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Get Started with the Alexa Skills Kit

Learn how Alexa skills work and how you can build one using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK). Check out the different types of skills you can build, and explore the self-service APIs and tools that make it easy to get started. Get inspired by the delightful experiences others have built, then start bringing your own vision to life.

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How an Alexa Skill Works

An Alexa skill has both an interaction model—or voice user interface—and application logic. When a customer speaks, Alexa processes the speech in the context of your interaction model to determine the customer request. Alexa then sends the request to your skill application logic, which acts on it. You provide your application logic as a back-end cloud service hosted by Alexa, AWS, or another server.

Explore Alexa Skills Kit Features

Multiple Skill Types

Choose your skill type based on what your skill will do. You can use purpose-built APIs and interaction models for common use cases like smart home, or use the custom skill type to build any experience you can imagine. With a custom skill, you define the interaction model.

Application APIs

Use our application APIs in your back-end service to receive customer requests from Alexa, and to tell Alexa how to respond. You can also use the APIs to personalize your experience, link customer accounts, sell goods and services, and take advantage of other Alexa functions.

Software Development Kits

Take advantage of ASK SDKs to reduce the complexity of your code. SDKs for Java, Node.js, and Python provide language-specific functions for common tasks, enabling you to focus on your skill logic, not boilerplate code.

Development Tools

You can use the ASK developer console or the ASK command line interface (CLI) to create, manage, test, and publish your skills. You can also integrate these functions in your systems with the skill management API (SMAPI).

Analytics

You can take advantage of ASK analytics to understand what's working well and opportunities for improvement. ASK provides a wide range of metrics, including customers, intents, sessions, utterances, and latency.

Next Steps

Ready to build? Start building quickly with our beginner tutorial for custom skills, or dive deeper into the details of the Alexa Skills Kit.

Get Inspired by What Others Are Building

Big Sky Is a Must-Have Skill, Says CNET

The Big Sky skill delivers personalized weather reports to more than 60,000 monthly active users. This CNET "must-have" skill also offers premimum content; 50% of customers opt in to purchase when offered. 

A Distraction-Free Voice Experience

Headspace reimagined its meditation app for voice to provide a customer experience free of mobile interruptions. Customers are responding to the simpler and more seamless option by linking accounts, trying premium experiences, and coming back for more.

Building Voice Strategies for Brands

Say It Now helps brands reimagine their offerings for voice in a way that yields value for both the brand and its customers. The agency's leaders say "conversational commerce" will transform the voice industry.