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what is Amazon using as a user-agent string for their Alexa feed fetcher?

All of the TTS skills I've published aren't updating each morning with fresh headlines, because our CMS platform (which powers the feed) looks at the user-agent string and only permits specific ones/types to refresh the cache (this is so third-parties don't hammer them). So basically, it's caching yesterday's content because it thinks the Alexa fetch/call is a bot. It does eventually update later in the day, each day (usually) but it's almost always 24hrs old every morning.

So, our dev team wants to know what Amazon is using as a "user-agent string" for their Alexa feed fetcher, so we can force our feed to update with fresh content whenever a user invokes the skill. Thoughts?

alexa skills kitflash briefingtext-to-speech
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Brian@Amazon answered

I've confirmed that the useragent can't be relied upon as an identifier as our service, and I'm looking into other means of identifying our service.

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We've taken note of this request, although as per above useragent cannot be used.

In general, we would also not advise using useragent strings to control access, as they can be spoofed.

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Hi Brian@Amazon, I work with the CMS in question - can you contact me so we can try to work on a solution? We would be happy to identify the Alexa feed fetcher via other means such as IP range. cmasters "at" townnews.com.

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There isn't a defined range per se. If you'd like to ask a question privately, use https://developer.amazon.com/public/support/contact/contact-us

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kathykolb answered

Same problem here. So what do you suggest? I have no control over my CMS platform, so I can't turn user agent control access off. Please advise.

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See if your dev team can identify from the logs which IP address belongs to the Amazon service and whitelist the entire range it's using. Not perfect but it's something.

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