Category Archives: Alexa

Alexa Programming Languages and Tools

Building Alexa Skills means you have a Voice User Interface (VUI) and the fulfilling programming logic. For simplicity think of the frontend for the VUI and the backend for the programming logic. There are several ways doing the fulfillment of an Alexa Skill. Often developer use Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda which is a perfect fit: Simply enter the Lambda’s ARN (Amazon Resource Name) inside the Skill’s configuration. AWS Lambda supports code written in Node.js (JavaScript), Java, Python, or C#.

There is also an alternative approach: You can enter a SSL/TLS secured https-address as the endpoint for other technologies and programming languages independently from AWS. Under the hood, there is only JSON via REST going back and forth. Thus every technology supporting that might work. In case you prefer your own infrastructure to AWS Lambda, please make sure to secure everything accordingly and always provide valid responses.

Dealing with Java Script Notification Objects (JSON) might be tedious. Therefore, it is good to have some helpers out there, which can make your life easier – despite the preferred technology. Here is a brief list for your convenience:

JavaScript / Node.js

Alexa Skills Kit SDK for JavaScript / Node.js (Lambda)
Skillinator (prototype Alexa Skills for Alexa Skills Kit SDK for JavaScript / Node.js (Lambda))
Alexia (framework for creating Skills using Node.js)
alexa-app (Node module to simplify the development of Alexa Skills)
Several libraries used to build both custom Skills and smart home Skills
Creating SSML (Speech Synthesis Markup Language) using the builder pattern
Jovo (Node.js based development framework for voice apps)

Java / Kotlin

Java Alexa Skills Kit SDK (Lambda)
Alexa States SDK for Java (extends the Java Alexa Skills Kit SDK)
Aleksa (framework for writing Skills in Kotlin)

Python

Flask-Ask
Python Alexa

C# / .NET

Alexa Skills SDK for .NET
AlexaSkillsKit.NET (same object model as Java Alexa Skills Kit SDK)

PHP

Voice Skill Management System (Skeleton)
PHP Library for Amazon Alexa Skills
Amazon Alexa PHP Library
AlexaApp (classes to make creating Skills with Laravel and Lumen)
Alexa Custom Skill for Patami Framework

Command Line Tools (CLI)

Alexa Skills Kit Command Line Interface (ASK CLI)
Bespoken CLI (Develop, Debug, and Test Live on Your Laptop)

Designing / Protoyping / Platforms

Sayspring (Voice Prototypes for Amazon Alexa)
Storyline (Create voice apps without coding)
PullString (Design, Prototype, and Publish Voice Apps)

Testing / Virtual Alexa Devices

Echosim.io (Alexa Skill Testing Tool)
Reverb (works in your browser, or on your tablet or phone)

Anything missing? Feel free to send me suggestions to complete the list, please!

Alexa Links (English/Deutsch)

Here is a brief list of some Alexa related links (both from Amazon and *independent). I hope those are handy if you like to start, discuss, or simply need help with Alexa. Suggestions are welcome.

Hier ist eine kurze Liste einiger hilreicher Links zu Alexa (sowohl von Amazon als auch *unabhängig). Ich hoffe, diese sind hilfreich. Sollte was fehlen, dann bitte einfach Bescheid sagen.

Docs

Alexa Skills Kit
Alexa Skills Kit in Deutschland (Deutsch)

Code

Alexa Skill Building Cookbook
Alexa Github Repository
Sascha Wolter Github Repository (Deutsch)

Design

Amazon Alexa Voice Design Guide

Slides

Slidedeck “Build Voice-Enabled Experiences with Alexa”

Video-Trainings (Screencasts, Webinare etc.)

Alexa Developers on YouTube
Amazon Alexa on Twitch
Amazon Alexa Developer Channel Germany on YouTube (Deutsch)

Boards and Communities

Amazon Developer Forums
Alexa Developers Slack Channel*
stackoverflow Alexa-tagged questions*
Amazon Alexa Entwickler für D-A-CH auf Facebook* (Deutsch)
Das inoffizielle deutsche Alexa und Echo Forum.* (Deutsch)

Support and Feature Requests

Amazon Developer Support and Contact
Amazon Developer Support (Deutsch)
Alexa Skills – Developer Voice And Vote

Twitter

@alexadevs – Alexa Developers
@maxamorde – Max Amordeluso, Alexa Evangelist EU*
@muttonia – Andrea Muttoni, Alexa Evangelist UK/EU*
@saschawolter – Sascha Wolter, Alexa Evangelist DE/AT/EU* (Deutsch)

Tools and SDKs

Skillinator: Node.js Codegenerator
Alexa Skills Kit SDK for Node.js
Alexa Programming Languages and Tools

Optimizing Audio

How Loud Is Too Loud? Tips for Setting Your Alexa Skill’s Audio Volume Level
Normalizing the Loudness of Audio Content