This tutorial shows you how to get started developing with bst for Alexa Skills Kit in Python using Flask-Ask.


Getting Started

We will use the tidepooler sample John provides in the Flask-Ask repo..

Clone the repo:

$ git clone

And jump to the root of the tidepooler sample:

$ cd flask-ask/samples/tidepooler/

and start the local server for the skill:

$ python

The tidepooler skill is now running on your local machine, listening on port 5000.

Start bst proxy

Open a new terminal and start the bst proxy:

$ bst proxy http 5000

where http is the protocol for the proxy and 5000 is the port the tidepooler skill server is listening on.

Configure your Skill

From the Alexa Skills Kit list within the Amazon Developer's Console:

Choose "Add a New Skill"

Fill out the Information tab

  • Give your skill a name and invocation phrase, "tidepooler" and "tidepooler" for example

Fill out the Interaction Model

  • Copy and paste the Intent Schema from here
  • Click "Add Slot Type", enter LIST_OF_CITIES as the type and copy and paste the values from here, click Save
  • Click "Add Slot Type", enter LIST_OF_STATES as the type and copy and paste the values from here, click Save
  • Copy and paste the Sample Utterances from here

Configure the Endpoint

When you started the proxy, bst printed out a URL that you need to configure your skill:

$ bst proxy http 5000
BST: v1.0.4  Node: v4.3.2

Your public URL for accessing your local service:
(Be sure to put in your real path and other query string parameters!)

INFO  2016-09-12T17:34:52.202Z Connected -

Also make sure you select "HTTPS" for the endpoint type and account linking is set to "NO".

Configure SSL

On the SSL Certificate page, select the middle radio button "My development endpoint is a subdomain of a domain that has a wildcard certificate from a certificate authority"


Now that you have the python server running, bst proxy running and your skill configured, it is time to test. In the Service Simulator on the Test tab, try typing in some of the following phrases:

get high tide
when is the next highest water for virginia beach
what cities are supported

We can also use the bst speak command to test locally instead of using the Service Simulator. In order to do this, you need to tell Flask-Ask to not verify the request signatures (which it does by default).

After line 55 of, insert the following line:

app.config['ASK_VERIFY_REQUESTS'] = False

Please Note: As mentioned in the documentation, this should be disabled for production.

Restart your python skill server and from a new terminal (make sure bst proxy is still running) at the root of the project run:

$ bst speak -i speech_assets/IntentSchema.json -s speech_assets/SampleUtterances.txt get high tide

You should see the request and then the response back from

You can even test with slots by including your slot value in brackets, for example:

$ bst speak -i speech_assets/IntentSchema.json -s speech_assets/SampleUtterances.txt when is the next highest water for {virginia beach}

Other Resources