When building skills for the Alexa Skills Kit, we kept running into a major inconvenience. To test our code, we needed to first package it, then upload it to AWS. This was a major drag when we were developing skills, especially if we wanted to work with actual requests and responses as they would come from Alexa – either via the Service Simulator or an Echo device.
We are excited to release a tool we use internally to help with this issue, bst proxy.
Using bst proxy and the bst proxy service (or you can deploy and host your own), you can now interact with your Alexa Skill from an actual device while you develop. You can see the requests and responses in real time and make updates on your machine without needing to redeploy every change.
First install the CLI with NPM:
$ npm install -g bespoken-tools
You can use the proxy in two ways, with a server running locally on a port:
$ bst proxy http 9999
or with a Node.js Lambda:
$ bst proxy lambda index.js
Run the command and update your skill to point to the proxy service with the URL that is printed:
Now you can edit your Alexa skill and test the updates in real time.
We are working on more functionality, so make sure you stay connected.