Alexa Built-in Testing and Certification Process

Alexa customers expect a high-quality and consistent experience across all products. The Amazon testing and certification process ensures your product meets user expectations before you ship.

Product testing has two phases:

Testing your own device the same way that Amazon tests streamlines your path to certification and reduces development time. This page explains the testing process in detail for Alexa Built-in devices that implement the Alexa Voice Service (AVS).

Product testing process

The testing process validates that your Alexa product meets Amazon-specified device requirements. Some requirements, such as far-field audio performance, can be difficult to test and measure. To help you meet Amazon standards and build the best possible Alexa integration, all devices must go through Amazon’s testing and certification process before receiving approval for launch. As part of the process, you’ll be executing Amazon-provided self-tests, and ensuring that your device passes. When you’re ready, and all self-tests pass, you’ll move on to testing by Amazon.

Understand the requirements

All self-tests tie back to AVS requirements. As you build your device, follow the requirements to provide a quality Alexa experience:

Work with your Amazon representative

Communicate with your Amazon point of contact to make sure that your testing process goes smoothly:

  • Create a detailed timeline outlining the testing process leading up to submission for certification testing.
  • Understand which self-test checklists are applicable to your product.
  • Access the self-test checklists.
  • Learn how, where, and when to submit devices for certification testing, including the number of physical units to submit.
  • Work together to resolve issues during certification.
  • Wait for notification from your representative that your device has passed certification testing.
  • Communicate about the appropriate next steps and receive your assets for launch.

Conduct self-testing

During self-testing, use the downloadable checklists provided by Amazon. The Amazon testing team designed each checklist to verify that your product meets all AVS requirements. The checklists cover functional, user experience (UX), security, acoustic, and music self-tests. Thoroughly test your product through your own QA before starting self-testing.

Products implementing features such as Multi-room Music (MRM) support, far-field support, or Bluetooth support require testing against a different set of checklists. Work with your Amazon point of contact to identify which self-tests apply to your device.

Review the full Self-testing Process

Music validation

Amazon requires music feature certification for devices implementing Alexa Music before launching the device to the public. Alexa Music certification ensures that the device adequately supports music partners such as Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and SiriusXM. To help test your device against the Music Certification checklist, Amazon offers a Music Validation Tool (MVT) for developers.

Learn how to use the Music Validation Tool (MVT) to simplify self-testing

Submit your self-test results

After completing the self-test checklists, submit your test results either to Amazon through the developer console or to an ATL for review.

If you haven’t already, follow the steps to create a product profile.

Submit your device for certification testing

After validating your self-tests, the testing team will authorize you to proceed and will provide instructions to submit your product for certification testing. The number of devices required for submission varies, depending on which features the device supports. Most Alexa Built-in devices require 2-6 devices for certification testing. Ask your Amazon contact for the required number of devices.

You have the option of submitting your devices either directly to Amazon, or to expedite the certification process by submitting your devices to an Authorized Test Lab (ATL). For a list of ATL options, see Authorized Test Labs.

After Amazon receives your devices, the testing team executes tests to verify device functionality, product requirements, and that the device provides a quality experience for Alexa customers. The Amazon testing process typically takes 4-11 weeks. If you didn't thoroughly test your own device, or if the device didn't pass all self-tests before submission, you'll delay the testing process for Amazon.

After submitting your product to Amazon for testing, the Amazon testing team conducts device certification testing in the following order and compiles a feedback report:

  1. Security testing: In parallel with the rest of certification testing, arrange for one of the Authorized Third-Party Labs to conduct a security assessment of your device.
  2. Acceptance test (BVT): Amazon verifies your device build with an acceptance test to make sure that it meets the basic functional requirements. The Acceptance test checks a subset of the items in the Functional Self-test Checklist, which you completed during self-testing. Checklist requirements focus on the initial out-of the box (OOBE) experience: Does the device turn on? Does the device connect to WiFi? Can users register their Alexa account? Can users interact with Alexa?
  3. Functional and UX testing: If the device passes the acceptance test, your product undergoes full testing to verify that it meets the requirements specified in the Amazon Developer Services Agreement, the AVS Functional Requirements and the AVS UX Design Guidelines.
  4. Acoustic testing: If your device is hands-free and uses a wake word to invoke interactions with Alexa, the testing team schedules and performs acoustic testing at the same time as all other testing.
  5. Music testing: If your device supports access to third-party music or radio services through AVS, Amazon conducts separate music testing and certification for each applicable MSP, such as Amazon Music, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.
  6. Amazon test report: Identifies and documents issues and recommendations for your device. Expect to receive the report between 4-11 weeks from the start of Amazon testing.

Use the AVS developer console to track where your product in the process, including the pass/fail status of each test. Additionally, watch for email notifications from Amazon for status updates.

Submit your device for for a security assessment

Your device is also required to undergo an external security assessment. Arrange for a qualified third-party security lab to test your device as early as possible in your product development process. As with Amazon testing, begin the security assessment as soon as you complete self-testing so as not to delay your product launch. For a list of qualified labs around the world, see Authorized Third-Party Labs.

After the authorized lab completes their assessment, the Amazon Security team requires the following documents to complete the certification process:

  • External security assessment report
  • Incident response plan
  • Software maintenance plan
  • Remediation plan

After the Amazon Security team reviews the first three documents, you'll receive a report outlining any critical and high severity vulnerabilities. In response, submit a remediation plan describing how you plan to fix all vulnerabilities under active exploitation. For more details, log in the the AVS developer console, and download the AVS Device security requirements _ intake form.xlsx from your whitelisted Amazon developer account.

Leverage your developer console product detail page to submit these documents to Amazon before launch.

Launch and post-certification Over-the-Air (OTA) updates

After your product passes all Amazon tests, it becomes eligible for certification and approval for launch. Test any post-launch changes to the firmware of your device before deploying any updates to products in the field through Over-the-Air (OTA) updates. If you make significant device updates, Amazon might require that you re-submit your device for re-certification, incremental certification, or more self-testing.

Amazon requires re-certification or incremental certification under the following conditions:

  • Increasing in the memory footprint of the device.
  • Altering the voice processing algorithms such as the audio front-end (AFE) or wake word engine (WWE). Some examples include the following update types:
    • Migrating from one WWE to another.
    • Changing the AFE or WWE size.
    • Migrating from one audio player to another.
    • Changing the AFE details, echo canceling, or tuning.
  • Implementing uncertified new Alexa features and capabilities.
  • Coupling changes in a major release with Alexa interaction.
  • Releasing updates for uncertified regions or languages.

If Amazon requests re-certification, submit a set of release notes describing your changes to determine the necessary scope of testing by Amazon. Re-submit your completed Functional Self-test Checklist and Acoustic Self-test Checklist for all supported regions where you plan to deploy the OTA update.

If your product is implementing a major software update, such as an operating system upgrade or integrating Alexa Communications, you must submit a security reassessment report. Work with one of the Authorized Third-party Labs to retest your product against current security requirements and then provide a reassessment report. Please engage with your Amazon point of contact or email avs-security@amazon.com for more details about the security reassessment process. For a list of ATL options, see Authorized Third-Party Labs.

Additional resources

The following documents provide design, functional, and implementation guidance for AVS: