Amazon releases Visual Studio Code Tool to Create Alexa Skills. The Amazon Alexa development team released an open-source extension for Visual Studio Code editor that will allow you to create and deploy Alexa Skills. Alexa skills are capabilities that can invoke the Amazon voice-activated virtual assistant. The new Alexa Skills Kit Toolkit for Visual Studio Code (beta), provides a single-stop shop for Alexa skill development. The team stated in a blog post that the ASK extension can be used to call the Alexa Skills Kit Command Line Interface(CLI) from Visual Studio Code. You can also see the results in an integrated terminal. This allows you to perform almost all skill development actions within Visual Studio Code. These actions include:

  • You can find ASK commands by entering “ASK” in the VS Code command palette
  • Alexa templates can be used to create a skill
  • Generate code snippets to support built-in intents and custom intents.
  • Identify errors in your JSON Schema
  • To view documentation, hover over a JSON object.
  • Submit a skill to be certified

The VS Code tool is built upon the Alexa Skills Kit. This collection of self-service APIs and tools, documentation and code samples makes it easy for developers to add skills and capabilities to Alexa. The team states that ASK allows developers, designers, and brands to create engaging skills and reach customers via tens of thousands of Alexa-enabled devices. ASK allows you to leverage Amazon’s pioneering work in voice design and knowledge. The installation and initialization are required for the VS Code extension. You can find more information about the tool in the documentation and a getting started guide. The source code for the open-source preview project is available on GitHub. The dev team invited developers to modify it and contribute to this community. The extension was installed 340 times at press time. It has received a perfect 5.0 rating by two developers who submitted reviews.