Amazon has launched the beta of a Python SDK designed to make it easier to work with Alexa responses and requests. The Python version has the same features as the existing SDKs for Java and Node.js.
The SDK is intended for Python developers who want to add voice experiences using Alexa and the extensive Python support libraries and tools.
Apps incorporating Alexa involve building an Alexa skill. Under the covers, this means you provide a cloud-based service that receives JSON requests sent by Alexa, and returns a JSON response that Alexa then uses to respond to the user. The SDKs can be used to handle requests, to build responses, to manage attributes, and to make Alexa API calls.
The request handling gives you the choice of what code should be invoked when Alexa sends a request, either a single handler for multiple Alexa intents, or different handlers based on Alexa request attributes. The ASK SDK also has flexible handler registration, so you can choose whether to use decorators or traditional class-based implementations of handler features.
The response building features can be used to create and deliver a variety of responses including text-to-speech and audio and video streams. You can also send cards and other visual elements. The response that is actually received by the end user of your app will depend on the type of Alexa-compatible device they are using.
The SDK also lets you manage attributes, storing and retrieving information at different scopes using Attributes in the SDK. Attributes can be used to keep track of what happened so far, and to use this information to determine what happens next. You can define attributes that for a single request, for a single customer session, or for the lifetime of your skill.
The final part of the SDK is the ability to call nearly any Alexa API from within your skill logic using service clients in the SDK. The service clients automatically inject relevant endpoint and authentication token information on your behalf.
The SDK comes with samples and documentation, and Alexa skills created using it can be hosted in AWS Lambda or the infrastructure of your choice.
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