One Hour to your First Cortana Skill!


I caught today's project via the one and only Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew posts. If you only have time to read one post a day, Alvin's post should be it. Every weekend, he scours the web, arrogating the results into his must read posts...

Anyway... With interest in Cortana picking up, when I saw this post (and blog) I knew I had to share it with you.

First, the blog. There's a new Cortana Skills blog now available in the Microsoft Communities, Cortana Skills. Here, there's a few, but growing, posts on getting started with Cortana, one of which we're going to highlight today.

The funny'ish part is that it seems that in the one hour to a Cortana Skill, it looks like the first half is sign-up/administrative... lol

Getting Started: Building your first Cortana Skill using the Cortana Skills Kit in under an hour!

Okay, let's get started with blogs! And what better way to start than by showing how you can quickly get setup and create a Cortana Skill in under 60 minutes! All you need is access to a web browser, a phone number/credit card (just to verify identity, not charged) and familiarity with a programming language like C# or Node.JS.

If you don't know this already, Cortana Skills can be created by building a bot using the Microsoft Bot Framework and publishing it to the Cortana channel. You can check out the Cortana Skills Kit documentation to get a great overview of what Cortana Skills are, what they can do and how users can use them to get things done.

So, let's get started!

Step 1: Get a free Microsoft Account ...

Step 2: Get a free Azure account...

Step 3: Create a Bot using the Azure Bot Service...

Step 4: Add the Cortana channel to your bot...

Step 5: Invoke the Cortana Skill...

Step 6: And we are done!

That's it. We saw how to use free resources to quickly create a Cortana Skill and invoke it from Cortana on any device.

In subsequent blogs we will see the different ways Cortana Skills can be created using Bot Framework, how we can debug skills locally, test it with a group of users and finally how to publish the Skill for the millions of Cortana users in the US.

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