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Introduction to Feature Flags

Feature flags (also known as Feature toggles and Feature switches) are an essential part of the DevOps toolbox for continuous delivery.

Feature flags enable software organizations to reduce the risk and complexity of feature releases and, in turn, deploy more frequently to their end users. By allowing you to decouple rollouts from deployments, hide unfinished features, and enable or disable features for certain cohorts, feature flags give you full control over your releases–and who sees them.

This comprehensive guide to feature management will teach your team everything they need to know about leveraging a more modern development process, and getting features to your end users with ease. 

What actually is a feature flag?

At its most basic level, a feature flag is essentially an “if/then” statement in code. Developers wrap their code paths in these statements, and if the feature is enabled for a set of users, those users will see it. When a feature is disabled, it is not visible or available to users. 

Feature flags allow developers to gain more control over their code’s exposure as deployments are effectively decoupled from releases. Additionally, they allow devs to test new features on a smaller scale before rolling them out to their entire user base. If something goes wrong or there’s a bug in code, devs can simply toggle the feature off for the set of users it was released to and revert to the default experience. 

Thus, feature flags allow devs to ship more frequently and with greater confidence.

Teams like RBC, MagicMountain, and Heliolytics are utilizing our industry leading feature management solution to power their digital experiences. Click here to start today.