Understand State and Change Reporting

When you create an Alexa skill that interacts with a smart home device, you can include support for state and change reporting. Alexa notifies users about the state of their devices by voice response or in the Alexa app. For example, in the Alexa app users can see a list of their smart plugs and whether each plug is on or off.

You report state to Alexa in three ways:

  • Alexa requests the state with an Alexa.ReportState directive. For example, a customer opens the Alexa app to see if the kitchen light is on. You reply with an Alexa.StateReport that includes a snapshot of all property values.
  • You proactively send an Alexa.ChangeReport event to indicate one or more of the properties that changed. In the event, you also include a snapshot of all other property values. For example, the customer manually turns on the light. In the event, you report the power is on and you also report the brightness of the light.
  • You proactively send the state of all properties in a directive Alexa.Response. For example, when you respond to a TurnOn directive, you include a snapshot of all property values.

Identify support for state and change reporting

During device discovery, you indicate which Alexa interfaces that you support in your skill. For each interface, you also indicate your support for state and change reporting by using the following properties in your discovery response:

  • Retrievable – The retrievable property controls state reporting. When you set retrievable = true for an interface, Alexa can query your skill for the current state of the properties of that interface. Alexa sends an Alexa.ReportState directive to your skill, and you respond with an Alexa.StateReport. The default value is false.

  • Proactively Reported – The proactively reported property controls change reporting. When you set proactivelyReported = true for an interface, your skill sends an Alexa.ChangeReport event to Alexa when any property of that interface changes. The default value is false.

  • Noncontrollable – You can model properties of an endpoint that users can't change by setting nonControllable = true for an interface. For example, when a washing machine automatically goes from wash, to rinse, to spin, you can report the current wash cycle to the user without allowing them to change it. When set to true, Alexa doesn't attempt to change the state. The default value is false.

Discover response example

The following example shows a Discover.Response message for an oven that supports the Alexa.Cooking, Alexa.Cooking.TemperatureSensor, Alexa.Cooking.TemperatureController, and Alexa.EndpointHealth interfaces. For more discovery response examples, see the documentation for each interface that you support in your Alexa skill.

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{
  "event": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa.Discovery",
      "name": "Discover.Response",
      "payloadVersion": "3",
      "messageId": "a unique identifier, preferably a version 4 UUID"
    },
    "payload": {
      "endpoints": [
        {
          "endpointId": "unique ID of the endpoint",
          "manufacturerName": "Smart Cooking Device Company",
          "description": "Brand XYZ oven",
          "friendlyName": "Oven",
          "displayCategories": ["OVEN"],
          "additionalAttributes":  {
            "manufacturer" : "Smart Cooking Device Company",
            "model" : "Sample Model",
            "serialNumber": "U11112233456",
            "firmwareVersion" : "1.24.2546",
            "softwareVersion": "1.036",
            "customIdentifier": "Sample custom ID"
          },
          "cookie": {},
          "capabilities": [
            {
              "type": "AlexaInterface",
              "interface": "Alexa.Cooking",
              "version": "3",
              "properties": {
                "supported": [
                  {
                    "name": "cookingMode"
                  },
                  {
                    "name": "foodItem"
                  },
                  {
                    "name": "cookingTimeInterval"
                  }
                ],
                "proactivelyReported": true,
                "retrievable": true
              },
              "configuration": {
                "supportedCookingModes": ["REHEAT", "DEFROST", "OFF"]
              }
            },
            {
              "type": "AlexaInterface",
              "interface": "Alexa.Cooking.TemperatureSensor",
              "version": "3",
              "properties": {
                "supported": [
                  {
                    "name": "cookingTemperature"
                  }
                ],
                "proactivelyReported": false,
                "retrievable": true
              }
            },
            {
              "type": "AlexaInterface",
              "interface": "Alexa.Cooking.TemperatureController",
              "version": "3",
              "properties": {
                "supported": [
                  {
                    "name": "targetCookingTemperature"
                  },
                  {
                    "name": "preheatTimeInterval"
                  }
                ],
                "proactivelyReported": true,
                "retrievable": true
              },
              "configuration": {
                "supportsRemoteStart": false,
                "supportedCookingModes": ["BAKE", "ROAST"]
              }
            },
            {
                "type": "AlexaInterface",
                "interface": "Alexa.EndpointHealth",
                "version": "3.2",
                "properties": {
                    "supported": [{
                            "name": "connectivity"
                        },
                        {
                            "name": "radioDiagnostics"
                        },
                        {
                            "name": "networkThroughput"
                        }
                    ],
                    "proactivelyReported": true,
                    "retrievable": true
                }
            },
            {
              "type": "AlexaInterface",
              "interface": "Alexa",
              "version": "3"
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

Report state in a StateReport

When Alexa sends an Alexa.ReportState directive to request the state of an endpoint, you send an Alexa.StateReport response. This response contains the current state of all the properties that are retrievable.

