With the increased popularity of Alexa-compatible smart devices, we’ve seen a surge in the number of smart home skill submissions. In 2018, there was a significant increase in Alexa-compatible devices, from 4,000 devices in January to over 28,000 devices from more than 4,500 brands in December. Developers around the world are enabled to connect any device to Alexa. Most of these skills are created using the Smart Home Skill API, but many are also created using a Custom Interaction Model. The certification process for smart home skills varies slightly based on the implementation method.
Our previous smart home blog, Tips for a Successful Alexa Smart Home Skill Certification, highlights important tips for a successful smart home skill certification. In this post, we’ll dive deep into the requirements for test account credentials as this is a certification requirement that you can easily check off and will help your skill get through certification as quickly as possible.
Smart home skills require account linking to control smart home devices. However, sometimes test credentials for account linking are not provided during skill submission, which results in the certification team being unable to successfully certify the skill, often leading to rejection. To avoid this common mistake when submitting your smart home skill for certification, be sure to provide test credentials (e.g., username and password) of the cloud-based device with which your skill will interact. The credentials should be submitted in the Testing Instructions field, located on the Distribution tab of the Developer Console, when you complete the Privacy & Compliance Page.
Tips for Submitting Test Account Credentials:
- Make sure at least one device is discoverable on the device cloud associated with the testing credentials you provide.
- Maintain the account credentials in a live status until you receive certification feedback for your skill or your skill has passed the certification process.
- Ensure that the device(s) associated with the account are online and accessible until you receive certification feedback on the skill or your skill is published live.
- Provide accurate account credentials (e.g. username and password) in the Testing Instructions.
- Be sure to validate the test account credentials you provide with any subsequent submissions.
- If the account is setup for two-step verification, then be sure to disable two-step verification. Without this, the verification code will not be accessible to certification team, causing delays and possible rejections.