Use Alexa Skill Components
Alexa Skill Components are well-designed, pre-built voice experiences that can handle the many interaction paths a customer might take through a skill. Each component contains Alexa Presentation Language (APL) documents, skill code, skill connection tasks, skill events, and skill primitives, such as voice user interface (VUI) dialogs and intents.
What are skill components?
Alexa Skill Components are ready-to-use assets you can configure to suit your needs. Components are NPM packages built with Alexa Conversations (AC) and the Alexa Conversations Description Language (ACDL). You can create an ACDL file with the Alexa Skills Toolkit for VS Code.
Skill components perform practical functions in your skill without the complexity normally required to deliver such utility. Each component includes the following contents.
- Sample dialog flows
- API request handlers
- Default utterances
- APL audio/visual responses
- Reusable dialog flows
- TypeScript request handlers
As shown in the following image, the component's assets merge with your skill's other resources during deployment.
Why should you use skill components?
Components are pluggable code blocks that make skill building more efficient in the following ways.
- Accelerate skill building. When you use a component in your skill, you import pre-built functionality. You don't need to write code for the functionality that the component provides. Just add the component, and then test your skill to make sure that the component works as expected.
- Encourage reusability. Sometimes different skills have the same functionality. For example, for almost any kind of skill, it's useful to request feedback about the customer experience. To do so, you can import a skill component with feedback functionality. You don't need to rewrite the code every time you launch a new skill.
- Offer high quality and a better customer experience. Components are designed according to best practices. They're tested thoroughly and work reliably with almost any customer interaction path.
- Improve the onboarding experience. Components are pre-packaged, reusable, and user friendly for a smooth onboarding experience.
How do you add a component to a skill?
To use components in a skill, see the Alexa Skill Components Getting Started Guide. If you're not familiar with AC skill development, try flight search example skill tutorial. For details and instructions, see the GitHub README documentation for each component.
List of components
The following table shows all available Alexa Skill Components.
The Feedback Elicitation component helps you collect customer feedback about your skill, or about a specific interaction or experience that your skill delivers.
With the Feedback Elicitation component, you can request feedback about the latest customer interaction, ask customers to rate your skill in the Alexa Skills Store, or get feedback about a specified product or service.
The List Navigation skill component gives customers a simple way to paginate through a list and make a selection.
With the List Navigation component, you can iterate through any list, such as to-do tasks, birthdays, catalog entries, or menu items.
The Account Linking skill component simplifies any skill that requires a linked account. The reusable dialog can be added to an ACDL skill to verify whether a customer's Amazon account is already linked to their Alexa account. It checks for an access token and, if necessary, automatically prompts the user to set up an account link.
With the Account Linking component, you can simplify your customers' Amazon purchases within your skill. The component supplies the entire pre-built workflow to check a customer's account linking status. If the user's account is not linked and they try to proceed, Alexa displays the following prompt and ends the session.
The in-skill purchasing (ISP) skill component lets you add an ISP workflow to your skill as a pre-built, customizable voice experience. The component currently supports subscriptions only. Subscriptions offer access to premium content or features for a period of time. These charges recur periodically (monthly, for example) until the user cancels the subscription.
With the ISP skill component, you can sell premium digital subscription content, such as hints in a trivia skill or additional lives in a custom game skill.
The Catalog Explorer skill component lets your customers search for or select items while they navigate through a catalog, follow up on an item's specific details, and perform actions on the item.
With the Catalog Explorer component, you can build and customize an interaction in which users browse a catalog of items, such as books, movies, news articles, or recipes. When a customer finds an item of interest, they can take some action, such as buy, watch, or send to phone.
The following are frequently asked questions about Alexa Skill Components.
- Q: Can you use Alexa Skill Components only in AC skills?
Yes. Alexa Skill Components are currently available only for AC skills.
- Q: How can you make sure that the utterances in your skill are compatible with the utterances in your component?
To check for conflicts, compare the utterances in your skill with the utterances in your component. You can find the code in the component's GitHub repo.
- Q: Can you create a skill and add components to it from the Alexa Skills Kit Developer Console?
No. ACDL skills can't be created from the developer console. You must use the command line interface (CLI) to create your skill. For details, see Get Started with ACDL.
- Q: Can you use more than one component in your skill?
Yes. A skill can have multiple components.
- Q: Which locales are supported by Alexa Skill Components?
Alexa Skill Components are currently supported only in the
- Add Visuals and Audio to Your Skill
- Get Started With Alexa Conversations
- Get Started with the Alexa Conversations Description Language
- Tutorial: Convert an Alexa Conversations Skill to Alexa Conversations Description Language
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Last updated: Nov 27, 2023