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Development teams are embracing the possibilities of toggling mechanisms to decouple deployment from release and control access to new code. If you are all about moving fast and breaking things, you will love a feature flag as a service solution. In all seriousness, deployments are complex and risky endeavors, particularly for teams managing applications with large user bases. Without the necessary safeguards in place, it's a recipe for disaster.

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From lost productivity to frustrated customers, the ramifications of a failed deployment can be significant. This guide will explore how you can leverage a feature flag as a service solution to mitigate the risks of deployments and radically streamline the development process

What is a feature flag as a service solution?

Feature flagging enables development teams to deploy software updates to users without delay. Developers are often reluctant to push boundaries and experiment with code due to the risks associated with broken functionality. Using feature flags, teams can safely push code changes to a production environment and disable them with the flip of a switch should something go wrong. This means your team can ship features early and get feedback from users without compromising the stability of your application. If your team is rightly cautious about pushing code to production, a feature flag as a service solution can help you take a more iterative approach to development.

Unexpected bugs are the bane of any development team's existence. When a shiny new feature is released to users, it's not unusual for unforeseen issues to crop up. In the past, this would have meant reverting code changes and redeploying the previous version of your application. With a feature flag, you simply disable the problematic feature (by isolating it away from the main code) and iron out any issues before re-enabling it at a later date.

Why do you need a feature flag as a service solution?

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A dedicated feature flag service comes equipped with all the tools you need to manage your feature flags and safely ship code changes. Here are just a few benefits of using a feature flag as a service solution:

  • Create and manage feature flags from a centralized location.
  • Easily control which users have access to specific features.
  • Allow team members to enable and disable features.

Let's break these benefits down in more detail.

Create and manage feature flags from a centralized location

Rather than navigating through different code files to find the feature flags, a feature flag as a service solution enables you to manage all of your flags in one centralized location. This not only saves time but also makes it easier to keep track of which features are enabled and disabled. If you are utilizing multiple feature flags at any given time, it's important to easily manage them from a single location. Easily control which users have access to specific features Feature flagging tools can allow you to segment your users and control which ones have access to specific features.

If you want to test a new feature with a select group of users, you can easily do so without affecting the rest of your user base. By doing this, you are isolating the risk of a broken feature and can quickly roll back changes if necessary. This is an immensely valuable way to gather user feedback and ensure that new features are ready for prime time before rolling them out to the entire user base.

Allow team members to enable and disable features

Centralizing your feature flags through a user-friendly platform allows team members from different departments to enable and disable features. For instance, if a member of your sales team wants to enable a particular feature for a customer, they can easily do so without having to involve the development team. Despite the tremendous power of a feature flagging platform, these are easy to navigate through.

ConfigCat is a feature flag service that takes 10 minutes to learn.
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How difficult is it to build a feature flagging framework?

Even though it's possible to build your own feature flagging solution in-house, it's far easier (and more cost-effective) to leverage a feature flag as a service solution. For example, with ConfigCat, you can get up and running in minutes without a single line of code. Not only is it simple to get started, but ConfigCat also offers a wide range of features to help you manage your feature flags effectively.

Can you safely push unfinished features without feature flags?

With continuous delivery, incomplete features are typically included in every deployment. This makes feature flagging critical to the success of your release process. If you're not utilizing feature flags, you are essentially forced to push out changes to the entire user base that may not be ready for production.

Using ConfigCat, you can have confidence in your releases by controlling which users can access unfinished features. Launch features and change software configuration without code deployment. Try ConfigCat without signing up today! The most lovable feature flag service... ever.


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