For example, a customer might check the Alexa app for the status of a light on a different floor of their house. Alexa sends an Alexa.ReportState directive for the light. You send a response that includes the state of all the retrievable properties for the light, and the app reports the state to the customer.

Specify the following information in the Alexa.StateReport response:

  • Report the state of all the retrievable properties in the context object.
  • Make sure to identify the endpoint for the report in the endpoint object.
  • Set the payload to an empty object.
  • Make sure to include the correlationToken set to the value from the Alexa.ReportState request.

For details about the state report properties, see Alexa.StateReport Interface.

You send the Alexa.StateReport response synchronously from your skill's Lambda function. Reply within eight seconds.

If you poll your endpoints periodically, you can send cached values for the properties in your response. If the endpoint is unreachable, but you cached all property values, return the Alexa.StateReport and include all the property values. However, specify the value of the connectivity property of Alexa.EndpointHealth as UNREACHABLE. If you can't report the state of all the properties because the endpoint is unreachable and you haven't cached the values, send an Alexa.ErrorResponse of type BRIDGE_UNREACHABLE or ENDPOINT_UNREACHABLE.

ReportState directive example

The following example shows an Alexa.ReportState directive that Alexa sends to your skill.

{
  "directive": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa",
      "name": "ReportState",
      "messageId": "message id",
      "correlationToken": "an opaque correlation token",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "scope": {
        "type": "BearerToken",
        "token": "an OAuth2 bearer token"
      },
      "endpointId": "endpoint id",
      "cookie": {}
    },
    "payload": {}
  }
}

StateReport response example

The following example shows an Alexa.StateReport response that your skill sends to Alexa. For more Alexa.StateReport examples, see the documentation for each interface that you support in your Alexa skill.

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{
  "event": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa",
      "name": "StateReport",
      "messageId": "a unique identifier, preferably a version 4 UUID",
      "correlationToken": "an opaque correlation token that matches the request",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "endpointId": "endpoint id",
      "cookie": {}
    },
    "payload": {}
  },
  "context": {
    "properties": [
      {
        "namespace": "Alexa.ThermostatController",
        "name": "targetSetpoint",
        "value": {
          "value": 25.0,
          "scale": "CELSIUS"
        },
        "timeOfSample": "2017-02-03T16:20:50Z",
        "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 6000
      },
      {
        "namespace": "Alexa.ThermostatController",
        "name": "thermostatMode",
        "value": "HEAT",
        "timeOfSample": "2017-02-03T16:20:50Z",
        "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 6000
      },
      {
        "namespace": "Alexa.EndpointHealth",
        "name": "connectivity",
        "value": {
          "value": "OK"
        },
        "timeOfSample": "2017-02-03T16:20:50Z",
        "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
      }
    ]
  }
}

Report state in a ChangeReport

When the state of an endpoint changes for any reason, you report that change to Alexa in an Alexa.ChangeReport event. Alexa can then provide the status change to the customer. In the change report, specify the state of any changed properties in the payload object. For example, if a customer manually turns on a light, send a change report event that indicates the powerState property of the Alexa.PowerController interface has changed its value to ON.

If you specify the properties of an interface as proactivelyReported during discovery, you must send Alexa an Alexa.ChangeReport event whenever a property value changes. If a state change happens because of a directive from Alexa, you send both a directive response and a change report event. For details, see Report state in response to a directive.

You send Alexa.ChangeReport events asynchronously to the Alexa event gateway.

Specify the following information in the Alexa.ChangeReport event:

  • Include the cause object to describe why the property value changed.
  • Use the payload of the Alexa.ChangeReport to provide the new property value and the reason for the change. You must include at least one property in the payload.
  • Use the context of an Alexa.ChangeReport to report the state of all the other properties of the endpoint that didn't change. List these properties and their values in the properties array.
  • If multiple properties have changed, you can send multiple change report events containing a payload with a single property. Conversely, you can send a single change report event that contains a payload with multiple property values.
  • Identify the endpoint for the change report in the endpoint object.
  • Include the access token in the endpoint.scope object.
  • Don't include a correlationToken.

For details about the change report properties, see Alexa.ChangeReport Interface.

ChangeReport event example

The following example shows an Alexa.ChangeReport event for an endpoint that implements the Alexa.PowerController, Alexa.BrightnessController, and Alexa.EndpointHealth interfaces. The event reports that the endpoint changed its brightness value to 85 percent due to a physical interaction with the device. The event specifies the new brightness value in the payload, and it specifies the Alexa.PowerController and Alexa.EndpointHealth properties in the context object because these values didn't change. For more Alexa.ChangeReport examples, see the documentation for each interface that you support in your Alexa skill.

