Efficiently Manage Skill Resources and Automate Tasks with CLI v2.0, Now GA

Dalton Huynh May 04, 2020
CLI Productivity

We’re excited to announce that v2.0 of the ASK CLI is now generally available. Using the new ASK CLI, you can quickly and easily manage your skill’s resources and automate skill tasks from your local environment. 

Build Skills Locally with the ASK CLI

Build, test, and manage your Alexa skills with the flexibility of the command line. The ASK CLI enables you to build your skills using your preferred development tools by providing the ability to sync your skills’ resources to Alexa with our Skill Management APIs (SMAPI). Additionally, like any CLI tool, ASK CLI can be utilized in scripts to help you automate and simplify parts of your skill development workflow.

Deploy Your Skill’s Infrastructure with AWS CloudFormation

ASK CLI v2.0 adds support for deployment using AWS CloudFormation so you can now manage your skill infrastructure from a CloudFormation template. With a CloudFormation template, you can define and deploy the AWS resources your skill needs in one place.

When you create a new skill with the ASK CLI v2.0, you can now choose to create your skill with a starter CloudFormation template that includes commonly required AWS resources, including a Lambda function and a S3 bucket. If you’re already familiar with CloudFormation, then you can also add DynamoDB, SageMaker, or any supported AWS resource supported to your template. When you’re ready, simply run ask deploy.

NOTE: Current skills will need to upgrade to the latest project format to utilize AWS CloudFormation and other deployment improvements in ASK CLI v2.0. Review our step-by-step upgrade guide for more information on this process.

Improved Command-Line Experience

To better orient new users to the ASK CLI, we’ve updated a few of our command names so it’s clearer what they’re for:

  • ask smapi replaces ask api for making calls to SMAPI
  • ask configure replaces ask init for configuring your Alexa Skills Kit and AWS profiles
  • ask init will now help you initialize an existing skill project for deployment using the ASK CLI

For Alexa-Hosted skills, we’ve also streamlined the workflow so you can manage your Git repository any way you’d like. Simply git push origin master when you’re ready to deploy your Alexa-Hosted skill.

See our quick start guide to learn how you can take advantage of AWS CloudFormation support and other improvements in ASK CLI v2.0 today.