Feature Flagging

Test and measure your feature releases with confidence

What is Feature Flagging?


Feature flags (also known as feature toggles) are if-statements in the code base that enable teams to turn features on or off. Feature flags help teams avoid buggy product releases while moving faster, reducing risk, and taking a more experimentation-oriented approach to software development.

Learn more about the benefits and challenges

Feature Flagging Benefits

Reduce risk

By separating code deployments from feature releases, teams benefit from increased control over the experience they deliver to customers. 

Build a tighter feedback loop

Feature flags enable software teams to release to a small set of users initially. Then they can collect customer feedback, and choose to scale up or adjust their strategy. 

Roll back features with ease

In case of a bug or if a new feature gets a lot of negative feedback, feature flags can serve as a kill switch, enabling you to easily roll back an update with no code changes. 

Feature Flagging Challenges

Technical complexity

Many teams opt to build feature flagging solutions in-house, which can add unnecessary technical complexity, making products more difficult to support and debug.

Messy coordination

Teams may have multiple versions of a product reaching different customers. Managing and communicating the status of multiple flags across the team can be difficult. 

Tech debt

Feature flags can introduce technical debt into products, although this can be managed by cleaning up flags once they're rolled out to 100% or no longer active.

Getting started with Feature Flagging

Before you get started with feature flags in your organization, there are a few best practices to ensure they're utilized in the most effective way.

Choose an out-of-the-box feature management solution that will help your team to manage flags in a more sustainable and scalable way. 

Develop workflow and documentation around flag management so all relevant stakeholders on your team know what cohort of customers is receiving each feature.

Develop rules of governance for feature flags. Ensure your team knows that they need to clean up their flags once they've been rolled out to 100%.

Pro tip:

By integrating your flags with Jira issues, all team members can stay in the loop about the latest status of a flag and what percentage has been rolled out to customers.

An online survey of 500 software and IT professionals found that:

63%

of those with feature flagging report better testing of features or higher quality software.

Resources to get started with Feature Flags today

Teams that implement feature flags are more likely to deploy features quickly and safely.

Learn how the Atlassian team used 1B feature flag events to roll out the new Jira experience.

See tips and best practices from the Atlassian team on managing feature flags.

Feature Flagging integrations with Jira Software

Our feature flagging integrations enable teams to more effectively release and manage features with details about flags right in Jira Software, which can improve team coordination and help engineers work faster by reducing context switching.

Choose your Feature Flagging Partner

Jira integrates with several feature flagging providers so you have choice when it comes to building a solution that works for your team. Below are the most popular apps.

LaunchDarkly

Rollout

Optimizely

Get started with Jira Software

If you don't have a Jira Software account, sign up for your free trial today. If you're an existing Jira Software customer, visit the Marketplace to integrate to a feature flagging app.