Andi® provides you with a set of built-in capabilities, referred to as skills. The Andi® Skills Kit (ASK) lets you write new Andi® skills. The first step in building a new skill is to set up your Andi® Skills Kit Development Environment.
In this Article
- Installing Visual Studio Code
- Installing the Andi® Skills Kit (ASK)
- Installing the latest version of the Andi® Skills Kit Extension
Installing Visual Studio Code
First, using windows explorer, create and set up a folder in your files – this will be your Andi® Skills Work folder, where the Andi® Skills you write will be stored locally. You only need to make the root folder; the ASK Extension install will populate the working folder with the appropriate sub-folders and content.
Next install node.js
- Go to https://nodejs.org/en
- Download and install the latest LTS Version which consists of node.js and npm.
- To test if node.JS is correctly installed, open a command window (windows/start/search for ‘cmd’), then type Node –v. Test is successful if you see a version number as the response.
- To test if NPM is correctly installed,open a command window (windows/start/search for ‘cmd’), then type NPM –v. Test is successful if you see a version number as the response.
Next, install Visual Studio Code (VSCode)
- Go to https://code.visualstudio.com/Download
- Download and install the latest version of Visual Studio Code (version 1.20.0 and above) for your operating system.
If you are unable to install Visual Studio Code version 1.20.0 and above
If you are unable to install Visual Studio Code version 1.20.0 and above, therefore not compatible to install Andi® Skills Kit Extension Vsix file 1.30.0, then you will need to install the prior version of Andi® Skills Kit Extension Vsix file 1.23.0 from the Skills Manager.
With Andi® Skills Kit Extension Vsix file 1.23.0 you can continue to deploy your skills to Andi® but there is an additional security step that you must follow. You must download and refresh the Andi® security token every twelve (12) hours from your Skills Manager.
Upon successful login to your Andi® Skills Manager account, obtain your security token by going to the menu bar, selecting Builder, and then select Get Token under Integrated Development Environment Setup on the Resources tab. This will start downloading the security token json file necessary for using the Andi® Skills Kit Extension Vsix file 1.23.0 in your Visual Studio Code IDE. Once the download is complete, move the token file to your Andi® Skills Work folder.
The askconfig.json is necessary to access Andi® Skills Extension Vsix file in your Visual Studio Code IDE. For security purposes, the askconfig.json file is valid for only 12 hours. After 12 hours, you must log-in to your Skills Manager and re-download a new askconfig.json – it is easiest to replace the previously used json file each time a new one is downloaded.
Installing the Andi® Skills Kit (ASK)
Next, install the ASK Extension Vsix file
- As of writing, the ASK Extension Vsix file has not been released publicly on the Visual Studio Extension Marketplace. For now, all users with Skills Manager access can download the ASK Extension Vsix file from their Skills Manager.
- In the skills manager, select Builder in the menu bar. Then go to the Downloads tab and select Download Latest Version, as shown in the image below.
- Once you have downloaded the ASK Extension Vsix file, make sure to move it into your Andi® Skills Work Folder.
Next Open VSCode, then open the Extensions tab found on the left-side menu of vertical icons. (marked with green box in screenshot below)
- Open the More menu, displayed as three bullets in the top right of the Extensions tab. (marked with green box in screenshot below)
- In the menu, click Install from VSIX… and choose the Andi® Vsix file in your Andi® Skills Work Folder.
- Once the installation is complete, VSCode will prompt you to reload the application – click Reload Now.
- You should now see “Andi® Skills Kit” in the Installed section of the Extensions tab. (shown in screenshot below)
- In the top left corner of Visual Studio Code, open the File menu, then click Open Folder. Choose your Andi® Skills Work Folder – this will allow Visual Studio Code to manage your workspace according to the skills you write for your application. You may also select Explorer from the vertical menu bar followed by Open Folder to do the same.
- Within Visual Studio Code, open the appropriate Skills Work folder: If the default folder is not the correct working folder or you are using Visual Studio Code for the first time, you must ensure the correct folder is open.
a. Close the current folder if necessary (File/Close Folder)
b. Open the appropriate working folder (File/Open Folder…)
- When opening the folder for the first time, you will see the following:
Expand ANDI® SKILL KIT in the VS Code Explorer pane (if not already expanded). Then, select Create New Andi® Skills Project.
Then, select Sign in to Andi®, following the steps described here.
After you sign in, your Skills folder, for example, "ANDIDEV BANK", will contain the file structure for writing skills. If you don't see your folder, you may need to open it again as described above.
Warning: Because the ASK Extension Vsix is directly managing the sub-directories and files in your Andi® Skills Work Folder, manually-made changes in your work folder such as the creation of extra sub-directories may cause the ASK Extension Vsix to fail.
Installing the latest version of the Andi® Skills Kit Extension
Anytime enhancements are released to the Andi® Skills developer environment, you will need to download a new Andi® Skills Kit Extension Vsix file.
1. In the skills manager, click on the Build tab. Then go to the Downloads tab and under Download Andi® Skills Kit, select Download Latest Version and save the Vsix file to any location on your hard drive.
2. Uninstall Previous Vsix from your IDE in Visual Studio Code: Ignore this step for first time installs. Before installing new versions of the ASK extension, you must first un-install the previous version:
a. Open Visual Studio Code.
b. Navigate to Extensions panel (View/Extensions, or click Extensions tile on left side panel)
c. On the Extensions panel, within the left pane section titled Enabled click the Andi® Skills Kit extension.
d. Click the Uninstall button on the Andi® Skills Kit pane.
3. Install new VSIX: Click the three little dots in upper right corner of Extensions panel, then select Install from VSIX… Select the Vsix file you previously downloaded, and click the Install button. This process will take a few minutes. Verify the version number updated after install.