Introducing Backendless SDK for Amazon Alexa

by on June 25, 2018

We did it! There is a new SDK in the Backendless family of libraries, please welcome the SDK for Amazon Alexa! Let’s get a few basic questions out of the way first:

Q: Can I build a custom Amazon Alexa skill without Amazon Lambda?
A: Yes, you can! Your custom skill implementation can now run in Backendless.

Q: Can I build a custom Amazon Alexa skill with JavaScript, Java, or without any programming language?
A: Yes, with Backendless you can implement a custom Alexa skill using Java, JavaScript, or Codeless, which is a visual programming environment.

Q: What is the simplest way to build a custom Alexa skill?
A: Great question! Find out below:
If you were to develop a custom skill for Alexa without Amazon Lambda, you would need to have a deep understanding of how Amazon structures requests sent to the skill, how to extract data about intents, slots, how to validate the requests (which is a mandatory step when you get to skill certification), etc. There are many other tasks such as structuring the responses or creating progressive responses. This is a rather long list of the things you must know.

Our mission is to make it easier to build apps, so we thought it would be exactly the right thing to do to help Alexa skill developers. This is why we created and announce today Backendless SDK for Amazon Alexa.

The SDK is available through Backendless Marketplace. To include the SDK in your Backendless app, you can simply install it from the Marketplace:sdk-alexa-marketplace
Once installed, your app will automatically get all the functionality provided by the SDK for Alexa. The functionality resides in an API service. Individual actions provide the following operations:

  • Alexa request verification,
  • Retrieving request type (“can fulfill request”, launch request, intent request, session end request),
  • Retrieving intent name from the request,
  • Retrieving slot value,
  • Checking if all slots have been filled,
  • Sending a progressive response,
  • Sending a speech response.

Operations can be inspected individually using the Business Logic (Cloud Code) panel:
The SDK for Alexa can be consumed from custom Alexa skill code written in Java, JavaScript, or Codeless. See the SDK for Alexa documentation page for details.

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