',
           type='ongoing',
           code='5629',
           created_at='2023-10-19T04:50:50.275Z',
           errors=[],
           warnings=[],
           starts_at=None,
           ends_at=None,
           name='my ongoing code',
           status='setting',
           common_code_key=None,
           is_managed=True,
           is_waiting_for_code_assignment=None,
           is_scheduled_on_device=None,
           pulled_backup_access_code_id=None,
           is_backup_access_code_available=False,
           is_backup=None,
           appearance=None,
           is_external_modification_allowed=True)

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