Developing a Website with React, Feature Flags, Netlify and GitHub Actions

Timon van Spronsen on July 19, 2019

In recent weeks I've helped develop a website for a very exciting project at Awkward called Coffee by Benjamin. Coffee by Benjamin is a coffee roas... [Read Full]
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Great article!

A note about feature flags: using env vars means that you're missing a very big aspect of feature flags IMO - the ability to release features without building and deploying a new version. If you have a mechanism that allows you to enable feature flags at runtime, you can do things like a/b testing, gradually releasing a feature and in essence you are separating the "feature release" from the application deployment, which can help it become a product decision instead of a technical one.
For example, if you have to coordinate a feature release with a PR announcement, this can help you turn on a feature without the need for deployment.

There are several tools that can help you achieve this:

  • Tweek is an open source tool (disclaimer: I work at Soluto which developed it) github.com/Soluto/tweek
  • LaunchDarkly is a managed tool launchdarkly.com
  • Firebase remote config is another managed one

Thank you for the article!

 

Hey Oded, this post was meant to demonstrate a very light-weight solution for feature flags. I agree they're not nearly as flexible as using runtime feature flags, but they also introduce downsides like having to pay for a service or hosting your own. This is totally worth it if you're building a (complex) web app though. By the way, with Netlify it's completely possible to do A/B testing by using feature flags in env variables :)

 

Didn't know about A/B testing env vars with Netlify, very cool! I'll check it out.

Firebase has a free tier if I'm not mistaken and I think AWS also has something. The integration effort is very small and it's worth it even for simpler apps IMO.

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