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Category Vision - Feature Flags

Feature Flags

Feature flags unlock faster, more agile delivery workflows by providing native support for feature flags directly into your development and delivery process.

Feature Flags is built with an Unleash-compatible API, ensuring interoperability with any other compatible tooling, and taking advantage of the various client libraries available for Unleash.

Interested in joining the conversation for this category? Please join us in our public epic where we discuss this topic and can answer any questions you may have. Your contributions are more than welcome.

What's Next & Why

Feature Flags is a very new feature. Our best first large customer is ourselves, so working with our Delivery team to enable the production use of our own feature flags platform is our first target. The first and foremost requirement shared by that team is to implement permissions gitlab-ee#8293.

Maturity Plan

This category is currently at the "Viable" maturity level, and our next maturity target is Complete (see our definitions of maturity levels). Key deliverables to achieve this are:

Competitive Landscape

Other feature flag products offer more comprehensive targeting and configuration. The simplicity of our solution is actually a strength compared to this in some cases, but there is some basic functionality still to add. The most glaring gap for anyone wanting to use our feature flags capability is surely that our product currently lacks the ability to implement % rollout, a very common use case for feature flags beyond toggling on/off. We plan to implement this feature via via gitlab-ee#8240.

There is a detailed LaunchDarkly comparison from when the project was first being conceived here.

Analyst Landscape

Analysts are recognizing that this sort of capability is becoming more a part of what's fundamentally needed for a continuous delivery platform, in order to minimize blast radius from changes. Often, solutions in this space are complex and hard to get up and running with, and they are not typically bundled or well integrated with CD solutions. It's also unclear how to get started.

This backs up our desire to not overcomplicated the solution space here, and highlights the need for guidance. gitlab-ee#9450 introduces new in-product documentation to help development and operations teams learn how to successfully adopt feature flags.

Top Customer Success/Sales Issue(s)

None yet, but feedback is welcome.

Top Customer Issue(s)

None yet, but feedback is welcome.

Top Internal Customer Issue(s)

Being able to control permissions gitlab-ee#8239 on a per-environment basis for feature flags is a key driver of adoption for our own production usage.

Delivery Team

Top Vision Item(s)

Our top vision item is to help people get started with feature flags. See the analyst section above for additional details.