Tester Management does not work for Alexa skills. Is there a way to have other people test the skill, without publishing it? I've developed something for the company I work for, and several people want to give it a test run to help fine tune it, before I submit it. Is this possible? Thanks, Toine
It depends on what sort of testing you want to do. You can do a wide variety of testing with the Echo Simulator in this project here:
https://github.com/jjaquinta/EchoSim That will help you test the logic and functionality of your skill. It won't help you test how well The Echo pronounces your text and recognizes your utterances. But anyone can test your skill. There's a web version here:
http://echosim.mybluemix.net/ Depending on how organized you want to be, there's a whole section on testing Echo skills in my book:
http://www.amazon.com/How-Program-Amazon-Echo-Development-ebook/dp/B011J6AP26 It's overkill if you just want to do some basic testing. But if you have a QA team that's struggling working out how to create a test plan for your skill, it should give you some good guidance. (It doesn't cover test suites, which is a new feature in EchoSim. But that will be in the next version of the book later this month.)
They've added some UI to the web page so that you can manually enter a string, and see the JSON result from your skill. Not unlike what EchoSim does. So if you pass out your account credentials people can manually enter in values. If you want to automate it, EchoSim is the better option. If you want hardware testing... there isn't anything on offer yet.
I can actually do this and as a matter of fact this is the best way to really test if Alexa can detect what you're saying. The first thing is to register a new Alexa Voice Service in your developer account. You can tell the tester to download the sample AVSApp. That's a Java application of the Alexa Voice Service that runs on PC and with a microphone you talk to Alexa and she responds just like an Echo.
https://developer.amazon.com/edw/res/download/AlexaVoiceServiceExamples.zip You'll need to understand it and modify the config.json of the javaclient. This application needs a token. The user have to authenticate using a web server that you have to code, and that web server makes an auth request to Amazon using your ID. That generates a token that the user has to copy/paste in the AVSApp. Then that user can test all your not published Skills using any PC with any OS and a microphone or a headset or whatever, or at least it should work like that. Haven't really tried with a different user... That's how I always have tested my skills. To me it's not a good idea to test typing what you're supposed to say, because when you test it on a real device, you'll then find out that Alexa is not as smart as you thought. EDIT: It's not as easy as it sounds. Make the AVSApp work means that you need to find and download all its dependencies, install VLC in your PC, etc. But once you have everything running is very very handy.