This exercise will guide you through all the necessary steps to define and configure a new Amazon Alexa skill.
Before you can create and configure an Amazon Alexa skill, you must:
See Exercise 4.1 for more details.
To create a new skill, follow these steps:
At the Amazon Developer Dashboard screen (https://developer.amazon.com/dashboard), select Alexa Skills Kit from the Alexa menu.
In the alexa developer console, click the Create Skill button.
In the Create a new skill screen:
Select Provision your own as the method to use in the Choose a method to host your skill’s backend resources section.
Next, click Create Skill.
Your screen might look a bit different dependent on the Default language you have selected.
In the Choose a template screen, select Start from scratch as the template to use in the Choose a template section.
Your skill is now being created, after which you’ll end up in your AEP skill main screen, which looks like this:
For your skill to be invoked, it needs an invocation name. To define this:
Click Invocations in the left menu and then click Skill Invocation Name. Change the Skill Invocation Name to adobe experience platform. Next, click Save Model.
This will update the invocation of your Alexa skill so you can say Alexa, open adobe experience platform when testing your skill in one of the next steps.
The next step is to configure the interaction with our skill. Interaction with an Alexa skill happens through so called intents, of which Amazon provides 5 built-in intents (e.g. AMAZON.HelpIntent, to ask for help). Each intent defines sample utterances; phrases you use to invoke the intent. And each intent can have one or more slot values; values you provide as input to the intent.
Rather than let you define step by step the various intents, utterances and slot values we do require for our skill, we will use a JSON file to set this all up in one go. To do so:
Next, click Interaction Model in the left menu and then click on JSON Editor.
Download and open the file AWS Alexa Interaction Model.
Select everything and then, copy everything.
In the JSON Editor panel on the right, select everything and paste the code that you copied in the previous step, by overwriting the text that was there already. This will load the interaction model.
Click Save Model.
Click Intents in the left menu, after which you’ll now see the various specific intents for our skill on the left rail, e.g. LdapIntent, GetProductIntent, … UseEmailAddressIntent. Some of these intents do have a slot, e.g. like productId for GetProductIntent.
We will now define the interface for the skill. Interfaces define how you interact with your skill: only through voice or will the skill also support display and touch? If we want our skill to use the display and touch events, we need to enable that interface. Also our skill’s implementation will use the Amazon Presentation Language (BETA). To properly configure this:
Click Interfaces in the left menu.
In the Interfaces panel, make sure that Alexa Presentation Language and Auto Delegation are both enabled.
Scroll back up and click Save Interfaces.
Your skill’s logic is implemented using the NodeJS Alexa SDK v2.
You need your functionality deployed in AWS Lambda so that you can invoke it from the skill. And then you also need to tell your skill where to find that serverless functionality so that it can invoke it when so required.
Let’s first set up your server-less functionality for the skill. To do so:
Ensure you are logged in to your AWS Management Console (https://us-east-2.console.aws.amazon.com/console/home).
Pick a datacenter you prefer from the dropdown listbox at the top right menu. E.g. US East (Ohio) or EU (Ireland).
In Find Services type lambda and press Enter.
You will end up at the AWS Lambda home screen. Click Create a function.
In the Create function screen:
Click Change default execution role. Then select Create a new role with basic Lambda permissions.
Next, click Create function.
You’ll end up in your AEP function definition screen, with the Code tab active. Click Add trigger.
In the dropdown list of available trigger, select Alexa Skills Kit. You now also need to provide the Skill ID of your Alexa skill.
If Alexa Skills Kit is not available in the Add triggers list, the data center you selected does not support it. Select another datacenter (e.g. EU (Ireland)) that provides the Alexa Skills Kit trigger.
Go back to your Alexa skill. Click on Endpoint in the left menu. Search for Your Skill ID. Click Copy to Clipboard.
Click on Copy to Clipboard to copy the skill.
Move back to your AEP function definition screen in the AWS Lambda home screen.
Paste the skill id in the Skill ID field below the Skill ID Verification. Ensure Enable is selected, which is the default and recommended setting.
Next, click Add.
Back in the AWS Lambda function screen, click on Layers bunder aep…
In the Code tab, click select Upload from and then select .zip file.
You’ll then see this. Download the AWS Alexa Lambda Code and save the zip file somewhere on your computer as aepskill.zip.
Pick the aepskill.zip you saved on your computer from the file browser dialog. Click Open.
Next, go to the tab Configuration and click Environment Variables.
Click Edit and add the required variables from the table below, so your Environment variables panel will look like this.
Ensure you replace alexaBrandName, ldap and emailAddress with your specific configuration details.
Click Save when you’re done.
As a final step, you need to copy the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) that represents this functionality to our skill.
Click on the copy icon right next to the ARN - arm:aws.lambda:… text as indicated.
Go back to your Alexa Developer Console.
In the Endpoint config screen, paste the copied ARN from the previous step in the Default Region (Required) field.
Next, click Save Endpoints.
After you’ve setup invocation, intents, interfaces and endpoint, the final step is to build the final version of your skill.
To do so:
Verify that on your skill’s main screen all the items on the Skill builder checklist (except for the optional In-skill products) are checked. To do so:
Click on Build. Your alexa developer console should display green checkmarks for the first four items in the Skill builder checklist.
Your skill and its implementation are now ready to be used.
You have finished this exercise.
Next Step: 4.3 Use your Alexa skill