Server-side feature flag software development kits (SDKs) are a common way to integrate feature flags into your microservice application architecture. Feature flag SDKs have several functionalities, but the primary purpose is performing a feature flag evaluation using contextual information. Each feature flag service can publish SDKs in multiple programming languages. A feature flag service commonly exposes APIs via endpoints like REST HTTP and/or gRPC. SDKs are an important layer, as network traffic loads affect both the application and the feature flag service. When the feature flag service is a cloud SaaS service, often it supports a relay proxy or a sidecar application, which can be deployed on an organization network. A relay proxy lets multiple clients connect to a local proxy, reducing the number of outbound connections to the cloud service. Considering that a large amount of microservices using SDK instances can be deployed, this can be significant.
Renaming the @openfeature/js-sdk
It's been said that there's only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things. Here at the OpenFeature project we can attest to both, but today we'd like to talk about naming.
Why we made this change
With the introduction of the @openfeature/web-sdk, we heard many stories of users having trouble due to incorrectly importanting modules; either importing modules meant for the web in a Node.JS context, or vice-versa.
This problem was exacerbated by the fact the server-side SDK was called
With our new naming scheme, it's clear that
@openfeature/server-sdk is useful for the server, while
@openfeature/web-sdk should be used in browser environments.
How to migrate
To migrate, simply uninstall the old package, install this new package, and update all your require/import statements.
There are no changes between the last published version of the
@openfeature/js-sdk and the first published version of the
Note that we have re-released all the relevant community-provided artifacts hosted in our js-contribs repository, and modified them to include a peer dependency on the
You will need to migrate in order to consume the latest versions of these components.
Currently, the OpenFeature specification describes a vendor-neutral API for flag evaluation. It does not describe a flag definition language, or a flag evaluation wire protocol. Consequently, the only means of integration with the OpenFeature SDK is to implement a provider in the relevant programming language(s), which serves as an adaptor between the OpenFeature evaluation API and the flag management system powering the provider.
Please note: This is a cross post from the Virtru Blog, dated June 16, 2023 by Jake Van Vorhis.
There is an ever-present tradeoff between speed and durability in engineering. Even if you’re cooking up boxed mac n cheese, there’s a spectrum that spans bare minimum utility on one side and needless hyper-optimization to the nth degree on the other side. Nobody wants uncooked noodles with still-dry cheese powder for dinner, but they’re also not expecting a couple of bucks at the grocery store to lead to a Michelin-quality in-home dining experience. It’s about balance.
As the Engineering org and Product roadmaps grow, the question “How can we make this happen?” needs to become “How can we make this happen quickly while not harming ourselves later on?” There is a priority switch from feature enablement to enablement while minimizing new tech debt. Paying the technical debt credit card bill is always painful, so navigating the speed and durability tradeoff effectively is one of the most important challenges teams face.
Last year, a feature in one of Virtru’s newer products kicked off an exploration into Feature Flags. What follows is a recap of that journey. I hope you have your cheesy mac ready.
Our team recently needed to use one of the largest feature management cloud services. This service has a documented SDK with usage guidelines. Thinking about how to define the exposed interfaces, while keeping it simple and generic, we started doing some research, and encountered OpenFeature. Gladly, the mentioned feature management cloud service has already created an OpenFeature provider. Let me explain why and how it was adopted.
Most feature flag explainers begin by explaining that feature flags are equivalent to environment variables.
While that’s true (to a point), feature flags wouldn’t be as versatile or as popular as they are, if that’s all they were. Indeed, you wouldn’t need a feature flag – you could easily achieve the same thing with an environment variable.
We are excited to announce the availability of version 0.6.0 of the OpenFeature spec. This release brings many significant additions that benefit both provider developers and application authors, while also establishing a strong foundation for first-class client-side support in OpenFeature.
While OpenFeature initially focused on support for server-side feature flagging, we know that a lot of feature-flagging (likely the majority) happens on the client - mobile apps and frontend web apps. As such, we're currently finalizing a proposal which extends the OpenFeature spec to support client-side use cases. By the way, if you're working on a feature flagging framework, whether it's commercial, open-source, or internal product, the folks at OpenFeature would love to hear more about how you approach client-side flagging.
In this post I'll summarize those changes, but to understand them in context we'll first talk about what makes client-side feature flagging different before diving into how that will impact the OpenFeature APIs.
Logging is the act of keeping a log. A log (in this case) records events that occur in software.
Subject to many opinions and differing principles of best practice, the best thing we could do for the
to create an implementation as open & configurable as possible. To achieve this, we've integrated logr,
this allows the use of any logger that conforms to its API.
Applications may already have a chosen logging solution at the point of introducing
openfeature. An integration with logr
may already exist for their chosen solution (integrations exist for many of the popular logger packages in go). If not, they could write their own integration.