Steps to Create a Flash Briefing Skill

This topic provides the steps for creating and configuring a flash briefing skill in the developer console, testing the skill, and submitting it for certification. You create flash briefing skills in the Amazon developer console. When you create a skill, you define one or more feeds that provide content for the skill. A feed can be text or audio that you own or have the rights to distribute.

Before you create your skill, review the Tips for Creating a Great Flash Briefing Skill.

Register as an Amazon developer

To create a new flash briefing skill you need an Amazon developer account. If you don’t already have an account, go to https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask and create an account. You can register for free.

After you register as an Amazon developer, log in to the Amazon Developer Console. For more information on how to use the developer console, see Manage Skills in the Developer Console.

Create a flash briefing skill

To create a new flash briefing skill, use the following procedure.

  1. Log in to the developer console.

  2. Choose Create Skill.

  3. For Skill name, type the name for your skill that appears to customers in the Alexa App. The name must not imply sponsorship by Amazon, or infringe on the copyright, trademark and publicity rights of a third party.

  4. For Default language, choose the language for your skill. Each Flash Briefing skill targets a single language, and you cannot change the language once you select it. The preamble, error message, descriptions and content should all be in the language you select for the skill.

  5. Select the Flash Briefing pre-built model then and then choose Create skill.

    The flash briefing model is predefined. Customers get their flash briefing by asking their Alexa-enabled device things like:

User: Alexa, give me my flash briefing
User: Alexa, tell me the news

User: Alexa, quelles sont les nouvelles
User: Alexa, quoi de neuf aujourd'hui

User: Alexa, was ist meine tägliche Zusammenfassung
User: Alexa, was sind die Nachrichten?

User: Alexa, dammi le notizie
User: Alexa, dimmi cosa c'è di nuovo

User: Alexa, give me my flash briefing
User: Alexa, tell me the news

User: Alexa, dame mi flash briefing
User: Alexa, dime las noticias

User: Alexa, dame mi flash briefing
User: Alexa, dime las noticias

  1. For Custom Error Message, type an error message. Alexa uses this message if your feed content is not available for some reason. The language of the message must match the language that you chose for your skill. For an English skill, your error message must be in English. For a German skill, your error message must be in German.

Add feeds to your flash briefing skill

A flash briefing skill can contain multiple feeds of text or audio content. Alexa reads text feeds by using text-to-speech (TTS) and plays audio feeds. Typically each feed focuses on a specific genre of content, such as sports or local news. One feed is the default feed, and is always turned on for your skill. The remainder of the feeds for a skill can be turned on by the customer that enables your skill.

For details of the feed formats and contents, see Flash Briefing Skill API Feed Reference.

To add feeds to your flash briefing skill, use the following procedure.

  1. Choose Add new feed.

  2. For Preamble, type the audio introduction for the feed. Alexa says the preamble before reading or playing the feed contents, for example "In developer news". The preamble is limited to 70 characters, and the language of the preamble must match the language that you chose for your skill. In addition, the preamble should start with certain words:

    • For English, start with "In" or "From"
    • For German, start with "Im" or "Von", "In", "Vom" or "Aus"
  3. For Name, type a name that is unique for this skill and helps customers understand the content.

  4. For Content update frequency, choose the value closest to how frequently you update your content.

  5. For Content type, choose whether your feed text or audio. For text, you can provide a feed in RSS or JSON format. For audio, provide stereo or mono MP3 with a bitrate of at least 256kbps.

  6. For Content genre, choose the best description of your content.

  7. For Feed, type the URL of the feed. The URL can't require the customer to login.

  8. For Feed Icon, choose an image to represent your content feed. The image must be 512 x 512 pixel jpg or png. The image appears in the Alexa App.

  9. Choose Add to add the feed.

  10. Choose Save when you are finished adding feeds and are ready to test your skill.

Repeat these steps each feed you provide for the skill. The first feed you add is automatically set as the default feed. If you add more feeds, you can change the default feed by selecting it in the Default column.

Test your flash briefing skill

Next you test your flash briefing skill by using the Alexa Simulator or an Alexa-enabled device. If you use a device, register the device to your Amazon developer account so the skill appears on the device.

To test your flash briefing skill, use the following procedure.

  1. On the Test tab in the developer console, choose Yes (the default) to enable testing for your skill.

  2. Find your skill in the Alexa app, enable it, and then ask Alexa for your flash briefing. Alexa reads or plays your content.

  3. Enable all of the feeds in your skill, and test them to make sure they all work correctly.

  4. When you are done testing your skill, choose Next.

Provide publishing information for your skill

In the Alexa app customers scroll through a list of skills and select a skill to see detailed information. You provide the description and image for your flash briefing skill in the developer console.

  1. Log in to the developer console and choose the Distribution page.

  2. For Public Name, type the name that appears to customers in the Alexa app.

  3. For One Sentence Description, type the description that appears in the Alexa app when a customer browses the skill list.

  4. For Detailed Description, type the description that appears when a customer selects your skill for more information. Include a list of all the feeds that are offered with your skill.

  5. Add a Small Skill Icon (108 x 108 pixels) and a Large Skill Icon (512 x 512 pixels). If your images are the wrong size, they are rejected.

  6. For Category, choose the category that best describes your skill.

  7. For Keywords, type search terms to help customers find your skill.

  8. (Optional) Provide a Privacy Policy URL and a Terms of Use URL.

  9. When you are done, choose Save and continue.

For more information about publishing your skill, see Define Skill Store Details and Availability.

Answer the privacy and compliance questions

You answer questions that are standard for every skill type in the Privacy and Compliance section.

  1. Answer the questions regarding purchases and personal information.

  2. For Export Compliance, select the option to certify that your flash briefing skill can be imported to and exported from the United States and all countries that Amazon operates in. Alternatively, choose Selected countries and regions: and individually select the countries and regions to offer your skill in.

  3. (Optional) For Testing Instructions, type instructions for testing your skill.

  4. When you are done, choose Save and continue.

Perform final review

Before you submit your skill for certification, use the Flash Briefing Skill Certification Checklist to perform a final review. Using the checklist to review your skill helps you to pass certification.

Submit for certification

To submit your skill for certification, use the following procedure.

  1. Log in to the developer console and choose the Certification page.

  2. For Availability, choose whether the skill is Public or an Alexa for Business skill.

  3. Choose Save and Continue

  4. On the Submission page, choose Submit for Review. If there is any information missing, you are prompted to provide it before you can submit your skill.