Upgrading to the new ASK SDK for Java

This year amazon released a new SDK for Java development of Alexa skills and it required me to rewrite pretty much all of my code from scratch. That meant going back to the beginning and rethinking how my applications would work.

In general, it forced me to re-evaluate my plan of action for building new skills and test out a lot of technologies I had only skirted the edges of before. This new SDK also meant I would be able to add new things to my skills:

  1. Payments - The new SKD has the monetization client built in, which meant I would be able to play around with the java monetization features.
  2. Gadgets - This is one that I haven't spent a lot of time with but I would love to implement into my skills.
  3. Visuals - There are quite a few built in templates this time around so I am looking forward to trying those out.

It also streamlined a lot of other features that are built into the system, including the <speak> tags and the build process for responses. All in all, it took me quite a bit of getting used to but I am really liking the changes. I've even been working to implement the CanFulfillIntent features that are built into the new system and hoping to make sense of them.

For the most part, my skills have been getting failed responses when I submit with the new features, so it's been a learning process for sure of understanding how the responses should work. Right now my newest agenda item is reworking The Dark Citadel from scratch to make it a more fleshed out game. This has been handled in large part by the other thing I've learned how to do, which is entity resolution.

So, back to work rewriting and I'll give some updates about my custom skills as new things are added!


Lincoln Cole

Lincoln Cole is a Columbus-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different parts of the world, including Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his pugamonster and wife. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to anyone who will listen.

He has won multiple literary awards for his novels. He has also been a bestseller in multiple different categories.