Get Started with Alexa Conversations
To get started with Alexa Conversations, you can step through an Alexa Conversations skill-building tutorial, download the code for a pizza-ordering skill reference skill, or use an Alexa-hosted sample skill template that includes an Alexa Conversations skill configuration and back-end skill code.
To learn how to use Alexa Conversations while building a multi-turn conversational Alexa skill called Pet Match, see the Build Multi-turn Skills with Alexa Conversations course.
To get the Node.js Lambda function code for an Alexa Conversations pizza-ordering reference skill, see Pizza Reference Skill on GitHub.
Alexa-hosted sample skill templates
The Alexa Skills Kit provides sample skill templates that you can use as a starting point for your skill. If you choose the Alexa-hosted option, Alexa provisions all the resources and sets up a working skill for you. You can use the online code editor in the developer console to view the skill code. For details about Alexa-hosted skills, see Build a Skill End-to-End Using an Alexa-hosted Skill.
To start with a sample skill that supports Alexa Conversations, complete the following steps.
To create an Alexa Conversations skill from a template
- Log in to the Alexa Skills Kit developer console.
- Click Create Skill.
- Enter a name for your skill.
- For Choose a model to add to your skill, click Custom.
- For Choose a method to host your skill's backend resources, click Alexa-Hosted (Node.js).
- At the top, click Create skill.
- From the list of templates, choose a template that includes Alexa Conversations Preview at the bottom of the description, such as Weather Bot Skill.
- Click Continue with template.
Skill creation takes about 10 minutes.
- For Skill Invocation Name, enter an invocation name for the skill.
- In the header bar, click Save.
If the Save button isn't available, you can skip it for now. However, before you build the skill, make sure you enter and save the invocation name.
- Get familiar with the configuration elements that make up an Alexa Conversations skill by browsing the skill assets under Alexa Conversations in the left pane.
Alexa Conversations skill development centers around writing and annotating sample conversations between Alexa and the user, so the Dialogs section of the developer console is a good place to start learning.
- To view the skill code itself, at the top, click the Code tab.
To build and run the skill
- Continuing from the previous sample skill template, at the top, click the Build tab.
- Make sure that the Skill Invocation Name isn't the default value. If the skill invocation name is "change me", change the name to something else.
- In the header bar, click Save.
- In the header bar, next to the Save button, click Build Model.
This process builds a light Alexa Conversations model, and then the full Alexa Conversations model. The light model typically builds in less than 10 minutes, and the full model typically builds in less than 20 minutes. After the light build finishes, you can move on to the next step to test your implementation.
- When you see a notification in the lower right that says Light Alexa Conversations Build Successful, at the top, click the Test tab.
- On the left, at the top, for Test is disabled for this skill, select Development.
- In the Alexa Simulator, click Type or click and hold the mic, and then enter
open <invocation name>.
If you don't remember the invocation name, you can view it on the Build tab.
If you need help, try the following support channels:
- Alexa Conversations Slack Channel (sign in or join)
- Alexa Skills Kit developer forum
- Alexa Conversations office hours on Twitch (check the schedule)
- Alexa Developer Contact-Us Support Form