Create and Manage Skills in the Developer Console
The Alexa developer console provides a streamlined experience to help you create, manage, and publish skills.
- Overall skill development process
- Manage access to the developer console
- Sign in to the developer console
- Create a new skill
- Edit an existing skill
- Test your skill
- Update your live skill instantly
- Related topics
Overall skill development process
The Alexa developer console organizes skill building into the following main tasks:
- Use Build to create your skill, configure the interaction model, and specify the endpoints for your service.
The specific options you complete here depend on the model you add to the skill. For example, for a skill with a custom model, you create intents and sample utterances. For a skill with the pre-built smart home model, you provide the endpoint and account linking configuration.
- For Alexa-hosted skills, use Code to code your custom skill directly in the developer console.
- Use Test to test your skill with either text or voice.
You can test the skill in the development stage or the live stage.
- Use Distribution to preview how your skill will appear in the Alexa skill store.
- Use Certification to validate your skill, run pre-certification tests, and then submit the skill for certification.
- Use Analytics to review metrics for your skill, such as number utterances, customers, and intents invoked.
Manage access to the developer console
The first user associated with an Alexa developer account is the account owner and has full rights to administer the developer account. As account owner, you can invite additional users to your developer account to give them access to work on your Alexa skills based on their role. For details about roles and adding users to your developer account, see Manage user permissions.
Sign in to the developer console
- Sign in to the Alexa developer console.
- The developer console displays a list of skills that you have created.
The developer console displays a list of all your skills. You can edit any of these skills directly from this list.
Create a new skill
When you create a new skill, you provide a configuration that lets Alexa do the following:
- Route requests to the AWS Lambda function or web service that implements the skill. AWS Lambda is a service offering by Amazon Web Services.
- Display information about the skill in the Amazon Alexa app. The app shows all published skills, as well as your own skills under development.
To create a new skill, open the console, and then click Create Skill.
For details about how you create and configure a skill, see Create a Skill and Choose the Interaction Model.
Edit an existing skill
To edit an existing skill, complete the following steps.
- Open the console.
- From the skill list, locate your skill, and then, in the dropdown under ACTIONS, select Edit.
- Make changes to the skill.
- For custom skills, to save your interaction model changes, click Save Model and then click Build Model.
Test your skill
You can use the Test page to test most functionality in a skill, including multi-turn interactions, progressive responses, and entity resolution. It's important to test your skill to make sure that your skill works the way that you expect. The type of testing you do is dependent on the voice interaction model for your skill type. Before you can test your skill, you must configure the minimum required data for the skill type in the developer console and deploy the code for your cloud-based service.
The page provides three tabs on the left for different types of testing.
Use the simulator to interact with a custom or smart home skill with either text or your voice. To enable testing of the dialog flow, the simulator maintains the skill session with your skill like a device does. The simulator also sends the cards that your skill returns to the Alexa app the same way a device does. If your skill supports multiple languages, select the language that you want to test from the drop-down list. For details, see Test your skill in the simulator.
Use manual JSON to enter a JSON request directly and see the JSON response that your skill returns. This option doesn't maintain the skill session and is similar to testing a JSON request in the Lambda console. The Device Display and Device Log simulator options aren't supported for Manual JSON.
If your skill supports multiple region-specific endpoints, you can select the endpoint to test from the list near the bottom of the page.
Voice & Tone
Enter plain text or SSML to hear how Alexa speaks the text. Select the language you want to hear from the list at the bottom. All supported languages are available in this list, even if your skill doesn't support them.
Enable your skill for testing
When you're ready to test the skill, complete the following steps to enable your skill for testing:
- Navigate to the Test page.
- If you haven't enabled testing for this skill, locate the Test is disabled for this skill option with the drop-down selection set to Off. From the drop-down list, select either Development or Live as your skill testing stage.
- If you have already enabled testing, from the Skill testing is enabled in list, select either Development or Live as your skill testing stage, or select Off to disable testing.
A skill can be in one stage at any time. For example, enabling your skill for testing in the Live stage, disables your development skill for testing. Your live skill continues to be available in the developer console, SMAPI, ASK CLI and any devices signed in to your developer account. As part of this enablement in the developer console, the page redirects to the live stage URL and resets all session and context information. If you have any information that you want to preserve, save it before you proceed. This activity generates a new User ID and can be used to simulate a first-time user experience. If you configured your live skill with a live lambda version, this stage of enablement uses that live version.
Update your live skill instantly
If you want to update your slot values for a defined slot type or if you want to update your sample utterances in an existing intent, you can update your live skill instantly.
To make live updates to an existing skill
- Open the developer console.
- Navigate to your skills.
- Click Edit next to the development version of skill you want to update.
Note: Once a skill is published to users, it is considered live. You cannot edit the configuration for a live skill. Instead, you can edit the development version. This version is displayed on the list of skills below the live version. See Revise and Update Your Skill after Publication.
- Update the slot values and utterances.
- Build the skill.
Note: Make sure you do not change example phrases when you update slot values or sample utterances.
Ways to Update Live Skill
The automated certification workflow lets you quickly update your skill's slot values for existing slot types and sample utterances for existing intents within minutes. After a successful build, the update skill button is enabled if you made changes to slot values or sample utterances.
Add or update slot values to an existing slot type
If you have a skill that has constantly changing slot values, such as the list of movie names in a movie booking skill or a list of ingredients in a recipe skill, or if you simply want to update your slot values, use update live skill.
Add or update sample utterances to existing intent
If you notice missing sample utterances to your skill, use update live skill to add sample utterances to improve the accuracy of skill models within minutes.