September 04, 2015David Isbitski
We are happy to announce two frequently requested Alexa Skills Kit features are now live! Starting today you can take advantage of Account Linking allowing customers to easily link their accounts with yours and a new Service Simulator for testing your skill.
With the Alexa Skills Kit, you can now easily allow your customers to link their existing accounts with you, to Alexa. To link accounts, customers visit the skills tab in the Amazon Alexa app and enable your skill. They are then prompted to log in to your site using their normal credentials. You authenticate the customer and generate an access token that uniquely identifies the customer and link the accounts.
To connect an Alexa user with an account in your system, you need to provide an access token that uniquely identifies the user within your system. The Alexa Skills Kit uses an OAuth 2.0 implicit grant authorization to obtain this access token. The resource server and authorization server are both part of your system and the client seeking access is the Alexa service. Once an Alexa user grants the Alexa service access to the resource server, the Alexa service stores the access token. This token is then included in requests sent to your skill.
Users link their accounts using the Amazon Alexa app. Note that users must use the app. There is no support for establishing the link solely by voice.
Users normally start the process when initially enabling your skill in the app:
At this point, the skill is enabled, the user’s Alexa account is linked to the account in your service, and the skill is ready to be used.
To use account linking support in the Alexa Skills Kit, you must have a web-based service that authenticates users. You need a login page that can collect the user’s credentials and then generate an access token that uniquely identifies that user.
To add account linking to your skill, you must do the following:
This is a developer only release and we will be making improvements to the end user experience in the Alexa app over the next few weeks. Learn more about how to enable Account Linking in your skill here.
Need help testing your skill? Now you can use the new Service Simulator on the developer portal to test your skill service without an Alexa-enabled device. You simply input text and view the service input and service output on the screen.
The Service Simulator allows you to test skills without an Alexa enabled-device. To access this simulator, please sign into your developer’s account and go to “Apps & Services” > “Alexa”.
Once you are in the Alexa section, please click on the “Edit” button next to one of your Alexa kill submission and select “Test” on the left hand side.
The two ways you can test your skill are:
You may also want to check out these additional Alexa developer resources:
An Introduction to the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK)
Free Video Training - An Introduction to Amazon Echo and the Alexa Skills Kit
Creating an Amazon Echo Adventure Game with the Alexa Skills Kit
New Alexa Episode on the AWS Podcast