Feature flags (sometimes called feature toggles or feature flippers) are techniques that allow your team to change system behavior without deploying code. They’ve become an industry standard for development teams that want to release features safely and in good time.
Feature flags enable you to turn different functionalities on and off. Feature flag software helps your dev team fix bugs or issues without impacting user experience, simplifies feature rollout and rollbacks, and makes it easy to switch users to a newer version of your software.
Read my review to learn more about the 16 best feature flag software for managing feature flags you can use in 2023.
What is feature flag software?
Feature flag software refers to a tool or system that empowers product managers and development teams to control the release and activation of specific features or functionality within a software product. This capability enables product managers to implement gradual rollouts, A/B testing, and targeted feature deployments, allowing for more agile and data-driven decision-making. It also provides the flexibility to respond quickly to issues or changing user requirements by enabling feature toggles, ensuring a smoother and more controlled product development and release process.
Flagsmith is an open source feature flag software that simplifies the continuous deployment of new code. The software enables your team to handle remote configs, helping them switch time-sensitive features on/off.
The solution comes with segments, A/B testing, and integrations with popular analytics engines out of the box. Its SDKs are easy to work with, and it provides hosted API to make deployment easier during development cycles. One of the things that make Flagsmith stand out is its clean interface.
You can add tags and descriptions to your feature flags, so they’re easier to manage. Flagsmith costs from $45/3 users/month.
The solution offers a free version with limited functionalities for a single user.
Unleash is an open-source, enterprise-ready feature management solution built with privacy in mind. Companies use Unleash to decouple the release process from deployment to production.
The software operates as an API client, meaning it integrates with a codebase via APIs to be updated in real-time. The platform gives developers a centralized dashboard to quickly change feature flag configurations. Additionally, it tracks metrics and collects data on how users interact with any new feature. Its role-based access controls ensure that only authorized members can approve, test, and launch new features, providing a secure and streamlined release process.
The platform's toggling feature allows developers to switch features on or off without releasing new code. Businesses can offer early access to users, A/B test features, and change back-end connections on the fly. The software lets developers segment the user base at various levels, making it easy to control who gets what. Feature rollouts can help companies ease into new features before they’re fully ready.
Developers can release features gradually to a subset of users, and then work up to full releases. This way, users can monitor adoption before committing to an entire release. Moreover, context-based rollouts enable users to toggle features based on specific contexts, such as a user’s location or environment.
Pricing starts at $80 per month for 5 users, and a 14-day free trial is available.
Optimizely is feature management and A/B testing software that helps you with experimentation, server-side testing, and multivariate testing. The software has a small learning curve, but it can help your DevOps, Product, Marketing, and Design specialists if your team learns how to leverage most of its features.
This solution tends to be better suited for websites rather than apps, and it’s not ideal for those who want to use feature flags for backend rollouts. However, its mix of features makes it a good choice for companies that want to test out different customer pipelines in order to improve their CRO.
One of the things that make Optimizely shine is the fact that it allows you to add custom JS and CSS per test, so you can refine your tests with ease.
Optimizely offers custom pricing upon request.
Apptimize is a feature flag management tool that helps dev teams improve the user experiences they create across their digital channels. The solution focuses on mobile experiences, so it excels at helping you create better mobile apps. This software comes with easy-to-deploy software development kits (SDKs) and stands out thanks to its clean user interface and ease of use.
Apptimize simplifies your A/B tests, enabling you to schedule your feature rollouts or rollbacks based on test-driven product decisions. Thanks to its mobile-centric build and advanced testing capabilities, I chose Apptimize as the ideal tool for feature rollout on native mobile apps.
Apptimize offers customized pricing upon request. The tool offers a free version with limited capabilities.
Molasses is a feature management tool that helps you deploy code with fewer incidents. The software offers a good mix of feature flags and A/B testing tools, so you can test your code extensively without affecting your user base.
Molasses is great if you want to speed up your development process with SDKs in different languages.
Molasses costs from $50/month. The software also offers a free version with limited capabilities.
CloudBees is another software delivery platform with out-of-the-box integrations and good feature flagging capabilities. The solution helps you manage release workflows and simplifies cross-team communication.
This solution has a nice-looking build that allows you to improve your continuous delivery process. Its tracking and predictive analytics features help you identify risks and opportunities in good time, and automatically collect data across your software development lifecycle.
CloudBees stands out thanks to its pipeline and environment management features. You can create custom pipelines, test your code and get real-time reports about the deployment success, failure, throughput, and runtime.
CloudBees offers customized pricing upon demand.
DevCycle is a feature management platform that helps your team to release features faster while focusing on usability and risk reduction. The software offers a clean interface that makes it easy for all your team members to understand which feature flag is running or not.
The solution has full SDK coverage and enables you to create customized workflows. The tool allows you to track feature flags across the product’s development cycle, so you can turn them off if necessary.
