Prepare Your Skill for Distribution and Beta Testing

Welcome to Module 7 of the beginner workshop about building an engaging Alexa skill. In this module, you'll learn how to get your skill ready for distribution and beta testing before you publish it on the skill store.

Time required: 10 - 15 minutes

What you'll learn:

  • How to use the Skill Preview feature to add customer-facing information about your skill
  • How to set up privacy and compliance for your skill
  • How to set up the appropriate availability option for your skill
  • How to set up a beta test for your skill

Now, you'll walk through each area and the information you must provide.

Step by Step: Prepare your skill for distribution and beta testing

To complete this module, you need to sign in to the Alexa developer console with your Amazon developer account, and then open the Cake Time skill.

If you aren't signed in already, open the Alexa developer console Sign-In page, enter your Amazon developer account credentials, and then click Sign-In.

Step 1: Add customer-facing information about your skill

  1. In the developer console, click the Distribution tab.

    Distribution tab

  2. In the left-hand column, click Skill Preview, and then click English (US).

  3. On the English (US) Store Preview page, enter information in all the appropriate fields.

    Store Preview

    Store Preview

    Store Preview

  4. (Not needed for this workshop) If your skill supported multiple languages, in the left-hand column, under Skill Preview, click another language, and then, on the Store Preview page, enter your information in all appropriate fields.

  5. When you are done filling in the Store Preview information for all your supported languages, click Save and continue.

  6. After you save your skill information on the Store Preview page, preview the skill card in the Alexa app. The app shows both published skills and your own skills currently in development, so you can see how your card will appear to users.

    Store Preview

Step 2: Complete privacy and compliance information about your skill

  1. On the Distribution tab, in the left-hand column, click Privacy & Compliance.

  2. On the Privacy & Compliance page, select the radio button next to each Yes or No question. In this area, you provide information about whether your skill allows users to make purchases or spend money, collects personal information, is directed to or targets children under the age of 13, or contains advertising.

  3. Under Export Compliance, to certify that your skill meets export compliance requirements, select the check box.

    Privacy & Compliance

  4. Under Testing Instructions, provide instructions for the Alexa team to test your skill.

  5. Click Save and continue.

Step 3: Determine where to make your skill available and for which audiences.

On the Availability page, you choose who should have access to the skill and where it should be available.

  1. On the Availability page, under Who should have access to this skill?, choose from the following options:

    • Public: Publish the skill to the general public. Anyone with an Alexa device can enable and use your skill, provided it is available in their region and language.
    • Beta Test: Make the skill available for up to 500 beta users (per skill) that you personally select. Invite friends or family, your social network contacts, or any person for whom you have an email address (and their permission) to test your skill and provide feedback. At any time, you can add testers, remove testers, or end a test. You can see tester feedback in the Amazon Developer Portal. You can get feedback and analytics on your skill throughout the testing cycle and reduce costs by making fixes before you release the skill to production. Besides testing your skill before releasing it to production, you can also use a beta test to test changes to an existing, published skill, while keeping the currently live version of the skill available for the general public.
  2. (Optional) If you choose Beta Test, click the arrow (>) to expand the Beta Test block, and observe whether beta testing is available for a skill.

    Beta Test

  3. (Optional) If beta testing is available, the block expands.

  4. (Optional) Within the block, enter an email address for the beta test administrator, and then the email addresses for your beta testers.

    Beta Test

  5. (Optional) If your skill is missing required information, the block says "Beta Test is not available for this skill."

    Beta Test

  6. Under Opt in to automated locale distribution, select the check box to allow Amazon to consider your skill for publication in locales that support your base language.

    For example, if your skill is English (US) and you opt in, Amazon will consider the skill for the English-language locales in Canada, UK, India, and Australia. If your skill is in Canadian French, it can also be considered for the French-language locale in France. Amazon reviews each locale in a separate certification review. Your skill might not pass review for every locale that supports the language. However, when you select the check box, you can significantly increase the likelihood your skill will be in the Alexa Skills Store of every locale that supports the language.

  7. Under Where would you like this skill to be available?, select the radio button by In all countries and regions where Amazon distributes skills.

  8. To save your changes and complete all the steps in this module, click Save and continue.

Continue to Module 8 to learn about the skill certification process and publish your skill to the Alexa Skills Store.

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