Feature flags solutions research

A short analysis of feature flag solutions.
January 15, 2024
Technology
Productivity

We analysed multiple feature flag solutions and use multiple criteria to narrow down our candidates. We are a small, fully remote team.

Apptimize

Site: https://apptimize.com/?r=mwf

Support TS/JS: Yes

Support BE & FE: Yes

A/B Testing: It supports A/B testing

https://apptimize.com/docs/abexperiments.html

Experiments supports Jira, so Jira can be utilized as well as updated from experiments

Feature Flag Management:

Supports Feature Flag management where, a feature can be switched on or off if needed or not

https://apptimize.com/docs/featureflags/setup.html

Support for Analytics: Yes

https://apptimize.com/docs/abexperiments/results.html#results

Analytics are driven by result Goals, give the system possible solutions, and it analyses based on the goal expectations.

Segmentation and Filteration

Events & Funnel https://apptimize.com/docs/additional-features/events-and-funnels.html

Data Exporting https://apptimize.com/docs/additional-features/data-exporting.html

Price Plan: No stated price plan

https://apptimize.com/plans/

Special Feature:

Very convenient for mobile applications.

It has proper documentation for feature flag setup, allocation and targeting

It supports cross platforms Client-Side - Mobile/Web SDKs (Android, iOS, JavaScript)

Server-Side SDKs (Python, Node.js)

Instant Updates https://apptimize.com/docs/instant-updates.html

Preview Groups https://apptimize.com/docs/additional-features/preview-groups.html

Pilot Users https://apptimize.com/docs/additional-features/pilot-users.html

Flagship

https://www.flagship.io/?r=prd-ffs

Support TS/JS: Yes

Support BE & FE: Yes

A/B Testing: A/B testing for agile teams

There is no much information about testing though

Feature Flag Management: Support Feature flags & Toggle.

It uses Decision API as an engine to Flagship which is available on AWS API Gateway

Support for Analytics: Yes

With Flagship, analytics can be integrated with Mixpanel https://docs.developers.flagship.io/docs/integrate-with-mixpanel and Segment https://docs.developers.flagship.io/docs/integrate-with-segmentcom

Price Plan: No stated price plan

https://www.flagship.io/pricing/

Special Feature: It support webhooks for custom integration based on a feature state and flag state https://docs.developers.flagship.io/docs/webhooks-integrations

Flagship supports Remote Control API https://docs.developers.flagship.io/reference/getting-started

Its supports Test in Production

Instant Updates

Smart Decision API

Kill Switch

Split

https://www.split.io/?r=prd-ffs

Support TS/JS: Yes

Support BE & FE: Yes

A/B Testing: Splits power A/B tests in both BE and FE. Turning every feature you develop into an A/B test.

https://www.split.io/solutions/a-b-testing/  

Feature Flag Management: Split provides everything you need to create, target, and manage feature flags. It ties feature flags to your engineering and customer data.

https://www.split.io/product/feature-flags/

misbehaves. And we calculate the impact of your code on customer outcomes.

Support for Analytics: Since it has external integrations, test data and result are exported to  analytic services like segment etc.

Price Plan: It has a free account, providing some unlimited services

https://www.split.io/signup/

Special Feature: A data hub for features like google analytics, segment, sentry, jira, datadog, sumo logic etc.

It supports continuous delivery

Test in production

Molasses

https://www.molasses.app/?r=prd-ffs

Support TS/JS: Yes

Support BE & FE: Yes

A/B Testing: A/B testing is supported

Feature Flag Management: Its supported

Support for Analytics: no much information on this

Price Plan: It has Free package, $50/month package and $200/month package. Read for details

Special Feature: Detailed audit logs to give details behind a feature change plus alert notification

Flagsmith

https://flagsmith.com/?r=prd-ffs

Support TS/JS: Yes

Support BE & FE: Yes

A/B Testing: It supports A/B testing

https://docs.flagsmith.com/advanced-use/ab-testing

Feature Flag Management: Flagsmith provides an all-in-one platform for developing, implementing, and managing your feature flags.

It also supports multi-variate flags

https://docs.flagsmith.com/basic-features/managing-features

Support for Analytics: Flag Analytics allow you to track how often individual Flags are evaluated within the Flagsmith SDK.

https://docs.flagsmith.com/advanced-use/flag-analytics

You can also integrate third party analytic integrations for comprehensive analysis

https://docs.flagsmith.com/integrations/mixpanel

https://docs.flagsmith.com/integrations/segment

Price Plan: Detailed pricing plan

https://flagsmith.com/pricing/

Special Feature: Its can be used for crossplatforms

It has additional features like change requests, Edge API, Edge Proxy, Flag Management, Role based Access Control, Scheduled Flags, System Administration

https://docs.flagsmith.com/

Webhook integrations are supported for custom configuration

https://docs.flagsmith.com/integrations/webhook

There are more integrartions like Amplitude, AppDynamics, Datadog, Dynatrace, Heap Analyticd, New Relic, Rudderstack, Slack and Terraform.

https://docs.flagsmith.com/integrations/overview

It can also be deployed on Docker, Kubernetes, AWS, Google Cloud, Openshift etc

https://docs.flagsmith.com/deployment/overview

Optimizely

https://www.optimizely.com/

Support TS/JS: Yes, they have fullstack sdk

Support BE & FE: Yes

A/B Testing: A/B testing, Multi armed bandit and Stats acceleration, Mutual exception groups, Allowlisting

Feature Flag Management: Has online mgt system, supports graceful rollout and rollback, pause. Can separate experiments by different env. Adjust params of the experiment at runtime.

