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Getting started with Alexa skills is easy.

With this quick walkthrough, you’ll have a simple but complete Alexa skill that can run on Amazon Echo or any Alexa-enabled device.

All you’ll need to get started is the Alexa Skills Kit from the Amazon Developer site, AWS Lambda, and Node.JS.

How fast can you finish? Let us know by tweeting @Alexadevs.

Step 1. Sign in to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and create a function

a. Log in to the AWS Management Console. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to create a free account.

b.Select Lambda from the list of services

c.Click the region drop-down in the upper-right corner of the console and select US East. (N. Virginia) Currently, this is the only supported region for Lambda functions used with the Alexa Skills Kit.

d. Choose "Get Started Now" to choose a blueprint for your new function.

e. Type "alexa" into the filter search box

f. Select blueprint "alexa-skills-kit-color-expert-Node.JS". 1. Make sure you choose the one that has “nodejs” noted at the bottom.

g.Make sure “Event source type” is set to “Alexa Skills Kit” and choose “Next

h.Name your function. We’ll use “myColorSkill” for this walkthrough.

i.Make sure pop-ups are enabled for this domain. Then, under “Lambda function handler and role,” select the role “Basic execution role

j.When the IAM role management console opens, choose “Allow.” and you’ll be taken back to the previous Lambda console.

k. The role will now be populated with “lambda_basic_execution”. Choose “Next”. Then Choose “Create function”.

l. Copy the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) displayed in the upper-right of the console. For example: arn:aws:lambda:us-east-1:xxxxxxxxxxxx:function:myColorSkill

Step 2: Use the Amazon Developer portal to configure your skill

a. Sign in to the Amazon developer portal at developer.amazon.com If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to create a free account.

b. Under “Apps and Services,” select "Alexa".

c. Under “Alexa Skills Kit,” choose “Get Started >

d.Choose “Add a New Skill

e. Name your skill. This is the name displayed to users in the Alexa app. For this example, we’ll call it “Colorful”.

f. Create an Invocation Name. This is the word or phrase that users will speak to activate the skill. For this walkthrough, we’ll use the skill name “Colorful” (case-sensitive). Users will say, “Alexa, open Colorful” to interact with your skill.

g.Choose “Next” to continue to development for Colorful

h.In the “Intent Schema” text box, paste the following JSON code.

{
  "intents": [
    {
      "intent": "MyColorIsIntent",
      "slots": [
        {
          "name": "Color",
          "type": "LIST_OF_COLORS"
        }
      ]
    },
    {
      "intent": "WhatsMyColorIntent"
    },
    {
      "intent": "AMAZON.HelpIntent"
   }
  ]
}

i.Under “Custom Slot Types” choose “Add Slot Type”

j.Enter Type LIST_OF_COLORS

k.Enter Values

  • green
  • red
  • blue
  • orange
  • gold
  • silver
  • yellow
  • black
  • white

l.Enter additional values if you'd like, then choose “OK”.

m. Under “Sample Utterances”, enter all the phrases that you think users might say to interact with your skill. The more phrases you enter, the better the results. For our example, paste the following examples:

  • WhatsMyColorIntent what's my favorite color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent what is my favorite color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent what's my color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent what is my color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent my color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent my favorite color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent get my color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent get my favorite color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent give me my favorite color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent give me my color
  • WhatsMyColorIntent what my color is
  • WhatsMyColorIntent what my favorite color is
  • WhatsMyColorIntent yes
  • WhatsMyColorIntent yup
  • WhatsMyColorIntent sure
  • WhatsMyColorIntent yes please
  • MyColorIsIntent my favorite color is {Color}

n.Choose “Next” and wait until the Interaction Model is finished loading (in no more than a few seconds).

o. Select the Endpoint “Lambda ARN” then paste your ARN code from Step 1. Select "No" for "Account Linking." Then hit "Next."

Step 3. SUCCESS!

You have successfully created an Alexa skill. Test it on your Amazon Echo or any Alexa-enabled device by saying, “Alexa, open Colorful.”

If you don’t have an Alexa-enabled device, use the Service Simulator on the current page (you should be in the ”Test” step of Colorful development). Try entering “Open Colorful” or “My favorite color is red” to see how Alexa responds. Alternatively, you may use the Echo Simulator Community Edition found at Echosim.io. Simply hold the microphone icon and speak your commands.

To learn more about the Amazon Alexa and to get your Alexa Skills Kit, visit the Amazon’s Developer site at developer.amazon.com/ask.