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Creating Amazon Skills with .NET, Part 4: Testing Tools

by Hannes DuPreez
Creating Amazon Skills with .NET, Part 4: Testing Tools

Learn to create your own Alexa skills.

Introduction

During this article series, I have shown you the tools needed to create and set up Alexa skills. I have also shown you how to create an Amazon skill in .NET. The next logical step is to talk about testing Alexa skills.

Let's see what options are available.

There are multiple options available for testing an Amazon skill:

  • The Utterance profiler
  • The simulator on the Test page in the developer console
  • An Alexa-enabled device. This is self-explanatory.
  • ASK CLI
  • Skill testing features of the Skill Management API

Let's talk about them one by one.

The Utterance Profiler

Your utterances can be tested with the utterance profiler while you build your interaction model. This allows you to enter utterances and see how they resolve to the intents and slots. If an utterance does not invoke the right intent, simply update your utterances and retest.

To make use of the utterance profiler, simply click Evaluate Model in the upper-right corner. This is shown in Figure 1.

Evaluate Model
Figure 1: Evaluate Model

Select the Utterance Profiler tab, as shown in Figure 2.

Utterance Profiler
Figure 2: Utterance Profiler

Enter the utterance to test and click Submit.

Review the utterance profiler.

The Simulator on the Test Page in the Developer Console

The test page provides the following checklist for your skill:

  • Utterance Conflicts
  • Invocation
  • Intents
  • Slot Types
  • JSON Editor
  • Interfaces
  • Endpoint
  • Intent History
  • Annotation Sets
  • Flash Briefing
  • Smart home
  • Video
  • Music
  • Baby activity
  • Meetings

ASK CLI

The Alexa Skills Kit Command Line Interface (ASK CLI) manages Alexa skills and related resources, such as AWS Lambda functions.

Use the next few steps to install ASK CLI.

  1. Open PowerShell as an Administrator (Run as Administrator).
  2. Open a command prompt.
  3. Type npm install -g ask-cli.

If it is the first time you use ASK CLI, use the ask init command to initialize ASK CLI with your Amazon and AWS credentials.

Skill Management API

The Skill Management API (SMAPI) contains various REST APIs that allow you can test your skill programmatically rather than using the Alexa Skills Kit developer console. These include:

Conclusion

With the hints and tips in this article, you should not struggle to test your Amazon skills properly.

This article was originally published on Monday Mar 9th 2020
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