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Amazon Releases Developer Toolkit for Building Custom Alexa Skills

Jason Li
Sr. Software Development Engineer
Skilled Angular and .NET developer, team leader for a healthcare insurance company.
August 05, 2022

Amazon has always been at the forefront of innovation in the e-commerce space, and Alexa has become its mainstay. With millions of devices activated around the globe, Amazon has created the largest AI assistant ever.

With Alexa now integrated into nearly every device imaginable from smart speakers to ovens, people are becoming more accustomed to interacting with their gadgets through voice commands. Developers can now build skills for Alexa, allowing them to interact with customers in real-time by responding to questions or giving directions.

With more than 400 skills already built, the possibilities are endless. In addition to providing general information, skill builders can also offer music, weather forecasts, appointments, and other useful services via Alexa.

The new toolkit will allow developers to easily create customized skills without having to program in any specific programming language like Node.js or Python.

What is Skill Kit?

Amazon's skill kit makes it easier than ever before to create voice-powered apps for Amazon Echo devices. You can use Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build, test, deploy, manage, and scale voice-first applications to millions of customers without writing a line of code. ASK includes robust APIs and tools to help you get started fast.

You can now add custom cards based on information provided by the user. In addition, users can invoke Alexa directly from a card. To make it even simpler, you can now invoke specific actions in your app, including playing music, setting a timer, telling jokes, displaying content, and more.

With the new features announced developers can coerce business growth, improve customer experience, and accelerate your time to market.

The new skill sets coerce business growth

The following features and tools are intended to help you grow your business via Alexa. They also work great for any type of online business.

1. The Amazon’s Skill developer accelerator program

Amazon’s SDAP program was originally designed to encourage developers to build skill sets that would help businesses grow. Starting in 2019, however, this new initiative is expanding to include those who earn less than $1 million per year in total revenues from Amazon Web Services, Skill Pay, and Skill Share. Developers who earn below that threshold will benefit from higher earnings percentages for their work.

2. Amazon’s promoted skills

Amazon’s Promoted Skills will allow you to quickly create promotions for skills on Echo Show devices. Coming soon this year, you will be able to set up promotions within five minutes and see performance and attribution metrics that update every day. Once you have set up a promotion, skills can be promoted through speech alone without requiring any additional steps from customers.

3. Built routines with (ARK) Alexa Routines Kit

Amazon Alexa Routines Kit (ARK) allows developers to create Routines using templates and build a library of Routines that customers can enable by simply saying, "Alexa, Enable My Favorite Routine." Customers can then make their favorite skills a part of their everyday lives by enabling one of the pre-built Routines.

4. The Voice forward accounting link by Amazon

Voice-forward Account linking allows customers quickly link their account to their Amazon Echo device with simply a spoken word. Previously, customers would have to open their Alexa app and manually input their credentials. With this advanced approach, simple user consent can securely link accounts.

5. The all-new Alexa shopping kit

Alexa Shopping Kit consists of a bundle of tools designed to help you embed e-commerce into any voice-enabled device. By choosing products from, you can create an interactive experience for customers. Your skills can be easily discovered and used too. You get paid via Amazon Affiliate links which give you a commission each time a customer clicks through to buy items.

6. The most happening Alexa Skill deals

With the Alexa Developer Console, you can set up ISP products and Paid Skills discounts through Alexa Skill Deals. These deals may last up to a year and will be available to all customers.

Customers can enjoy premium content and skills at a reduced price with Alexa Skill Deals. 

Improves customer experience

The below-given features are the advanced set of skills that will enable your customer to create great new experiences with Alexa.

1. Automate with Alexa Dialog Testing Tool API

Dialog Testing Tool (DTT) is an automation framework built specifically for testing voice applications. It allows developers to quickly build tests for Alexa APL scripts, so you can automate your dialogs across multiple skills and devices. With DTT, you can make smarter and more intelligent integration tests. DTT helps you avoid common mistakes that lead to failure during your integration tests.

2. The Alexa A/B Testing Tool

The A/B testing tool allows you to add conditional statements to the skill to enable or disable certain parts of the experience. At runtime, you specify how much a random customer base receives the test version of the experience.

3. Create voice assistance with Alexa for Apps SDK

The Alexa for Apps Developer Kit (ADK) allows developers to build voice apps for Amazon devices such as Echo speakers, Fire tablets, Fire TV devices, and Android phones. These apps include features like searching, navigating, finding information and controlling another device. Customers can also interact with the apps through voice commands.

4. The updated Food Skill APIs

 The latest advances in natural language processing make it easier for hotels and restaurants to connect with patrons and serve them in innovative and exciting way.

5. Learn with Alexa Presentation Language for Audio (APLA) templates

Alexa Presentation Language (APL) templates help teach you about Alexa and voice services faster than if you were to learn from scratch. Each template includes full examples of how to create audio responses in APL and shows the steps needed to publish these skills to Skill Store. You can also easily import the template into the skill authoring tool so you can see the example response in action. These templates make learning APL easy.

6. Create visual responses with Alexa Multimodal Response Builder

Multimodal Response Builder provides an easy-to-follow step-by-step process to build a responsive user experience that works on any gadget. You can quickly generate visual responses to voice commands without needing to write or code at all.

7. Built quality skills with the Skill Quality Coach

The skill quality helps you build the highest quality skills from tailored feedback and assistance. This comes from the learning of many successfully built skills. Get the experience of the skill quality coach to get better results faster.

8. Built high-performance templates using APL Best Practices Guide for Developers

APL Best Practices guide for developers provides information about building performance-optimized APL templates. Understand what your visual user flows are, and determine the best approach to breaking down your design into APL pages, layouts, documents, and views.

9. Create access to all with APL Accessibility Guide

This helps to build an experience for the blind or visually impaired to access the platform with ease.

10. The Alexa Skill Components

Skill Components provide instant experiences that can be simply added to Skills. These include Alexa Voice User Interfaces (AVUI), Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda functions, Alexa Presentation Language documents (APL), skill code, skill connection activities, and skill events. After they are added, you can simply build and deploy your new skill as if it were any other part of your AWS account.

Accelerate your time to market

The developers can reach the markets fast with the programs and features given below.

1. The trending Alexa Learning Lab

Alexa Learning Lab is an entirely new resource on the developer platform, designed exclusively to hasten to learn. In the Learning Center, you can attempt new features and receive real-time assistance. Simply change the code, submit it, and watch your results immediately. You'll instantly experience how powerful Alexa is.

2. Know the core concepts with Unified DX across Alexa Conversations and Interaction Model

Unified Developer Experience (DX) enables developers to build conversational interfaces that allow users to seamlessly interact with the service and engage in seamless conversation. Through unified DX, developers can design powerful CX flows, quickly deploy new features, and continuously monitor and refine user engagement. These technologies enable any API to serve as an expressive, engaging conversation between users and devices.

3. View and edit with Code Sandbox

Code Sandbox makes available a “Show Me” feature for developers who want to preview and edit live examples in the APL Tech Docs directly within the same window.


Amazon released a bunch of new tools and features to help developers build custom Alexa skills. These tools and features help developers connect their business needs to Alexa. In conclusion, building skills for Alexa is a great idea because it allows you to engage customers in a completely new way. Just think about the potential for making your business stand out from competitors.