Video Transcript

Hey, this is Steve with Dabble Lab.  In this video, I’m going to show you how to build a simple skill using skill templates and this is one video that I’m going to do in a series of videos on different skill templates.

I’m trying to create a site that has templates that make it really easy for you to get up and going with skills that provide different functionality so you can either use the templates to build as a starting point to build onto skills or just use the templates to learn how to build skills.

So let me jump into it.  If you want to get notified when new templates come out, go to  Just got a few templates right now but I’ll be adding to it as the year unfolds.  So here’s how it works.  Well, actually first of all, you need a couple of things for this to work.  You can go to Skill Templates and go to Getting Started and this will give you more details about what you need to use the templates.

Basically, you need an Amazon Web Services account that you can get from; a developer account that you can get from; and then you’ll also need the Alexa Skills Kit-Command Line Interface, the ASK-CLI.  And again, you can get the details on how to get that stuff if you don’t have it by going to skill and then getting started.

But once you have that installed, you can use a skill template by using the Command Line Interface, the Alexa Command Line Interface to create a new skill project.  And the way you do that is to use the ask command, ask new.  And then template, like that, and then the URL to the skill templates, list of templates, available templates and that URL is, just like that and I’ll zoom that in little bit so you can see that.

When you do that it’s going to pull down a like I said, of available templates; and right now, there’s just a few of them.  I did a video on the API starter template last week and this week I probably should have started with the basic starter.  But this week I’m going to do the basic starter, so you would select the basic starter template, like this.  And that is going to pull all the code and everything that you need from GitHub repository and create a folder in the folder directory that you ran the command in called basic-starter, just like this.

Everything that you need to deploy the skill is there right now, so you can just change into that directory; so basic, like that.  And then there is a deploy command that you can use to deploy the skill which would push it out to the Alexa Developer portal and then the backend would get pushed out to the Amazon Web Services, the Lambda Function being pushed out to the Amazon Web Services and the skill will be functional at that point.  I’ll show you that in just a second here.

This skill is based on the default template that comes with the ASK-CLI, the Alexa Skills Kit-CLI, so it’s just a simple hello world skill.  The one on Skill Templates has been modified a little bit mostly to include some things that you would want to or you would need to have to publish the skill, so like your icon URLs and your URLs to your terms of use, privacy policy.  So you can go into skill.json here and modify all the stuff, the descriptions and the name and all of that before you deploy if you want to actually get it ready to go live.

You can also the model down here and you can change the invocation name.  So right now I’ve got it as hello world template but let me just deploy it in and show you what’s happening.  So we’ll go back down here and go ask deploy.  And like I said, this is going to push it this out to the developer console and deploy the lambda function.  While that’s happening, we’ll go and log in over here to  If you don’t have one of these accounts, you can set one up.  You can sign up for free.  And once you’re logged in, you’re going to go to the developer console here.  Let’s try that again.

o to the Alexa Menu and then the Alexa Skills Kit and you’ll see once it deploys, the basic starter, which is this one here and I deployed one earlier, so this is another one.  But this is the one that we’ve just deployed.  And everything is ready to go.  So once the Lambda Function has been deployed, we can log into, check to make that is deployed and then we will test it out.

So going to the Lambda into and then go to lambda which – just type lambda or go to the menu.  This should be deployed now.  So there’s our functions deployed.  So we should be ready to go.  So let’s go test it out.  So we’ll go back over here and then go to back into the developer console and you can go test here and then enable testing.  And then from the — we’ll use the new test simulator here.

From the test simulator, you go to the test simulator and remember the name that we used was the basic starter about the invocation name was hello world template.  So we’ll go back over here and test it and we’ll just hit open hello world template.

Alexa:  Hello world.

And there it is.  So in just a couple of keystrokes from the command line, we pull down the starter template and deploy it.  And now we have a functional skill.  Of course at this point, you’ll probably want to go modify it and redeploy it.  So you can go into the code that was pulled down as part of the template and go into lambda and then custom and then the Lambda Function code is here.  And you can modify this and get familiar with that.  And then again, the configurations for the skill manifest or all of the settings that you see in the developer console are all set with this skill.json here.

And so that is a really simple way to get going with a Skill Template.  Again, this is almost exactly like the one that is included if you just do ask new.  But Skill Templates also has some other templates that you can use that provide a little bit more functionality.  So hopefully, this was helpful.  If you have any questions or comments, you can leave those and I will respond just as soon as possible.  Thanks so much.