Known Issues of Alexa Conversations

Alexa Conversations has the following known issues.

For a list of recent improvements that we made as a result of your feedback, see Recent improvements.

Current issues

Alexa Skills Kit feature support

Alexa Conversations currently doesn't support the following features of the Alexa Skills Kit:

  • Locales other than en-US.
  • Built-in AudioPlayer and VideoApp directives. You can send AudioPlayer and VideoApp directives alongside an Alexa Conversations response, but not built into it.
  • In-skill purchasing, shared slots, and features to update live skills.
  • Echo Buttons (GadgetController and GameEngine).
  • CanFulfillIntentRequest.
  • The addition of Alexa Conversations to skills that use slot elicitation, slot confirmation, or intent confirmation.

User interface

  • If you see that built-ins slot(s) (without extensions) are no longer surfaced under Slot Types in the left navigation, no action is needed because the build will still succeed as long as the built-in slot(s) are supported by Alexa Conversations. For a list of supported slot types, see Slot types.

Interaction model

  • Your skill must have at least one custom intent with at least one sample utterance in the interaction model. Otherwise, the skill session might end prematurely during runtime.

Naming

  • Using the same name for an API definition and a response causes the build to fail.

Testing the skill

  • You can't enable testing and test your skill in the Alexa Simulator until at least one full build of the skill model is complete.

Dialog acts

Some dialog acts currently have limitations. For details, see Dialog Act Reference for Alexa Conversations. Additional issues are as follows:

For API Success and API Failure:

  • Argument names for the selected API to invoke must match the argument names for the selected response.

For Confirm API:

  • Argument names for the selected API to confirm must match the argument names for the selected response. Using arguments beyond those in API to confirm is not supported.

For Offer Next API:

  • If this dialog act is stand-alone, the value only works if the name of the response arguments is the same as the Arguments of API to Offer. Complex values are not supported.
  • If this is a secondary dialog act, complex values are supported. The value can be any response argument and complex values are supported.

For more details about dialog act limitations, see Dialog Act Reference for Alexa Conversations.

APIs

  • Alexa Conversations currently doesn't support APIs that take multiple list arguments. (Each API can have at most one list argument.)
  • The use of a single user utterance to try to invoke two APIs that use the same type of arguments is not supported.

Slots

  • Alexa Conversations supports all built-in slot types except for AMAZON.SearchQuery.

  • You can't use "true" and "false" for slot values in example dialogs. Use "yes" and "no" instead.

Response templates

Dialog annotation

  • You can't edit the annotated variable name and slot types of a list slot in dialog annotations. As a workaround, delete the entire annotated line and annotate it again.

Delegation

  • Alexa Conversations context is maintained and not cleared when delegating from the interaction model to Alexa Conversations.
  • You can't pass formatted slot types such as AMAZON.Date, Amazon.PostalCode, AMAZON.Duration,AMAZON.Time from the interaction model to Alexa Conversations. For example, if you send a postal code as "21740", the slot is empty. However, if you send words instead ("twenty thousand seven hundred forty" or "two one seven four zero"), the slot is filled correctly. The workaround is therefore to transform the value to words before you send it.

Recent improvements

Since the public beta launch of Alexa Conversations, we've made the following improvements.

November 30, 2020

  • Added user interface validations and error messages that notify you of the following:
    • Undefined variables.
    • The Affirm/Deny dialog acts must follow the Confirm API/Confirm Args dialog acts.
    • The Inform Args dialog act must follow the Request Args dialog act.
    • Dialogs must start with a user turn that uses the Invoke APIs dialog act.
    • Dialogs must end with an Alexa turn.
    • Dialogs must alternate between user turns and Alexa turns, except when an Offer Next API dialog act follows an API Success/Failure dialog act.
    • If more than one argument is requested for the Request Args dialog act, the Alternate Responses section contains a line for each required API argument. You can't modify these arguments or delete these lines.
    • User input validations.
  • Prevented you from using the same slot name multiple times in a sample utterance.
  • Made dropdown names visible on hover.
  • Disabled the Evaluate Model button when Alexa Conversations is the default dialog manager.
  • Added comments on the Analytics page to indicate how Alexa Conversations metrics are reflected.
  • Added a pop-up warning message before overwriting changes made from a separate tab.
  • Added Alexa Conversations skill responses in the Alexa app.
  • Automatically updated dialog turns with the Request Args and Confirm APIs dialog acts when changing mandatory API arguments.
  • Added hints on how to create dialogs in the right fly-out.
  • Made the following improvements when you configure responses:
    • Removed the + button. To create a new line, you now use the Add prompt button or press enter.
    • Removed the Create Prompt, Create and Edit APL Audio, and Reset buttons. Instead, you name your APLA document and enter Alexa prompts. The APLA documents are saved when you save your skill. You can still navigate to the APLA editor tool by clicking the APL for Audio editor link in the notification banner.
  • Removed the + button when you configure user utterance sets. To add a sample utterance, you now click the Add Utterance button or press enter.

Previous improvements

  • Resolved data loss issue caused by editing the same skill in multiple tabs.
  • Added documentation to explain how to troubleshoot and resolve the most common validation messages: MissingRequestTemplateV2, MissingDialogAnnotation, MismatchArgumentSize, and MissingSampleUtterance.
  • Reduced friction around multiple save buttons on the response page and added clearer call to actions in the developer console.
  • Enabled developers from outside the US to test their en-US Alexa Conversations skills.
  • Enabled slot types with values, which you can use to represent strings in API definitions and responses, without requiring dummy values.
  • Reduced friction in authoring responses in the dialog annotation flow by automatically filling in default response and prompt names.
  • Resolved the issue where dialogs were not automatically updated when utterance sets, responses, and API definitions were updated from the left navigation.
  • Added new validation messages to fast-fail the model build and advise how to resolve issues such as the following:
    • An utterance set has a null slot type
    • There are slot types (with properties) without defined properties
    • There are inconsistencies between arguments in API definitions and dialogs
    • The argument name of the API must match the arguments of the dialog acts
  • Improved model build error messages to advise how to resolve issues such as the following:
    • The first user utterance in a dialog is missing
    • Annotated dialogs are not yet generated
    • An utterance set has an argument that contains special characters
    • A dialog is missing annotations
    • An API definition is missing
  • Provided minor user experience upgrades such as the following:
    • Improved Firefox support
    • Added support for pressing enter on any dialog turn to create new, blank user and Alexa utterances
    • Added inline warning messages when slots are not set
    • Renamed response condition to API success condition / API failure condition
    • Highlighted the link to known issues on the dialog page
    • Restricted a single list slot per annotated utterance
    • Prevented the right fly-out when annotating slots and clicking outside utterances
    • Fixed the pagination bug
  • Added dialog cloning capability to enable you to create similar dialogs faster.
  • Added autocomplete of response names in the left navigation, utterance sets, and API definitions to reduce the effort required to create new components.
  • Added automatic propagation of changes to annotated variable names and API return variable names across the dialog to reduce the effort required to manually update them.
  • Enabled you to create all required Alexa Conversations components as you annotate dialogs so that you don't have to leave the dialog annotation flow and click separate tabs to create the required components. Specifically, we:
    • Removed the requirement to provide API definitions in utterance sets
    • Removed the requirement to provide API definitions in responses
    • Enabled you to create, edit, and delete API definitions from the right fly-out during dialog annotation