Experiment with APL Examples in the Authoring Tool

The Alexa Presentation Language topics in the documentation include JSON examples that illustrate how to build APL documents and data sources. You can copy these examples into the APL authoring tool to see how they work and experiment with your own changes. You don't need a working skill to test most of these examples.

About the APL code examples

Examples that show complete APL documents include two parts: the APL document, and a data source. You must copy both of these parts to the authoring tool to see the example in action.

Longer examples are collapsed on the page. Click the button for the example to expand the code.

For example, you might see buttons like the following. Click Example document: AlexaHeadline example to see the full document. See Data source: headlineExampleData to see the full data source.

The APL documentation includes both full document examples and smaller code snippets. To determine whether an example is a full document, note whether it has a type property set to APL. Full document examples always include this property.

Copy a full document and data source to the authoring tool

The APL authoring tool lets you build an APL document and its associated data source, then preview how it looks on different viewports. When you open the authoring tool from a skill in the developer console, you can save your APL documents with the skill so you can return them later.

For details about using the tool, see Construct an APL document with the Authoring Tool.

A full document always begins with a type property set to APL.

To copy a full document into the authoring tool

  1. On the documentation page, expand the example code if necessary.
  2. Click the Copy code button.

    Copy code button for an APL JSON sample
    Copy code button for an APL JSON sample
  3. In another browser window, open the developer console.
  4. Open an existing skill or create a new skill. The skill does not need to have a working endpoint to use the authoring tool.
  5. In the left-hand navigation, click Display.

    The authoring tool opens in a new window or tab, and displays any existing documents saved with this skill.

  6. Click Create Template.
  7. Click the Start from scratch option. This creates a new, blank APL document and data source.
  8. In the left-hand navigation, click the APL button to open the JSON editor (APL icon ).
  9. Delete all the existing JSON code from the edit pane, then paste in the code copied in step 2.

    The preview pane might show a blank document, since the data is missing.

  10. Copy in the data source as described next.
Authoring tool after pasting in a document example
Authoring tool after pasting in a document example, but without the data source

The data source for a document usually follows the document in the topic. The JSON is an object with one or more key/object pairs. For example, this is a data source called headlineExampleData:

{
  "headlineExampleData": {
    "property": "value"
  }
}

To copy a data source into the authoring tool

  1. On the documentation page, expand the data source example if necessary.
  2. Click the Copy code button.
  3. Navigate back to the authoring tool and return to the APL document created earlier.
  4. In the left-hand navigation, click the DATA button (DATA icon )
  5. Delete the existing contents from the edit pane, then paste in the code copied in step 2.

At this point, you should see the full document in the preview pane. Experiment with changing the components and data to learn how the sample works.

Authoring tool after pasting in both the document and data source
Authoring tool after pasting in both the document and data source