Developers love automated testing and deployment, but up until recently, it has not been possible for voice apps. Luckily, with Bespoken’s suite of tools, first-class automation and testing are now achievable! We took one of our homegrown skills and used our new Virtual Device SDK for end-to-end tests, along with our unit-testing tools, and have turned it into a showcase for best practices for Alexa skill testing and automation.
We are very pleased to announce our Validation feature is available in Beta on the Bespoken Dashboard. You now have the power to run automated testing for your Alexa Skills – and you can do it all without talking!
With Validation, you can create a sequence of tests for Alexa by just typing. These tests are then automatically run against the actual Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and your skill. It’s magical, it’s extremely useful for ensuring voice app performance, and it goes great with our new bst speak command as well as our Virtual Device SDK. They all rely on the same underlying technology to make testing Alexa easier than ever.
At Bespoken, we strive to eat our own dog food. And to that end, we had a recent hackathon to build our own Alexa skills. I decided to build a fun game, based on the show “The Price Is Right” – it shows you an item and asks you to guess how much it costs. I’m submitting it now – I hope you enjoy it once it is launched!
As part of the core development team, I was able to use our manual and automated testing tools to create my skill quickly, rapidly iterating through develop, test and debug cycles. Now I’m going to show you how I did it, and why I think it gave me an unfair advantage in creating a great skill, fast.
We are excited about our new speak command, which allows Alexa developers to interact directly with Alexa from the command-line as if they are talking to it with their voice. It uses the real AVS (Alexa Voice Service), and behaves like a real device.
With it, you can easily step through an Alexa skill, using the REAL interactions coming from Alexa. A quick illustration on how our proxy works:
Monitoring works with either HTTP-based or Lambda-based voice apps, and regularly pings your service to ensure that it is alive and responding in a timely fashion.
Any issues, and you will get an email alert immediately. It’s easy to setup, and works in tandem with our already in-depth logging features.