Response Building

Standard Response

If you are using AWS lambda as your skill endpoint, you are only responsible for providing the response body in order for Alexa to respond to a customer request. The documentation on the JSON structure of the response body can be found here.

A response body may contain the following properties:

  • version
  • sessionAttributes
  • response

ASK SDK for Python helps filling the version and sessionAttributes so you can focus on building the response instead of writing boilerplate code.

Similar to standard requests, the SDK creates response objects as deserialized model objects (ask-sdk-model package) and internally handles serializing them to response JSON before sending to the Alexa service.

Response Factory

The SDK includes a ResponseFactory class that contains helper functions for constructing responses. A Response may contain multiple elements, and the helper functions aid in generating responses, reducing the need to initialize and set the elements of each response.


class ResponseFactory(object):
    def __init__(self):
        self.response = ....  # Response object

    def speak(self, speech, play_behavior=None):
        # type: (str, ask_sdk_model.ui.play_behavior.PlayBehavior) -> 'ResponseFactory'

    def ask(self, speech, play_behavior=None):
        # type: (str, ask_sdk_model.ui.play_behavior.PlayBehavior) -> 'ResponseFactory'

    def set_card(self, card):
        # type: (ask_sdk_model.ui.card.Card) -> 'ResponseFactory'

    def add_directive(self, directive):
        # type: (ask_sdk_model.directive.Directive) -> 'ResponseFactory'

    def set_should_end_session(self, end_session):
        # type: (bool) -> 'ResponseFactory'

    def set_can_fulfill_intent(self, can_fulfill_intent):
        # type: (ask_sdk_model.canfulfill.can_fulfill_intent.CanFulfillIntent) -> 'ResponseFactory'

response_builder, an instance of the ResponseFactory class, is provided to the skill developers through the HandlerInput object, which is the standard argument passed to the skill components.

Sample Code

The following example shows how to construct a response containing a StandardCard and a BodyTemplate2 display object through handler_input.response_builder.

from ask_sdk_core.dispatch_components import AbstractRequestHandler
from ask_sdk_core.handler_input import HandlerInput
from ask_sdk_core.utils import is_intent_name
from ask_sdk_core.response_helper import get_plain_text_content

from ask_sdk_model.response import Response
from ask_sdk_model.interfaces.display import (
    ImageInstance, Image, RenderTemplateDirective,
    BackButtonBehavior, BodyTemplate2)
from ask_sdk_model import ui

class HelloIntentHandler(AbstractRequestHandler):
    def can_handle(self, handler_input):
        # type: (HandlerInput) -> bool
        return is_intent_name("HelloIntent")(handler_input)

    def handle(self, handler_input):
        # type: (HandlerInput) -> Response
        response_builder = handler_input.response_builder

        speech = "This is a sample response"

                title="Card Title",
                text="Hey this is a sample card",
                    small_image_url="<Small Image URL>",
                    large_image_url="<Large Image URL>"

        if supports_display(handler_input):
            img = Image(
                sources=[ImageInstance(url="<Large Image URL>")])
            title = "Template Title"
            primary_text = get_plain_text_content(
                primary_text="some text")

                        image=img, title=title,

        return response_builder.speak(speech).response

Text Helpers

The following helper functions are provided to skill developers, to help with text content generation:


def get_plain_text_content(primary_text, secondary_text, tertiary_text):
    # type: (str, str, str) -> TextContent
    # Create a text content object with text as PlainText type


def get_rich_text_content(primary_text, secondary_text, tertiary_text):
    # type: (str, str, str) -> TextContent
    # Create a text content object with text as RichText type


def get_text_content(
    primary_text, primary_text_type,
    secondary_text, secondary_text_type,
    tertiary_text, tertiary_text_type):
    # type: (str, str, str, str, str, str) -> TextContent
    # Create a text content object with text as corresponding passed-type
    # Passed-in type is defaulted to PlainText