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Alexa Skills and Azure Functions

Echo DotI got an Amazon Echo Dot for Christmas and it’s pretty great. Amazon seems to have hit on the perfect storm of functionality, extensibility, and price point. It works well and it’s fun to use. The Dot dominated the market this holiday season. I’m sure I'm not the only one though that looks into the Alexa Skills catalog and is underwhelmed. As a developer that excites me and makes this an even more compelling platform.

If I were all in on the Amazon stack, I’m sure there may be some long term benefits to building these skills in AWS. However, I develop enterprise software in my day job. Since I’m C# & Azure developer, that’s where I prefer to stand up my code. I’ll also point out that most of the examples I’ve come across are geared toward JavaScript and NODE, which is a great platform, but not really my thing.

Azure FunctionsI’ve been excited about Azure Functions since I first heard about them and I’ve been looking for an excuse to use them. One of my challenges as an enterprise focused developer is figure out how this new functionality fits into currently stable environments. The bulk of the Azure Functions documentation points to editing and saving function code directly in your browser. That doesn’t make me feel safe at all and I can’t imagine trying to justify that to any client.

Over the next few articles, I’ll be learning about and creating some Alexa Skills and looking at how we can get stable processes for code promotion on Azure Functions.

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Posted: 2/9/2017 7:00:00 AM by Ryan Miller | with 0 comments