AlexaDev Tuesday: Alexa Literal Slot Deprecation

Publication Date: 11/29/16 – Last week Amazon announced the Literal slot type in the Alexa interaction model is being deprecated.




On 11/25/16, Amazon Senior Alexa Evangelist Michael Palermo shared this:

We’ve been listening to your feedback for Alexa feature requests and questions. As such, this post provides details around the deprecation of literal slots. By the time you finish reading this post, you will see it doesn’t matter that the LITERAL slot type is going away because it already has a better replacement: custom slot types.

Before we get into the details, it’s clear that the community needs more time to experiment with custom slot types and to make the transition. So, we’re moving the LITERAL deprecation date for US skills to Feb 6th 2017. From the beginning, custom slot types (and not LITERAL) have been the solution in the UK or Germany.

Slots let you to build interaction models and pass phrases from the user to your skill. Amazon provides a set of built-in slot types that cover common things like numbers, names, and dates. Custom slot types go beyond these to enable support for the scenarios that you’ve chosen to build. They are a superset of the LITERAL slot type that we’re deprecating.

Click here to read Palermo’s full post, which goes on to describe the three most typical use cases for the Literal slot type and how a Custom slot type can be used to the same or even better effect. Sample code is included.


Going forward in Alexa development, wherever you’d use a Literal slot in the past you should now go with the Custom slot type.