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December 20, 2018Leo Ohannesian
Today we are excited to announce a deeper integration of the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) with three Amazon Web Services (AWS) tools to help you build and deploy Alexa skills faster and more reliably. AWS CodeStar, AWS CodePipeline, and AWS CloudFormation provide you with the controls and deployment capabilities to automate, track, and scale Alexa skill releases. This will allow you to spend less time configuring skill deployment and more time developing a great experience for your customer.
AWS CodeStar is a cloud‑based development service that links the tools you use in order to build software applications. The new Alexa skill project templates on AWS CodeStar allow you to get stared with Alexa skill development rapidly and keep your team in sync. With project templates, you can get straight to development and skip the lengthy process of setting up a repository, building an environment, and configuring the tools required to deploy your skill. You have complete control of the tools that are integrated into your release process and can modify the toolchain to suit your development workflow.
To start using AWS CodeStar, connect your Amazon developer account directly to AWS. From there, you can choose starter templates for NodeJS and Python to build your skill along with configurable code deployment steps, often known as a deployment pipeline. The template also provides you with a repository where you can manage both the interaction model and back-end endpoint code. You can check out your code from the automatically configured repository and use any IDE or code editor to make changes. AWS CodeStar also provides you with a pre-configured project management dashboard for tracking various activities, such as code commits, build results, deployment activity, and more.
To get started with Alexa skill templates on AWS CodeStar, visit the getting started guide for step-by-step instructions.
If you want build your own pipeline from scratch or integrate Alexa skills with your existing pipeline, you can directly use AWS CodePipeline, which offers a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) service to quickly model, visualize, configure, and automate different stages of a software release process. This helps you automate your release pipelines for fast and reliable skill deployments. You can automate your skill deployment process from AWS using the new Alexa built-in actions in the deployment stage of your pipeline.
Read more about Alexa skill deployment action and how to configure it in AWS CodePipeline documentation.
With AWS CloudFormation, you can now model your entire infrastructure, or AWS resources, in a text file. This file template becomes the single source of truth for your infrastructure. It provisions your resources in a safe, repeatable manner, allowing you to build and rebuild your infrastructure and applications without having to perform manual actions or write custom scripts. With Alexa skills as a resource on AWS CloudFormation, you can use this infrastructure as code technique to build and operate Alexa skills. You can build a template once and reuse the same template to create multiple skills and access other related AWS resources to support Alexa skills in the same template. With this release you can manage infrastructure and code together as a single stack for your skill.
Read more about how to define an Alexa skill as an AWS CloudFormation resource here.
AWS CodeStar, AWS CodePipeline, and AWS CloudFormation provide you with the controls, visibility, and scale when deploying Alexa skills. This robust toolset will allow you to operate your skill-building in a more synchronized way. Visit our our docs for more details on beginning your journey with AWS and Alexa.