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Alexa Categories vs ISY Categories: Which ones to use? Why?


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I'm trying to find an clear explanation of when to use the different types of Alexa Categories that are in the pull down menu when adding a device for voice control within the ISY Portal.

Apparently the available choices change on the pull down list depending on the type of ISY Category being set up.  There is not a clear one-to-one relationship between the two sets of categories (ie, ISY and Alexa).  So I assume there is a reason for the available options. Why wouldn't an ISY scene always be a scene to Alexa? Or why would an ISY program be designated an Alexa outlet? I assume iit effects the functionality of the ISY item when executed by Alexa voice command.


What I don't understand is:     What is the benefit or limitations of assigning each of the Alexa categories to each type of ISY Category?

For example: does a particular Alexa Category designation of an ISY item allow some functionality that another designation would not?  Or perhaps some designations enables Alexa to report status when queried while others do not. etc? I'm trying to understand when to use which combinations of ISY and Alexa Categories when I set up my speech commands in the ISY Portal.



So far I figured out the following relationships but I do not understand the benefits of these combinations in my programing.

  • Alexa Categories are: scene, light, switch, outlet, motion sensor, contact sensor (depending on the device's inherent ISY category - see below)
  • while inherent ISY Categories are: scene, device, program, variable


  • It appears to me that both ISY Categories  Scene and Program can be designated any of the following Alexa Categories:  scene, light, switch, outlet  - But Not a motion sensor, or contact sensor
  • But an ISY Category Device can be designated one of the following Alexa Categories:  light, switch, outlet, motion sensor, contact sensor - But not a scene
  • A ISY Category State Variable can be any of the Alexa Categories: scene, light, switch, outlet, motion sensor, contact sensor.

For clarity, I've mapped out the relationship between the two sets of Categories:

Relationship between ISY and allowed Alexa Categories
    Alexa Categories
    scene light switch outlet motion sensor contact sensor
ISY Categories
scene X X X X    
program X X X X    
device   X X X X      X
variable X X X X X X


But why?

What are the advantages or limitations of choosing one Alexa Category over another?

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