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Create and Publish Private Skills (Developer Console)

You can use the developer console to create and publish private skills. A private skill is published live, but is not available in the Alexa skill store. A private skill is different from a skill that is in a beta test with a set of selected customers.

Prerequisites to Build and Publish a Private Skill

To use the developer console to publish a private skill, you must have the following:

  • An Amazon developer account
  • A skill Id for a skill that is under development
  • The ARN for one or more AWS Alexa for Business accounts to which you want to grant access to the private skill

Step 1: Publish the Skill with Private Availability

When you are ready to make your skill available to select organizations, do the following:

  1. Open the skill in the developer console.
  2. Navigate to the Distribution page.
  3. Make sure you have completed all fields in the Skill Preview section for each language.
  4. In the left-hand navigation, click Availability.
  5. For the availability option, select Alexa for Business Organizations, then click Save and continue.
  6. Navigate to the Certification page. Review and correct any validation errors. All validations must pass before you can submit the skill.
  7. Click Submission, then click Submit for review.

When you publish a skill privately, its status changes to Live in the developer portal. This process can take up to two hours.

Step 2: Distribute a Private Skill

Once your skill has been published (privately) to the live stage, you can:

  • Add the skill to a specific Alexa for Business organization
  • Remove the skill from a specific Alexa for Business organization
  • View the Alexa for Business organizations that have access to the private skill

You can manage the Alexa for Business organizations with access to your private skill from the Distribution > Availability section of the developer console. The Manage access to your skill section contains controls to add and remove organizations. The list of organizations that currently have access are displayed as well.

Once the skill is distributed from the developer console to an Alexa for Business organization, the skill can be accepted by the Alexa for Business administrator, enabled on shared devices or made available for enrolled users to discover in their companion app. For more details, see Managing Skills.

Manage accounts for a private skill
Manage accounts for a private skill

When you add Alexa for Business organizations, you provide the AWS account ID in the exact ARN format: arn:aws:iam::<account ID>:root. For example, if the AWS account ID is 123456789012, you would provide: arn:aws:iam::123456789012:root. You must specify the root and not an individual user for that account.

Add a Private Distribution Account

You can add an account to the private distribution account list for the specified private skill. This means the specified account will be granted access to the skill.

To add an account:

  1. Open your list of skills in the developer console.
  2. Click the Manage Access link in the Actions column.

    Alternatively, you can click View to open the skill, then navigate to Launch > Availability.

  3. Under Manage access to your skill, enter the account ID to add in the edit box and click Add, then click Save.

    The account ID should be in the form of arn:aws:iam::123456789012:root, where 123456789012 is a placeholder for an AWS account Id.

Remove a Private Distribution Account

You can delete an account from the private distribution account list. This means the account's access to the private skill will be revoked.

  1. Open your list of skills in the developer console.
  2. Click the Manage Access link in the Actions column.

    Alternatively, you can click View to open the skill, then navigate to Launch > Availability.

  3. Under Manage access to your skill, click the Revoke access link next to the account to remove.

Manage Skill Access from the Alexa for Business Console

Once you have set up the private skill for distribution, the customer whose account has been granted access can follow these steps to access the private skill:

  1. Log in to the Alexa For Business console.
  2. Navigate to the Skills > Private Skills tab. Select Review and then Enable the private skill.
  3. Navigate to the Enabled Skills tab. Add the private skill to a skill group to enable the skill on devices in rooms containing that skill group. See the Alexa for Business administrators guide for more information.