Amazon Developer Blogs

Amazon Developer Blogs

Showing posts by Sebastien Stormacq

October 10, 2018

Sebastien Stormacq

This tutorial will show you how you can add support for the French (Canada) model for your existing skills. It will also show you how you can use ASK to enable Alexa to respond based on locales.

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June 18, 2018

Sebastien Stormacq

Today, we announced that Amazon Alexa and Alexa-enabled devices are coming to Spain later this year. Starting today, you can use the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build skills for customers in Spain using the new Spanish language model.

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June 18, 2018

Sebastien Stormacq

Today, we announced that Amazon Alexa and Alexa-enabled devices are coming to Italy later this year. Starting today, you can use the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build skills for customers in Italy using the new Italian language model.

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March 13, 2018

Sebastien Stormacq

Today, we announced that Amazon Alexa and Alexa-enabled devices are coming to France later this year. You can start using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build skills for customers in France using the new French language model.

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November 10, 2016

Sebastien Stormacq

This new technical tutorial by Sr Solutions Architect for Amazon Alexa, Sebastien Stormacq will show you how to use Amazon API Gateway and configure it to act as a HTTP Proxy, sitting between Alexa and your OAuth server.

Have you ever developed an Alexa skill that uses account linking? Do you remember the first time you tried to click on the “Link Account” button and feared for the result? I bet you first saw the dreadful error message: “Unable to Link your skill”. Sometimes trying to figure out what an error is, is like searching for a needle in a haystack. You have no clue.

Most of the errors that I have seen when working with developers, fall in two categories:

  • Error of configuration inside the Alexa developer console. These are the easy ones to catch. We just need to compare the configuration with a working one, such as the one described in this blog post.
  • Errors at the OAuth Server level. These most often happen when you are developing your own OAuth server and it is not fully compliant with OAuth 2.0 specifications.

When you have access to the OAuth server logs, debugging the error message you see in the Alexa App is relatively easy. You just enable full HTTP trace on the server side and search for the error or the misconfiguration on the server. Full HTTP trace includes the full HTTP headers, query string and body passed by the Alexa service to your server.

With a bit of experience, catching an OAuth error in HTTP stack trace takes only a few minutes.

The problem is that most developers we are working with, have no access to the OAuth servers or the server logs. Either they are using a third party OAuth server (Login With Amazon, Login With Facebook, Login with Google and the likes), or they are working in a large enterprises where another team is operating the OAuth server. Meeting that team and asking them to change logging level or to request access to the logs can take weeks, or may not be possible at all.

This article explains how to setup an HTTP proxy between Alexa Skill Service and your OAuth server to capture all HTTP traffic and log it. By analyzing the logs, you can inspect the HTTP URLs, query strings, headers and full bodies exchanged. Setting such a proxy requires infrastructure to host the proxy: a networked server, with a runtime to deploy your code etc … this is unnecessary heavy lifting where Amazon Web Services can help.

We will use Amazon API Gateway instead and will configure it to act as an HTTP Proxy, sitting between Amazon’s Alexa Skill Service and your OAuth server.

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can create an API that acts as a “front door” for applications to access data, business logic, or functionality from your back-end services.

API Gateway HTTP Proxy Integration mode is a new feature of API Gateway that was launched on Sept. 20th 2016. You can read the post by AWS Director of Evangelism, Jeff Bar’s, if you want to learn more about this.

The diagram below shows where API Gateway, with HTTP Proxy Integration, fits in the OAuth Architecture.

High level steps to create such a configuration are:

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August 03, 2016

Sebastien Stormacq

Discover how to use account linking with Login with Amazon to seamlessly integrate your Alexa skills with third-party application. Get step-by-step instructions to speed configuration.

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