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Test and Submit Your Skill for Certification

Use the Certification page to verify that your skill is ready, then submit it for certification.

Certification page
Certification page

Validate and test your skill

Navigate to Certification > Validation and click Run.

The Validation section verifies that all required fields for the Alexa Skills Store are complete.

The tests are run for all locales that your skill supports. Issues are listed by locale.

For a smoother certification process, fix any issues reported by the tests.

Run the functional tests for your skill

The Functional test section is available for all skills except Music skills. This section performs a set of pre-certification tests on your skill. These tests provide immediate feedback for common certification failures. These tests send requests to your skill's endpoint. To do these tests, navigate to Certification > Functional Test and click Run. You cannot run the functional tests if the Validation tests report any errors.

You can start the functional tests and then navigate away from the page. Return to the page to check the status and test results.

For a smoother certification process, fix any issues reported by the functional tests. Tests are run for all locales that your skill supports. Issues are listed by locale.

The functional tests are also automatically run when you submit your skill.

Functional Test section on the Certification page
Functional Test section on the Certification page

Review the submission checklists

The Validation section can help you find issues that would cause your skill to fail certification. However, this does not do the full set of testing performed as part of certification. To ensure your skill passes certification, review the relevant submission checklists for your skill's interaction model and use of any special features:

Submit the skill

When you are ready to submit the skill, navigate to Certification > Submission. If the skill passes the validation tests, you can start the submission process.

When submitting your skill, you have the following options:

  • Certify and publish. When the skill passes the certification review, we start the process of publishing the skill to the Alexa Skills Store.
  • Just certify. When the skill passes the certification review, the skill moves to a Certified status. You can then choose when to start the process of publishing the skill to the Alexa Skills Store.

After choosing an option, click Submit for review to submit the skill.

During the certification review, in the list of skills the Status column shows a status of In Review, and you cannot make any changes to the skill configuration. If you change your mind about submitting the skill, select the skill, then click the Withdraw from review button.

After the certification review, you will receive an email at the address associated with your Amazon developer account.

If you opted to certify and publish:

  • If the skill has been certified, the email notifies you that the skill is being published to the Alexa Skills Store.
  • If the skill could not be certified, the email provides information about the issues you need to correct. You can make any necessary changes and then re-submit.

If you opted to just certify:

  • If the skill has been certified, the email notifies you that the skill is now in a Certified status. You can then subsequently decide when to publish the skill.
  • If the skill could not be certified, the email provides information about the issues you need to correct. You can make any necessary changes and then re-submit.

You can navigate to Certification > Submission at any time to view the status of your skill and any updates from the certification review process. The Certification Updates section shows the date and time when certification results should be available, as shown in the following image.

Submission page in the ASK developer console
Submission page

For skills that pass the certification review and have been published, this page shows the Skill Status is Live and includes a list of countries where the skill is available. Some skills are not available in all countries. For more information, see Content Ratings.

Publish a skill that has been certified

When you submit your skill, you have the option of just certifying your skill. For more information, see Submit the skill. After the skill passes the certification review, the skill is in a Certified status and you can choose when to start the process of publishing the skill to the Alexa Skills Store.

To publish a skill that is in a Certified status, navigate to Certification > Submission. When publishing your skill, you have the following options:

  • Publish now. Start the process now of publishing the skill to the Alexa Skills Store. After you click Confirm to confirm that you want to publish, a message notifies you when to expect the skill to be available on the Alexa Skills Store.
  • Publish on. Specify a date and time for when to start the process of publishing the skill to the Alexa Skills Store. For the date, there is a limit on how many days into the future you can specify. Available times are in six-hour windows, and the publishing process starts at the beginning of the window. Expect the publishing process to take up to six hours.

If you previously specified a date and time and the publishing process has not yet started, you can return to Certification > Submission and edit the date and time.

Publication status

The current publication status for a skill is displayed in the developer console on your list of skills, in the Status column.

Status Description Stage
In Development

The skill is available to you and any potential beta testers that you have added to skill beta testing. If you have enabled your skill for testing, a user can invoke your skill on any devices registered to your developer account, or on any devices registered to your beta testers' accounts. For more information, see Skill Beta Testing for Alexa Skills.

development
In Review A certification review is in progress. During this time, you cannot edit the skill configuration. development
Certified The skill has passed certification review, and is not yet available to users. To make the skill available to users, publish the skill. If you have not published the skill and want to start a new certification review, you must first withdraw the certified version of the skill. certified
Live The skill has been published and is available to users. You cannot edit the configuration for live skills. To start development on an updated version, make your changes on the development version instead. live
Hidden The skill was previously published, but has since been hidden. Users who enabled the skill before it was hidden can continue to use the skill. The skill is no longer available when users search or browse the Alexa Skills Store. live
Removed The skill was previously published, but has since been removed. Users cannot enable or use the skill. live

You can re-submit a Hidden or Removed skill.

Revise and update your skill after certification or publication

Once your skill is published to end users, your skill's status changes to live. You cannot change the configuration for a live skill. Since any changes to the skill configuration would require recertification, a new development version is automatically created in the developer console. This version has the same information as the original live version. You can use it to continue to work on your skill to improve it and add features.

When you submit a skill while choosing to just certify the skill, you also have a development version that you can continue working on. To submit the development version for certification review, you must first publish or withdraw the certified version.

The live, certified, and development versions are displayed together in the list of skills.

Versions of a skill
Versions of a skill

You can work on the new version independently of the original. For instance, for a custom skill, you can add more intents and sample utterances to the interaction model. If you make code changes in your service, you should use a different endpoint or Lambda function to test those changes so you do not disrupt users who are using the live version.

When you submit a new version for certification or have a version that has already been certified, the versions remain in your list until the new version is published. Once the new version is published, it becomes live and replaces the previous live version.

For a better user experience, maintain backward compatibility with the previous version of your skill. For example, if you add new intents, continue to support the previous intents that users are already using.

Hide or remove a skill (skill suppression)

You can suppress a live skill from the developer console. When you suppress a skill, users can no longer enable it. Suppression applies to the skill in all locales. You cannot suppress a skill in some locales and keep it available to users in others.

There are two types of skill suppression:

  • Hide – The skill remains active for users who previously enabled it. The skill is no longer available when users search or browse the Alexa Skills Store.
  • Remove – The skill is disabled for all users, including those who had previously enabled it. Users cannot enable or use the skill.

When you hide or remove a skill, the skill is not deleted and you can still see it in the developer console. Both the suppressed and development versions are displayed in the console. You can continue to make changes to the development version.

To re-publish the skill later, update the development version and re-submit for certification. Re-submitting starts a new certification process.

To hide or remove a skill:

  1. Open the developer console.
  2. Find the existing live skill in the list.
  3. In the Actions column, click Hide or Remove.
  4. When prompted, select a reason for the skill suppression, then click Hide or Remove.

This sends a request to hide or remove the skill. The suppression may take a few days to complete. Once the skill is suppressed, the updated status is displayed for the skill in the list of skills.

The developer console: