At A Glance
Alexa is Amazon's intelligent personal assistant that allows you to use voice experiences on top of the Amazon Echo family of Alexa-enabled devices.
These voice capabilities are known as "skills" and Dexter allows you to easily create skills on top of our existing platform, with slight modifications to existing Dexter scripting concepts to meet the needs of the intent-based voice design of the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).
Alexa on Dexter Resources
- Alexa Overview
- Your Guide to Writing on Alexa
- CatchAll Mode: How to Capture Raw User Text
- Alexa-Specific Shortcodes
- Troubleshooting Alexa
What's New With Alexa
Designing for Voice
Designing for Alexa or on other voice platforms requires special consideration of the new limitations, as well as abilities that differ between voice-enabled bots and text-based bots.
We recommend putting careful thought on the design of a good voice dialog on Alexa before proceeding with the actual writing of the script. For starters, think through the type of emotions you want the skill to evoke, as well as how to concisely communicate the content of your skill.
More resources on how to design for voice can be found on the Alexa docs.
Alexa makes use of an intent-based voice user interface. This means that spoken phrases are mapped to the phrases' meanings, known as intents. Upon receiving an intent from the user, Dexter executes on the actions required of that intent and return back the expected response to Alexa.
In simpler terms, if a user asks Alexa for the weather:
Alexa ask "weather skill" for today's weather in Brooklyn. This phrase may map to an intent called
GetWeatherIntent. A sample Dexter bot script might include a trigger that matches this intent and an associated response that you want the Alexa skill to say:
Using the intent in place of keywords is one of a few changes needed to craft a bot script on Dexter that works for Alexa skills.
To learn more about how to write an Alexa skill with Dexter, read our guide to Writing on Alexa.
Catch-All Mode (beta)
Dexter offers an experimental mode that lets you design using a keyword-based bot design, similar to our other platforms. This mode has been tested on private, non-public skills only.
To turn this mode on for a given bot, toggle the "Catch-All Mode" checkbox in the deploy process and follow the steps needed to copy the provided configuration into your Alexa skill console.
Learn more about how to write with Alexa Catch-All Mode turned on.