Product Releases Should Not Be Scary

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Product Releases Should Not Be Scary

Every product manager and software developer should know that pushing feature updates to production via traditional channels is as archaic as painting on cave walls. The smart ones are always quick to adapt to new, innovative technologies, and this mindset is exactly what makes normal companies amazing.

The landscape is changing rapidly, especially in IT. Change is not just necessary, but more often than not it is the most important variable that determines a company’s chances of survival. The thing is, NOT using Feature Flags leads to a more cumbersome, expensive, and slower type of rollout.

In short, it makes your project less competitive with those who have their implementations better organized, and it is an edge that you can not afford to lose.

Product releases

Function flags change how things work

Many companies use Feature Flags these days, and for the sake of good order. It is more secure and allows for more detailed control over what you build. It almost always ends up saving you money, especially when you calculate how many more working hours your team would otherwise need to spend.

Cluttered implementations are already a thing of the past for many companies, and it is high time that your organization is also involved in the innovation.

Product releases

ConfigCat is an all-in-one hosted service solution for Feature Flag and Configuration Management.

In a nutshell, ConfigCat is a company that seems to provide a functional solution to everything that has been described above. It allows you to separate actual code implementations from feature releases, as well as many other things.

You get control over nice things like easy to turn features on and off without actually touching code, the ability to only release changes to certain parts of your user demographic, to do A / B testing on things before a mass rollout (to see how these changes work) and other juicy things of this kind that would make any project manager to sleep well at night.

What’s their deal, exactly?

Feature flags are by no means something new; they have actually been around for a while now. In fact, I would be hard pressed to find companies worth their salt that do not use Feature Flags, at least to some degree. Facebook and Google are especially notorious for their extremely slow gradual rollout of new features. Percentage-based rollouts like them would be a hell of a job to perform without Feature Flags.

While many tech giants use internal solutions, small and medium-sized businesses cannot afford such a luxury because it would absorb more resources and time than would be practically possible for them to invest in.

ConfigCat fills this gap and presents itself as a complete feature flag as a service solution. They differ from other function management solutions because of their uncompromising approach to security (like many other companies in this field, it has locked under either a payment wall or a premium-tier option of some sort).

Zoltán Dávid, one of the company’s founders, even on several occasions proclaimed firmly that “security should never cost extra money.” Here, we hope we also see more of this mindset from other companies in 2021 and beyond.

The approach to justice

Let’s get one thing straight. There are many other players out there that offer Feature Flag solutions, LaunchDarkly being one of them. As it looks, ConfigCat seems to position itself as a solid LaunchDarkly alternative more than anything else. A more “lightweight LaunchDarkly” variant that wants to shine as an immensely more cost-effective, but which provides “90% of power with only 10% of complexity” kind of deal.

Pricing

Pricing is another area where ConfigCat stands out. While many companies seem to do their best to lock you into their most expensive subscription levels, ConfigCat almost insists that you do not pay a dime more than you need.

Product releases

Like most feature flags as a service platform out there, they operate through monthly subscriptions. The one thing you need to keep an eye on is the number of monthly config.json downloads which your traffic generates, as this would determine which subscription best suits your needs. Objectively speaking, this is a great approach that allows you to anticipate and transparently calculate costs in advance, based on your actual traffic, and without any annoying payment walls forcing your hand.

Forever free plan

That said, they hardly limit you to anything else in most other subscription levels. Even with their cheapest subscription plan (which you can check out here), you get a boatload of great things like unlimited team memberships, unlimited monthly active users, crippled security and many other goodies that you will not see with most other competitors.

To top it all off, there is even a very generous FOREVER FREE plan that startups and beginners can use.

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