Alexa

The Alexa publishing channel will automatically build an Alexa skill model from your chatbot design and bring it online on a specific webhook. This webhook can be used as the Alexa skill endpoint for every dialog interaction and dynamic operation.

When you publish your chatbot to Alexa, Xenioo will automatically create an Alexa Skill model based on the NLP intents and expressions you've created inside the Natural Language Processing section. Xenioo Skills built for Alexa are fully compliant and production ready. The Xenioo webhook is also perfectly capable of passing all security tests made by Amazon during the pre-publish phase.

The first time you open this publish dialog no option is available as the you must first login to your Amazon Developer Account. After that, you may still be required to refresh your grant for Xenioo as we do not store any kind of information for longer than required to basically update your skill on demand.

General Channel Settings

Target Skill

Here you will see the list of all Alexa Skills that are assigned to the Amazon Developer Account you've used to identify for the Alexa channel. Xenioo will not create a new skill for you: you first need to create an Alexa skill using your Amazon Developer Account. As soon as the skill is created you will see it here.

Activation Text

This is basically the name of your skill. By default the name of your chatbot will be used but you're free to change it to whatever you like. The activation text must follow Alexa naming guidelines: choosing a name outside of these guidelines may result in an error during publishing or in your skill being refused by marketplace testers.

Hook Url

This is the Xenioo webhook that your Skill need to use in order to integrate with this Xenioo chatbot. Copy the full URL from here and copy it into the Endpoint section of your Alexa Skill builder. The following image shows where the Hook option is located.

For each hook, remember to select "My development endpoint is a sub-domain of a domain that has a wildcard certificate from a certificate authority" as type. This operation must be done only once. After the first publishing, this information is stored forever in your Alexa Skill.

Do Not Update Alexa Model

Enable this flag if you do not wish to have Xenioo automatically build your Alexa Skill Model for you. This flag can be useful later in the process whenever you want to push a minor change in the chatbot design but do not want to update the whole model or if you wanted to do some manual model modifications and you just want to update the chatbot backend. Also, this flag can help you publish minor changes to your chatbot while the skill is under Amazon review during live publish phase. If your skill is already live and published on the marketplace you do not need to enable this flag: your live skill will not be updated by the publishing process.

User Details Permissions

Under this section you can specify what data your Alexa chatbot will try to retrieve from the user profile. Make sure to enable only the information that you've already marked as requested inside your Alexa Skill builder. Enabling any setting here without adding the required permission inside your Alexa Skill builder has no effect on the retrieved data: Xenioo will try to get the data and will be simply denied.

Further Reading

This interesting Alexa article series is detailing the steps to create a personalized streaming platform using Alexa and Xenioo.