Creating an Invocation Name

Understand the rules behind creating memorable "Invocation Names" and create one for the project.

Rules to follow when picking invocation names

We already learned about the invocation name in the previous chapter; it is the name users say to launch our Skill. An invocation name is only used for a custom Skill. If we are creating a Skill using a pre-built model, there is no need to create an invocation name.

There are some guidelines that we must adhere to while picking up an invocation name for our Skill:

  • Our invocation name should be two or more words. The exceptions to this rule are names unique to a brand.

  • Invocation names can only contain lowercase alphabetic characters, periods, and apostrophes.

  • The name cannot infringe on the intellectual property of others. We can’t create a Skill called “McDonald’s,” “Reebok,” or “BMW” unless we have explicit permission from the respective brand to use their name.

  • The invocation name cannot only be the names of people or places, although they can be combined with other words. For example, we cannot have a Skill called “Stephen Hawking,” but we can have one called “Stephen Hawking Trivia” or “Stephen Hawking Quotes.”

  • If our invocation name is only two words, it can’t include articles like “the,” “a,” “an,” “for,” “to,” or “of.”

  • It cannot contain Alexa launch phrases like “ask,” "tell,” or “enable.” It also cannot contain wake words like “Alexa,” “Amazon,” or “Echo.”

  • We should separate acronyms like NBA and AWS using periods. So NBA should be spelled out as “n.b.a.” and AWS as “a.w.s.”

  • When testing with the simulator, numbers must be spelled out. The invocation name must be written in each language we intend to support.

One last important thing to note; once our Skill goes live, we cannot change the invocation name at all. We can change the Skill display name, the description, the logo, the intents, and the backend logic, but not the invocation name.

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