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{
  "event": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa",
      "name": "ChangeReport",
      "messageId": "a unique identifier, preferably a version 4 UUID",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "scope": {
        "type": "BearerToken",
        "token": "access-token-from-Amazon"
      },
      "endpointId": "endpoint id",
      "cookie": {
        "path": "path/for/this/endpoint"
      }
    },
    "payload": {
      "change": {
        "cause": {
          "type": "PHYSICAL_INTERACTION"
        },
        "properties": [
          {
            "namespace": "Alexa.BrightnessController",
            "name": "brightness",
            "value": 85,
            "timeOfSample": "2017-02-03T16:20:50Z",
            "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
          }
        ]
      }
    }
  },
  "context": {
    "properties": [
      {
        "namespace": "Alexa.PowerController",
        "name": "powerState",
        "value": "ON",
        "timeOfSample": "2017-02-03T16:20:50Z",
        "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 60000
      },
      {
        "namespace": "Alexa.EndpointHealth",
        "name": "connectivity",
        "value": {
          "value": "OK"
        },
        "timeOfSample": "2017-02-03T16:20:50Z",
        "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
    },
    {
        "namespace": "Alexa.EndpointHealth",
        "name": "battery",
        "value": {
            "health": {
                "state": "WARNING",
                "reasons": ["LOW_CHARGE"]
            },
            "levelPercentage": 45
        },
        "timeOfSample": "2017-02-03T16:20:50Z",
        "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
    }
    ]
  }
}

Report state in a directive response

If Alexa sends a directive to change the state of a property, and you handle the directive successfully, send an Alexa.Response. In the response, specify the state of any changed properties in the context object. For example, if Alexa sends an Alexa.PowerController.TurnOn directive, you send a response event that includes the powerState property, with its new value ON, in the context object.

Specify the following information in the Alexa.Response:

  • Report the state of all the retrievable properties in the context object, including the changed properties.
  • Identify the endpoint for the response in the endpoint object.
  • Include the correlationToken set to the value from the directive request.
  • If you send the response asynchronously, you must include the access token in the endpoint endpoint.scope object.

You can send response events synchronously from your skill's Lambda function or asynchronously to the Alexa event gateway. For details about response properties, see Response Events.

Directive example

The following example shows a directive that Alexa sends to your skill.

{
  "directive": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa.PercentageController",
      "name": "AdjustPercentage",
      "messageId": "message id",
      "correlationToken": "an opaque correlation token",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "scope": {
        "type": "BearerToken",
        "token": "an OAuth2 bearer token"
      },
      "endpointId": "endpoint id",
      "cookie": {}
    },
    "payload": {
      "percentageDelta": -20
    }
  }
}

Directive response example with state

The following example shows an asynchronous response that your skill sends to Alexa. The example includes the state properties in the context object.

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{
  "event": {
    "header": {
      "namespace": "Alexa",
      "name": "Response",
      "messageId": "a unique identifier, preferably a version 4 UUID",
      "correlationToken": "an opaque correlation token that matches the request",
      "payloadVersion": "3"
    },
    "endpoint": {
      "scope": {
        "type": "BearerToken",
        "token": "an OAuth2 bearer token"
      },
      "endpointId": "endpoint id"
    },
    "payload": {}
  },
  "context": {
    "properties": [
      {
        "namespace": "Alexa.BrightnessController",
        "name": "brightness",
        "value": 75,
        "timeOfSample": "2017-02-03T16:20:50.52Z",
        "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 1000
      },
      {
        "namespace": "Alexa.EndpointHealth",
        "name": "connectivity",
        "value": {
            "value": "OK"
        },
        "timeOfSample": "2017-02-03T16:20:50.52Z",
        "uncertaintyInMilliseconds": 0
      }
    ]
  }
}

Directive response example for a property that isn't retrievable

After your skill successfully handles a directive for an endpoint with properties that aren't retrievable, the skill must send a response that doesn't include the properties in the context.

The following example shows synchronous Alexa.Response event that indicates to Alexa that you handled the TurnOn directive successfully. The empty properties array in the event context indicates that you can't determine the property state after the change.

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{
    "event": {
        "header": {
            "namespace": "Alexa",
            "name": "Response",
            "messageId": "a unique identifier, preferably a version 4 UUID",
            "correlationToken": "an opaque correlation token that matches the request",
            "payloadVersion": "3"
        },
        "endpoint": {
            "endpointId": "endpoint id"
        },
        "payload": {}
    },
    "context": {
        "properties": []
    }
}