DevCycle’s analytics features do a great job of organizing your data, so you can present the reports to management or other departments without further effort.
DevCycle costs from $8/user/month. The platform offers a free-forever version with limited functionalities.
Flagship is a feature flagging software that enables your engineers to ship code faster, reduce risk, and constantly improve your users’ experience. The solution supports most popular technology stacks, including Java, JS, Python, and more. You can choose the best implementation method for your team, via the tool’s agnostic API or the available SDKs.
Flagship helps your team decouple deployment from the release of a feature and experiment extensively before rolling something out to all your users. The experimentation platform focuses on outcomes, not outputs, and you can run A/B tests to track the impact of your releases.
Flagship costs from $175/month/15,000 monthly active users.
The platform offers a free 30-day trial.
LaunchDarkly is feature management and A/B testing software that enables your dev team to wrap code with feature flags and deploy it safely, without impacting your users. The solution helps you segment your user base based on various attributes, and you can ship your feature rollouts to specific user subsets if you want to test them out.
LaunchDarkly stands out thanks to its straightforward UI, simple SDK integrations, and extensive documentation. Not only that, but the tool’s A/B tests are easy to set up, so your Product or Marketing specialists can run them.
The software’s insight graph does a great job of showing you which variants different user segments are currently receiving, so you can identify and remove ineffective flags.
LaunchDarkly costs from $10/user/month. The solution offers a free 14-day trial and a live demo.
GrowthBook is an open source feature management and experimentation platform that helps your engineering team adopt an experimentation culture. The software enables your engineers to use feature flags to deploy new code after interpreting user data and metrics.
The solution is modular. You can use it for feature flags, experiments, or both. Its modular build makes it ideal for SaaS startups that don’t have enough traffic to run full experiments but want the benefits of using feature flags.
The software impresses with its lightweight SDKs and allows you to evaluate everything you do locally, without network requests.
Growthbook costs from $20/user/month.
The software also offers a free version with limited capabilities.
Best for flexible deployments & on-premises hosting
|From $45/3 users/month||Website|
Best for its role-based access controls
14-day free trial + free demo available
|From $80/month for 5 users||Website|
Digital experience platform with highly customizable tests
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
For feature rollout on native mobile apps
|Pricing Upon Request||Website|
For client-side and server-side SDKs
Best for environment management
Free version available
Powerful dashboard to capture all your live feature testing data
Feature flagging and feature experimentation software
30-day free trial
|From $175/month/15,000 monthly active users||Website|
Best for detailed user targeting
14-day free trial
Open source feature flagging and A/B testing platform
Best for analytics and triage reports
Feature flag platform that enables you to decouple your future releases from code deployment.
For enhanced feature flag targeting
- Harness Feature Flags
Software delivery platform that speeds up your feature rollouts with templates.
Feature management tool that enables you to ship your releases to specific user groups to minimize risk.
- VWO FullStack
Feature management and A/B testing software that helps you run in-depth experiments.
How I Selected The Best Feature Flag Software
What do I look for when I select the best feature flag solutions? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI)
I look for tools that have simple interfaces because this helps your team create standard processes for feature flags with similar functionalities.
- Feature Flag Creation: The tool should help you create any kind of feature flag, from simple IF statements to complex decision trees, short and long-lived feature flags, static or dynamic ones, and so on.
- Feature Flag Management: The solution should help you fine-tune your feature rollouts and rollbacks, so you can make your releases easier and less stressful.
- A/B Testing: The tool should allow you and/or Product and Marketing teams to conduct A/B testing in order to personalize customer experience.
- Agile Workflows: The software should facilitate work for teams using both Agile and Waterfall methodologies to push their product through the software development life cycle (SDLC).
- Feature Branches: The solution should allow your developers to copy the code in the trunk into a separate branch where they can make changes and merge the branch into the trunk when they’re done.
- User Segments: The tool should help you segment your users so you can perform A/B tests or wrap your features in flags and roll them out based on the values you assign to different user segments.
- Audit Logs: The software should help you create audit logs so you can keep a detailed history of the changes included in all your feature flags.
- Progressive Delivery: The tool should help you roll out your features gradually, so you can limit their potential negative impact of continuous product iteration.
I look for solutions that are easy to use, so your team doesn’t encounter production issues.
I look for software that integrates with popular dev tools, such as YAML, GitHub or GitOps, communication solutions like Slack or Teams, and A/B testing tools used by your product team.
Value for Pricing
I look for solutions that help you achieve multiple goals, so you get the most out of your investment.
What is a feature flag?
Why should I use a feature flag?
Feature flags help you validate and measure performance before shipping the feature to broader audiences, so you can reduce the risk of failure and constantly improve customer experience. You can learn more about product lifecycle management software on our blog.
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