Alexa Skills English Variants Migration FAQ
To make your existing English language skill available to English-speaking customers in other countries, Amazon is planning a language migration (copy over) of your existing live English language skill to create an identical target English language variant. See the following frequently asked questions (FAQ) for information about the upcoming migration and please contact us if you have additional questions.
Frequently asked questions
- Q: What does migration mean?
- To make your skill available to English-speaking customers in other countries, Amazon is planning a language migration (copy over) of your existing live English skill to create an identical target English language variant. Your skill will be available to US, UK, IN, CA, and AU customers in the English (US), English (UK), English (India), English (Canada), and English (Australia) languages, subject to content policy guidelines.
- Q: What English variants are supported in the migration?
- Alexa supports English (US), English (UK), English (India), English (Canada), and English (Australia). Because you have a live English skill, Amazon will migrate your skill to other English-speaking countries. English (US) supports US customers, English (UK) supports UK customers, English (India) supports IN customers, English (Canada) supports CA customers, and English (Australia) supports AU and NZ customers.
- Q: What will happen to my skill as part of the migration?
- Amazon will create a target English variant of your existing English skill by copying all skill details, endpoint information, publishing information, and intent schema, and publish the multilingual skill to English-speaking customers. You will not receive any certification feedback on your skill as part of the migration.
- Q: Is the migration going to create a new skill in the target English language?
- No, Amazon will add a target English language variant to your existing English skill.
- Q: Is Amazon planning to migrate and create non-English variants of skills?
- No. The migration plan is limited to copying English skills to create the target English variants.
- Q: Are all skills going to be migrated?
- No, the migration will be applicable only to custom skills that a) do not use account linking, b) do not use the Alexa Skills Kit built-in library in their intent schema, c) do not contain the target English variant in development, certification, or live status, d) are eligible to be distributed to the target country, e) have skill endpoints that support the target English locale, f) do not contain multiple APIs, g) are not built using the skill builder, and h) are not built using dialog management.
- Q: Why isn't Amazon migrating custom skills that use account linking?
- Amazon isn't migrating custom skills that use account linking because Amazon believes that developers of those skills would want to provide a more localized or custom experience for customers in the target English language, and will manually migrate their skills as necessary.
- Q: Why isn't Amazon migrating smart home skills?
- Amazon isn't migrating smart home skills because the skills implement account linking. Amazon also believes that developers of smart home skills would want to provide a tailored skill experience in the target English variant for their respective customers.
- Q: What if my skill went live post the migration cutoff date and therefore isn’t included in the migration?
- If your skill is eligible, Amazon will include it in the next round of migration. Future communications will include details about the skills to be migrated.
- Q: How can I opt out of this migration?
- Provide your skill ID and skill name to help Amazon identify the skills you would like to exclude from the migration. Opting out of the migration means that you will need to manually create a target English variant and submit your skill for certification to make your skill available to the English-speaking customers. Please contact us if you would like to opt out of the migration.
- Q: Are there any technical reasons to opt out of the migration?
- One reason you might decide to opt out is if you will not be able to support increased traffic to your skill endpoint as customers interact with your skills in the target English languages. Another consideration might be if your skill endpoint includes logic to check for existing live English locale (language) attribute value at runtime before providing responses. In this case, your skill might not work as intended when the runtime locale (language) is set to the target English language. In this case, you can manually create the target English variant of your skill and update your skill endpoint as needed.
- Q: Will the migration cause any adverse impact to the existing live English skills?
- No. The migration will not have any impact to the existing live English version of your skill.
- Q: Do I have to do anything to my existing skill endpoint to support the migration?
- No, Amazon will use your existing endpoint when creating the target English language variant of your skill. However, you should expect and plan to support increased traffic to your skill endpoint as customers interact with your skills in multiple English languages. If you believe your skill endpoint cannot support such an increase in traffic, please contact us to opt out of this migration.
- Q: What if I manually create a target development English variant of my skill prior to the migration?
- If you manually add the target English variant to your skill in the developer console and submit it for certification, your skill will be excluded from the migration. However, if you haven’t submitted your skill for certification with the newly added target English variant, you can delete the English variant from the development version of your skill and contact us prior to the communication cutoff date to be included in the migration.
- Q: Can I update the existing English and/or target English language variant of my skill after the migration?
- Yes, after your skills have been successfully migrated, you can continue making updates to your English variants of your skill and submit your multilingual skill for certification. Amazon also recommends that you optimize the sample utterances in the intent schema for your skill to enhance the experience for customers interacting with your skill in the target English language.
- Q: Will the migration affect any changes that I have made to the development version of my existing English skill?
- No. Amazon will not make any changes to the development or live versions of your English skill.
- Q: What will be the state of my skill after migration has been completed?
- After Amazon has migrated your skill, the live and development versions of your existing English skill will continue to exist as-is. As part of the migration, Amazon will create live and development versions of the target English variant in your skill based on the information from the existing live English version.
- Q: What happens if I use the ASK CLI or SMAPI to deploy updates to my skill?
- The skill metadata and interaction models in the development console have been updated to support a new locale. Therefore if you try to use the
ask deploycommand to deploy updates to the previous version of your skill you will get this error: "The local stored [skill] eTag does not match the one on the server side". If you try to use the
ask deploy --forcecommand (ASK CLI v1) or the
ask deploy --ignore-hashcommand (ASK CLI v2), you will not have the migrated locale on your server side. You must first use the
ask clone -s SKILL_IDcommand to retrieve an updated version of the skill metadata and interaction models. You can then update your skill and use the
ask deploycommand to deploy it to the development console.