About Custom Triggers for Routines

Alexa routines make Alexa users more productive by automatically enabling certain actions when a trigger occurs. With the custom triggers for routines feature, you can create your own triggers for your customers so they have more choices to build their Alexa routines.

What are custom triggers for routines?

A trigger is an occurrence that your customers can use to build routines. Alexa provides a range of built-in triggers for customers to create Alexa routines. For example, customers can use a schedule trigger, such as sunrise or sunset; or a location trigger, such as when someone arrives home; or a voice trigger, such as certain phrases; or a sound-detection trigger, such as snoring detection, to create routines.

Often customers ask for more flexibility to add more occurrences in their environment as triggers for routines. With the custom triggers for routines feature, you can enhance your customers' experiences with Alexa. You can create custom triggers for real-world occurrences, such as sports updates, stock price changes, traffic updates, or weather updates. You can also create custom triggers for virtual occurrences, such as metaverse summits, or video game milestones.

How do custom triggers work?

When an occurrence happens, you send the trigger to Alexa, which then retrieves the routines associated with the trigger and runs the pre-configured actions.

When the occurrence happens, you send a trigger instance by using the public HTTPS endpoint with the required trigger parameters to a specific customer through UNICAST or to all your customers through MULTICAST.

Upon receiving the trigger, Alexa runs the routines for your target customer if the delivery type is UNICAST, or for all your customers if the delivery type is MULTICAST. For example, you can send a UNICAST trigger to the customer when their vacuum cleaner finishes the job. You can send a MULTICAST trigger to all your customers when there is a flash-flood warning for a set of postal codes.

You can use your custom triggers to build pre-built routines that your customers can enable with one tap. Your customers can access your pre-built routines through the Routines Gallery in the Alexa app.

The following diagram shows the workflow that you can use to onboard custom triggers and how your customer engages with your triggers.

Custom trigger for routines API Workflow

Next steps

For step-by-step instructions to create custom triggers for routines, see Steps to Create Custom Triggers for Routines.

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Last updated: Nov 27, 2023