Book Image

Hands-On Chatbot Development with Alexa Skills and Amazon Lex

By : Sam Williams
Book Image

Hands-On Chatbot Development with Alexa Skills and Amazon Lex

By: Sam Williams

Overview of this book

Have you ever wondered how Alexa apps are made, how voice-enabled technologies work, or how chatbots function? And why tech giants such as Amazon and Google are investing in voice technologies? A better question is: why should I start developing on these platforms? Hands-On Chatbot Development with Alexa Skills and Amazon Lex covers all features of the Alexa Skills kit with real-world examples that help you develop skills to integrate Echo and chatbots into Facebook, Slack, and Twilio with the Amazon Lex platform. The book starts with teaching you how to set up your local environment and AWS CLI so that you can automate the process of uploading AWS Lambda from your local machine. You will then learn to develop Alexa Skills and Lex chatbots using Lambda functions to control functionality. Once you’ve come to grips with this, you will learn to create increasingly complex chatbots, integrate Amazon S3, and change the way Alexa talks to the user. In the concluding chapters, we shift our focus to Amazon Lex and messaging chatbots. We will explore Alexa, learn about DynamoDB databases, and add cards to user conversations. By the end of this book, you will have explored a full set of technologies that will enable you to create your own voice and messaging chatbots using Amazon.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)

Creating the best local development environment

As we've already seen, there are some brilliant aspects of writing Lambdas locally, which is why we are going to use it throughout this book. We're going to choose an IDE and install NodeJS and NPM before setting up a folder structure for our Lambdas. Finally, we'll use the AWS CLI and Git to create awesome tools to get rid of the normal disadvantages of working locally.

Choosing an IDE

Which IDE you use is down to personal preference; there are a few great ones out there, including Atom, Komodo, and Brackets. If you already have a personal favorite then you can use that, but all of the examples will use Visual Studio Code (VS Code).

VS Code is an open source IDE...