We’re excited to announce a major milestone in our journey to enhance your release management process. Partnering with LaunchDarkly, we’ve integrated feature flags into Release Management, bringing you a more transparent and centralized solution for your mobile app releases. In this blog post we’ll provide an overview of this integration and what it means for your release workflow in Bitrise.
Note: Getting started with the LaunchDarkly integration requires a LaunchDarkly account.
Feature flags are a crucial part of mobile app development. Think feature validation: They allow you to control the activation or deactivation of specific features in your application through a simple toggle switch. This means you can release new features to a subset of your users, perform A/B testing, or instantly roll back features if issues arise without requiring a new code release. It allows you to enable or disable a feature without the need to alter the source code or go through a redeployment process. In Release Management, your feature flags are your feature releases of a selected Bitrise application.
UI screenshot of LaunchDarkly’s feature flag functionality.
UI screenshot of the Bitrise and LaunchDarkly’s feature flag integration in Release Management.
Our LaunchDarkly integration gives you an overview of your app’s feature flags directly from the Release Management platform. All you have to do is set it up in LaunchDarkly and manage your releases within Release Management. Here’s what you can expect:
- View your app, and your app’s feature releases, all from one place: Streamline your app release process by centralizing it in Release Management. Easily manage both App Store and Google Play Store releases, along with feature flags, all within a single platform—eliminating the need to switch tabs or platforms.
- View feature flag details at a glance: Quickly understand the status and configuration of feature flags without delving into detailed settings. In Release Management, you’ll be able to view your feature flag names and descriptions as they were inputted in LaunchDarkly, helping you easily monitor the status of various features.
Step 1: Name your app’s Feature flag, and add a description in your LaunchDarkly account.
Step 2: View your app’s Feature Flag names and their descriptions in your Release Management account.
- View the feature flag rules and targets: Releasing personalized or segmented feature releases? With LaunchDarkly you can target segments, individuals, mobile specifics, or set up modified targeting (more on this here). These targets will be displayed within Release Management’s Serving column. True indicates a “hit” on your rule values and will enable your feature flag, whereas False Indicates a “miss” and will disable the feature. For example, in the screenshot below, feature flags will be enabled for users who live in Hungary.
Step 1: Setup feature flag rules and targets within LaunchDarkly.
Step 2: View which feature flags are active and the targets they are serving within Release Management.
Table 1: An overview of Launch Darkly’s feature flag rules and targets.
- View feature flag display frequency: Monitor how frequently your features are accessed and take more decisive action quicker. For instance, as shown below, the ‘New login page’ was displayed to targets 11 seconds ago.
- View the details page of the feature flag - within Launch Darkly: A direct link opens your feature flag on LaunchDarkly where you can make fine-grained tweaks to your features like targeting rules, percentage rollouts, and other specific configurations on the details page within Launch Darkly.
Getting started with the LaunchDarkly integration is straightforward.
- Connect LaunchDarkly to Bitrise: Team members can connect their LaunchDarkly accounts with Bitrise through Single Sign-On (SSO) for seamless access.
- Connect your Launch Project to your Bitrise Project: Choose the projects you want the feature flags to display within Bitrise’s Release Management.
- View integrated feature flags: View your feature flags under Configuration in the left panel.
Have your LaunchDarkly account set up? If yes, then let’s go!
- Select your project and environment: Roll out feature flags for selected projects and environments. Think of a project as a mobile app (e.g., Android, iOS) and an environment as different deployment stages (e.g., development, staging, production).
- Manage feature flags: Create and manage feature flags for your projects and environments. Toggle these flags on or off to control which features are accessible to your users.
- Segment feature releases: LaunchDarkly allows you to target specific segments of your user base for feature releases. For example, you can roll out a new feature to only 20% of your users to gauge its impact before a full release.
- Enjoy a seamless user experience: Users will seamlessly experience feature changes based on their assigned segments without the need for app updates.
Read more on LaunchDarkly Docs.
The integration of LaunchDarkly’s feature flags with Release Management offers numerous benefits, including:
- Greater transparency of real-time releases: Seamlessly manage App Store and Google Play releases. By integrating feature flags from LaunchDarkly with Release Management, developers can make real-time status updates and feature changes to their mobile apps, even post-deployment. A huge win for developers wanting to move faster and more confidently with feature releases.
- A streamlined workflow for Release Owners: A single view in Release Management consolidates all necessary information, reducing the need to switch between multiple tools or platforms. This streamlining significantly improves workflow efficiency.
- Streamlined team communication: The LaunchDarkly integration with Release Management provides a clear overview of app and feature releases to all team members, minimizing miscommunication.
- A user-friendly interface: With simplicity in mind, specifically catering to non-technical stakeholders, the Launch Darkly integration enables non-technical team members to independently manage releases and targeting of features. By demystifying the release process, it minimizes their dependence on Release Owners and empowers them to be part of the release workflow.
LaunchDarkly’s pricing operates on a seat license model, offering monthly and yearly plans. Access to the LaunchDarkly and Bitrise integration is exclusive to users with assigned seats, ensuring precise control over each subscription. It’s important to note that full utilization of this integration requires every team member to have a LaunchDarkly account. The range of available features will vary based on your chosen LaunchDarkly plan.
- Getting started with LaunchDarkly
- Getting started with Bitrise
- Release Management add-on
- Bitrise Docs: LaunchDarkly and Bitrise integration
This integration marks the beginning of our journey to enhance your release management process. In the coming weeks, we’ll continue to refine and expand Release Management, with more features and capabilities on the horizon.
Stay tuned for updates, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need assistance setting up LaunchDarkly feature flags within your Bitrise projects. You can reach us on Slack or chat with our team.
This post first appeared on our blog here.