This section will give us an overview of the newest features and capabilities of Alexa and the different APIs of Alexa that can be leveraged for new functionalities to further enhance your Alexa skill.

Advanced features

There are a couple of essential features worth exploring to make a Skill more interactive and useful. We will briefly cover these. Feel free to explore these in detail as you progress towards building more advanced Skills.

Persistent attributes

Remember session attributes? Session attributes help us save and use helpful information within the session. What if we want to store and retrieve information across user sessions, though? This is where persistent attributes can help.

Persistent attributes are key-value pairs that can persist in a database (DynamoDB if you use ASK SDK). We can read/write this information as required by our Skill. For example, we could store a user’s high scores in Voice Clues as a persistent attribute and let them know their highest score when the game ends along with their score for the current session.

Dialog management

Dialog management is a feature of the Alexa Skills Kit that allows us to handle multi-turn conversations without writing a lot of code on the back-end. This reduces the effort required to make conversations flow smoothly between Alexa and the users of our Skill. With dialog management, we can delegate the dialog to Alexa when we have slots in a multi-turn conversation to collect. This causes Alexa to prompt the user for required slots. It can also validate whether the input is correct.

Alexa Skill APIs

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