Support for Analytics: Has support of major analytics

Segment, amplitude, mixpanel

https://docs.developers.optimizely.com/experimentation/v3.1.0-full-stack/docs/set-up-analytics-platforms

Price Plan: I found that online

https://splitbase.com/blog/optimizely-pricing

Looks expensive

Special Feature: Advanced work with target audience https://docs.developers.optimizely.com/experimentation/v3.1.0-full-stack/docs/target-audiences

Has internal stats engine that allows to observe and interprete results of experiments

https://docs.developers.optimizely.com/experimentation/v3.1.0-full-stack/docs/analyze-results

can export events and all related data

it’s possible to setup experiments both from code and mgt ui

provide sdk agent for microservices architecture https://docs.developers.optimizely.com/experimentation/v3.1.0-full-stack/docs/optimizely-agent

LaunchDarkly

https://launchdarkly.com/

Atlassian uses them.

Support TS/JS: Yep, anything

Support BE & FE: Yes

A/B Testing: A/B testing, feature flags, Multiarmed bandit. Custom algorithm experiments.

Feature Flag Management: https://docs.launchdarkly.com/home/flags

Online system for organizing and managing flags. Has all kinds of features, turn on/off, link to other flags in order to trigger, etc. provides debugging capabilities (streaming flags usage in realtime), custom settings per env

Support for Analytics: Surprisingly, but exporting data is comparatevily bleak

https://docs.launchdarkly.com/home/data-export

However, segment is supported, but for enterprise customer.

Price Plan: Looks affordable

https://launchdarkly.com/pricing/?r=prd-ffs

Pro plan is nice

Special Feature: Provides scheduling, a planned activation/deactivation. Has approvals flow, that can prevent unchecked experiments from being exposed.

Integration with Teams, Slack, it allows observing experiments mgmt. Api for triggerring an experiment.

DevCycle

https://devcycle.com/features/feature-flags

Support TS/JS: No typescript , but has JS SDK

Support BE & FE: Both client side and server side SDK

A/B Testing: A/B testing, feature flags, multiarm bandit. Variable features

Feature Flag Management: Standard Dashboard with 4 patterns of feature flags (by Martin Flowler standard)

Support for Analytics: They have something internal, called feature reach. U can also create custom metrics in their dashboard.

https://docs.devcycle.com/docs/home/feature-management/features-and-variables/metrics-and-analysis/feature-flag-reach

Apart from that they store user data in edgeDB and insist, that we are free to do whaterver we wnat with it. At least i found integration with Zapier.

Price Plan: Seems reasonable, I don't expect it to be more than 50 dollars a month. Not to mention they have a free plan for a single dev.

Special Feature: Nice examples of integration with serverless

Custom targeting rules per each experiment.

Experiments can be divided by environments (3 from the start) Very flexible variation constructor that allows custom set of props and values per each experiment.

They have real-time system to track feature flags changes. Their sdk support it.

Integrations with github and jira, that show you what feature flags being used in the project.

CloudBees

https://www.cloudbees.com

Support TS/JS: Has both JS and TS

Support BE & FE: Yes, both FE and back-end

A/B Testing: Feature flags, A/B and feature releases. No complex scenarios.

Feature Flag Management: This is a platform based on Jenkins. So this tool not only for feature flags but for CI/CD as well. Visusally not friendly. https://docs.cloudbees.com/docs/cloudbees-feature-management/latest/feature-flags/about-feature-flags . Stop, freeze, approve - all those actions are availble.

Capable of dual way configuration: create flag from UI or declare it in yml file of your repo.

Support for Analytics: They have own metric collection and visualization system in cloudbees, but insist that we can send it anywhere

Price Plan: This is kinda tasty, they have free plan for teams like ours

https://www.cloudbees.com/c/feature-management-free-trial-sign-up

Special Feature: Integration with Jira, github, Teams and Slack

https://docs.cloudbees.com/docs/cloudbees-feature-management/latest/integration/teams

Have special mode for testing locall or during e2e tests

https://docs.cloudbees.com/docs/cloudbees-feature-management/latest/debugging/microservices-automated-testing-and-local-development

GrowthBook

https://www.growthbook.io

Support TS/JS: Yes

Support BE & FE: Yes, backend and frontend is supported

A/B Testing: Feature flags, A/B testing

Feature Flag Management: Growthbook UI creates and manages the Features and experminents. Those items are metadata that can be accessible via API or synchronized by webhooks as a JSON file. https://app.growthbook.io/

https://docs.growthbook.io/overview

Support for Analytics: They have inhouse analysys engine, but rely on external data sources for that. Good thing that they support almost anything. Mixpanel, segment, name it.

https://docs.growthbook.io/guide/mixpanel

Price Plan: It’s open-source, but they have a cloud hosted version that is comparatively cheap https://www.growthbook.io/pricing

Special Feature: Their biggest benefit so far - is a possibility to setup a self hosted instance with 99% of the functionality from the enterprise version. This will require some mingling with mongo and docker though.

Statistics is part of the product out the box. They also have encryption capabilities for SDK endpoints in pro-version.

https://www.growthbook.io/compare/growthbook-vs-launchdarkly

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