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Custom App Series - Step 3 - Publishing to a Channel

Objective

This document will demonstrate how to publish a custom app to Alexa from the VoiceWorx platform.

Introduction to API

After an app is configured in the VoiceWorx platform the app can be published directly to the Alexa Developer Console without having to write code or configure anything in Alexa.

Goal

Our goal will be to show how to publish an app from the VoiceWorx platform to Alexa Developer Console and set or revoke the app (Alexa skill) access to some specific user information via permissions. The following Alexa permission settings can be set directly in the publishing page in the VoiceWorx platform.
  • Address: Allow or revoke the Alexa skill access to the user’s full address or post code and region code only
  • Location services: Allow or revoke the Alexa skill to retrieve the user’s location, i.e., details such as longitude and latitude
  • Full Name
  • Phone Number
The skill ability to support the following features can also be set at the publishing page as below:
  • APL: Enable or disable the skill support for Alexa Presentation Language
  • MFA: Enable or disable the skills support for multifactor authentication

Steps

The following shows the general steps/activities that will be carried out in setting up this integration. Note: It is advisable to use same email for signup across the 3 channels below. Step 1 -3 below are compulsory.
  1. 4.
    Ensure you Login with Amazon (LWA) https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask account is setup by your admin. If you are the account admin, you can follow this instruction to set it up.
  2. 5.
    Set up connection to the external web API
  3. 6.
    Create a custom skill in VoiceWorx.
  4. 7.
    Publish the skill
  5. 8.
    Test the Alexa skill.

Publish to Alexa

  1. 1.
    To publish to Alexa, use top menu tabs, select “Publish” then click “Add App Publishing”.
  1. 1.
    Then input or select the following:
External Skill Name: ContactFinder. (This will be the name of the skill in Alexa. Therefore, make it unique and different from the names of your other skills in Alexa.)
App Type: Search
Channel: Select Alexa
Uncheck the following: Require account linking, Auto Publish
Skill Invocation Name: ContactFinder. (This will be what users say to launch your skill in Alexa. It must be in lower case alphabets cannot contain START, BEGIN, STOP, EXIT, LAUNCH and cannot contain number or special characters.)
Optional: Replace all placeholder values in all “Messages”. Uncheck all the settings shown in the second image below.
  1. 1.
    Set the needed Alexa permissions/features for your app in VoiceWorx by checking/unchecking the setting checkboxes in the publishing page as shown below.
Click: Save.
  1. 1.
    In the top menu tabs select “Publish” then click “Publish to Alexa”.
  1. 1.
    Once in Publish App to Amazon Alexa set/select the following:
    • Selected App: Contact Finder
    • Select Amazon Account: LWA Config
    • Select the LWA account setup by your admin or the one you set up. For information about how to setup the LWA use this documentation
    • Click: Publish To Alexa
  1. 1.
    On the resulting screen, ensure that a success message shows for the publishing steps before clicking “Go To Alexa Skill”. If success message is not shown, click “Go To Skill Publishing” to fix any issue shown in publishing result.
Graphical user interface, text, application Description automatically generated
  1. 1.
    On the Alexa skill page, ensure “Full Build Successful” message is shown in bottom right corner before starting to test skill.
Graphical user interface, text, website Description automatically generated
  1. 1.
    Go to the permissions page under the “Tools” section to see the permissions set.
Graphical user interface, application Description automatically generated
  1. 1.
    This will show the list of permissions that are set during publishing.
  1. 1.
    If any of the Address, Name, Phone, Location permissions is set in the VoiceWorx platform, you will need to visit https://alexa.amazon.com and approve the permissions. Please take the following steps to approve the permissions:
    • Scroll down and select Contact Finder.
    • Approve or disapprove the necessary permission.
Graphical user interface, text, application, email Description automatically generated
  1. 1.
    Return to “test” tab in the top menu at https://developer.amazon.com/. Then below the “Test” tab change the skill test status from “Off” to “Development”.
  1. 1.
    Invoke skill by typing the invocation name (Contact Finder) inserted in the publishing step in VoiceWorx. If the invocation is successful, your configured welcome message will be displayed in the developer console.
A screenshot of a computer screen Description automatically generated
Congratulations!
You have successfully completed the Custom Skills Series - Step 3
Publishing to a Channel.
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On this page
Objective
Introduction to API
Goal
Steps
Publish to Alexa