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Development Tools and Skill Management APIs

Explore tools provided in the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) that help you develop and test Alexa skills to get them ready for publication.

On this page:

How Alexa Development Works

Pick the right tool for your development and skill management process. Then, test your skill for both functionality and interaction model conflicts. Once you're finished testing, you can submit your skill for certification to be published in the Alexa Skills Store.

See Alexa Skills Store

Development Tools

Use these development tools and Skill Management APIs to create and manage your Alexa skills. Choose from the tools below.

Developer Console

Use the ASK developer console in your browser to create, manage, test, and publish skills. You can also access analytics showing customer usage. This is ideal for developers who want to have a visual representation of their voice user interface.

Command Line Interface (CLI)

The ASK Command Line Interface (CLI) is a tool that you can use to manage your Alexa skills and related resources, such as interaction models and account linking details, from the command line. This is ideal for advanced programmers who want to automate parts of their skill-building process or for teams looking to collaborate with version control.

Toolkit for Visual Studio Code

Use our extension for Visual Studio Code to develop and deploy your skills locally in an integrated development environment (IDE). This is ideal for offline development.

Skill Management API (SMAPI)

The Alexa Skill Management API (SMAPI) provides RESTful HTTP interfaces for programmatically performing Alexa skill management tasks, such as creating a new skill or updating an interaction model.

Alexa-Hosted Skills

Host your cloud infrastructure and application logic with us by selecting the Alexa-Hosted option in the developer console or ASK CLI. Alexa-Hosted Skills is free for almost every skill builder. You can also connect your hosted resources to a personal AWS account and use advanced AWS services.

AWS DevOps Integrations

Collaborate with teams, build faster, and deploy skills more reliably using our integrations with AWS CodeStar, AWS CodePipeline, and AWS CloudFormation.

Tools to Test Alexa Skills

Use these development tools to test your skills throughout their lifecycle.

Tools for Functional Testing

Test Simulator

The test simulator allows you to test your Alexa skill by inputting text or using voice to interact with your skill. Use it in the developer console, the ASK CLI, or SMAPI.

See Documentation

Beta Testing

The skill beta testing tool can be used to test your Alexa skill in beta before releasing it to production. You can invite beta testers by email address.

Tools for Custom Interaction Model Testing

Utterance Profiler

Use the utterance profiler to test utterances against your skill’s model and see how it selects and considers intents and slots.

NLU Evaluation

Use the natural language understanding (NLU) evaluation tool to create and run a set of tests against your custom interaction model. This tool is especially useful for running regression tests on model changes.

Utterance Conflict Detection

Identify utterances that may accidentally map to multiple intents and reduce accuracy of your skill’s custom interaction model.

Tools to Publish Alexa Skills

Use these development tools to publish your Alexa skills.

Self-Service Skill Publishing

Submit your skill for review and pick the release date once certified. Available in the developer console and ASK CLI.

Automated Skill Distribution

Give Alexa permission to publish qualified live skills to all locales of the same language.

Alexa Skill Certification

When you submit your skill to the Alexa Skills Store, it must pass a certification process before it can be published live to Amazon customers.

Tool Providers

Use third-party tools to help you with voice design, code generation, testing, analytics, and monitoring. These companies offer tools and services to help you design, prototype, code, test, and monitor Alexa skills.

Latest Feature Updates for Development Tools and Skill Management APIs


Date Name Summary Locale Availability Links Release Type


Automated Locale Distribution (Console)

Give Alexa permission to publish qualified live skills to all locales of the same language


Alexa Blog


Generally Available


Live Skill Updates

Select updates to live Alexa skills can now be made almost instantly


Alexa Blog


Generally Available


Skill Development Notification Service (SDNS)

Receive notifications about Alexa skill development events with the Skill Development Notifications Service (SDNS)



Generally Available


APL Authoring Tool - Save

Save and clone APL documents in the APL authoring tool




Generally Available

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