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Request APIs

Alexa sends requests to your application logic using a JSON payload. The requests you receive from Alexa and the format of the requests depends on the type of skill that you build. You can use the resources below to understand the interfaces, or APIs, that you use with each skill type. 

Request APIs Feature
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How Requests Work

Receive Requests

Alexa communicates with your application logic via a request-response mechanism using HTTP over SSL/TLS. When a user interacts with an Alexa skill, your service receives a POST request containing a JSON body. The request body contains the parameters necessary for your service to perform its logic and generate a JSON-formatted response.

Capability Interfaces

Each skill type provides a capability interface, or API, that defines the structure of requests and responses that your application logic will use. See below for additional details.


If you build a custom skill and host your application logic in AWS Lambda, you can use the Alexa Skills Kit SDKs to reduce the amount of code you must write to receive and respond to requests.

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Request APIs by Skill Type

Custom Skills

When you build a custom skill, you define how customers' spoken input maps to the requests, or intents, that your skill can handle, and the arguments for each. When a customer speaks to your skill, Alexa processes the speech for you, and sends you the intent and arguments.

Smart Home Skills

You use capability interfaces in the Smart Home Skill API to describe your devices and its capabilities. When a customer asks Alexa to control one of your supported capabilities, Alexa sends the appropriate request, or directive, to your application logic. 

Music Skills

You can use the Music Skill API to integrate your music service so that customers can play from your catalog on Alexa devices. After you upload your content catalog, Alexa will send you requests such as initiate playback and get next item.

Video Skills

You can use the Video Skill API to integrate your video skill with the Alexa service so that customers can control video devices and consume video content without invoking a specific skill. When a customer asks Alexa to play a video, Alexa will turn on a device and route users to the content they want.

Flash Briefing Skills

The Flash Briefing Skill API does not require you to receive customer requests or respond. Instead, you update you latest content with JSON or RSS and Alexa will play it when customers ask or a routine is invoked. 


Latest Feature Updates for Request APIs


Date Name Summary Locale Availability Links Release Type
10/21/2020 Select Built-in Intent  Lets users indicate that they want to select a particular item, such as an item on a list All Documentation Beta


Alexa Conversations

Create Alexa skills that feel more natural with fewer lines of code


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Multi-Value Slots (MVS)

Receive multiple slot values and respond to more complex utterances

All English language locales

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Alexa Entities

Retrieve more information on slot values for a better customer experience


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Sensitivity Tuning for Fallback Intent

Sensitivity tuning lets you tune your skill model to respond to more customer requests with the Fallback Intent



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