Whether you’ve heard the term feature flag before or not, you’ve almost certainly used one.

It can be surprisingly simple, really. You wrap a conditional around some feature in your application, and then you trigger that conditional (or not) at runtime based on a configuration setting. You can implement this as simply as having the if conditional check for a config setting called “enable new stuff” and then showing the new stuff only when you set the flag to true.

This little trick goes by the more formal name of feature flag. And the process by which you turn it on and off is known as feature flag management. Simple enough. Right?

The Boiled Frog Problem of Feature Flag Management

Of course, this works well enough for a single feature flag. And, it also works well enough when you expand that a handful.  You can handle this. No problem.

Have you ever heard of the slightly macabre boiled frog parable? it tells the tale of putting a frog into a pot of water. If you suddenly apply a lot of heat to the water, the frog leaps out. but if you increase the temperature very gradually over time, the poor amphibian will remain contentedly in the pot right up until the moment it cooks. People apply this grim wisdom to describe how software organizations can slowly but surely find themselves in completely unmanageable situations.

So it goes with feature flag management. Without realizing it, you’ll go from “no problem handling these few feature flags” to “oh my goodness, we need to rewrite this from scratch”. You cook yourself, adding one feature flag at a time.

Feature Flag Management to the Rescue

You can solve this problem before anyone has to boil, frogs or humans. Avoid the management nightmare by starting cleanly with a feature flag management system. This is a solved problem, so don’t feel the need to solve it again.

With Rollout, you can manage all of your flags from a single dashboard. This gives you the ability to do simple configuration and feature guarding as discussed above. But you can also manage more sophisticated feature rollouts. Control and monitor the status of current features: deployed, rolled back, or archived.

Turn features on and off easily, on the fly,but also gain visibility into who created/changed the flags, understand if a flag should be removed as it’s already in a steady state.

Monitor user’s feature distribution and usage while keeping an eye on deployment percentages and custom targeting rules.

Let us handle feature flag management for you so that you never experience that pain of going from one little feature flag to a complex operations headache.