🤖 Easily test and debug Alexa skills programmatically
Latest commit 3904865 Nov 1, 2018



Virtual Alexa
Interact with skills intuitively and programmatically.

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Virtual Alexa

Virtual Alexa allows for interacting with skills programmatically.

The core Virtual Alexa API provides several routines - the three most essential ones:

* launch: Generates JSON for a launch request
* utter: Generates JSON as if the user said the given phrase  
* intend: Generates JSON as if the given intent was uttered  

Why Do I Need This?

This library allows for easy testing of skills.

You can use it for:

  1. Unit-testing - ensuring individual routines work correctly
  2. Regression testing - ensuring the code as a whole works properly

How Do I Get It?

npm install virtual-alexa --save-dev

How Do I Use It?

Easy! Just add a line of code like so:

const va = require("virtual-alexa");
const alexa = va.VirtualAlexa.Builder()
    .handler("index.handler") // Lambda function file and name
    .interactionModelFile("./models/en-US.json") // Path to interaction model file

alexa.utter("play").then((payload) => {
    console.log("OutputSpeech: " + payload.response.outputSpeech.ssml);
    // Prints out returned SSML, e.g., "<speak> Welcome to my Skill </speak>"

Our "canonical" full example is the Super Simple Unit Testing project.

Virtual Alexa With Promises

Here's a more in-depth example, in the form of a Jest unit test:

test("Plays once", (done) => {
    alexa.utter("get started").then((payload) => {
        expect(payload.response.outputSpeech.ssml).toContain("What is the search term for it");
        return alexa.utter("incorrect guess");

    }).then((payload) => {
        expect(payload.response.outputSpeech.ssml).toContain("Nice try");
        return alexa.utter("incorrect guess");

    }).then((payload) => {
        expect(payload.response.outputSpeech.ssml).toContain("That is not correct");
        return alexa.utter("incorrect guess");

    }).then((payload) => {


You can see the full example this is taken from here:

Virtual Alexa With Async/Await

And here is one that uses async/await (which makes it even more readable):

it("Accepts responses without dollars", async function () {
    const alexa = bvd.VirtualAlexa.Builder()
        .handler("index.handler") // Lambda function file and name
        .intentSchemaFile("./speechAssets/IntentSchema.json") // Uses old-style intent schema

    const launchResponse = await alexa.launch();
    assert.include(launchResponse.response.outputSpeech.ssml, "Welcome to guess the price");

    const playerOneResponse = await alexa.utter("2");
    assert.include(playerOneResponse.response.outputSpeech.ssml, "what is your name");
    assert.include(playerOneResponse.response.outputSpeech.ssml, "contestant one");

    const playerTwoResponse = await alexa.utter("john");
    assert.include(playerTwoResponse.response.outputSpeech.ssml, "what is your name");
    assert.include(playerTwoResponse.response.outputSpeech.ssml, "Contestant 2");

    const gameStartResponse =  await alexa.utter("juan");
    assert.include(gameStartResponse.response.outputSpeech.ssml, "let's start the game");
    assert.include(gameStartResponse.response.outputSpeech.ssml, "Guess the price");

    const priceGuessResponse = await alexa.utter("200");
    assert.include(priceGuessResponse.response.outputSpeech.ssml, "the actual price was");

This one is using Mocha (and Babel) - you can see the full example here:

And read all the docs here:

Using The Request Filter

The filter is a powerful tool for manipulating the request payloads that are made to your Alexa skill.

alexa.filter((requestJSON) => {
  // Do something with the request
  requestJSON.request.locale = "en-US" // Arbitrary example of changing the request payload

More info on using it here.

AudioPlayer Interface

We also support the AudioPlayer! Read more here.

Display Interface

We also support the Display Interface! Read more here.

Dialog Interface

NEW We also support the Dialog Interface. Read more here.

Mocking External Calls (Dynamo and Address API)

NEW We also support mocking external calls, such as ones made to the Address API and Dynamo. Read more here.

This allows for testing without relying on the actual calls, which are difficult if not impossible to configure for unit tests.

Entity Resolution

NEW We support the entity resolution request payloads. Read more here.

How Do I Talk To You?

Easy, you can open an issue here, or find us on our Gitter.

We are also on the Alexa Slack channel - @jpkbst, @jperata, @chrisramon and @ankraiza.

We look forward to hearing from you!