Unleash

Introducing Signals & Actions: Automate Your Feature Management

We’re excited to introduce a powerful new combination of features in Unleash: Signals & Actions. These features are currently in beta, available to selected Enterprise customers, and can be enabled on request. They work together to automate your feature management processes, enhancing the responsiveness and efficiency of your development and operations workflows.

In this overview, we’ll explore what Signals & Actions are, how they can benefit your organization, and how you can use them to automate a kill switch in the presence of errors.

What are Signals & Actions?

Signals represent events that occur in your external systems, making Unleash aware of these important occurrences.

Actions are automated responses configured to react to received signals. These actions are currently limited to enabling or disabling feature flags, but we plan on expanding these capabilities over time. Potential future capabilities include:

  • Adjusting Gradual Rollout Percentages: Automatically fine-tune the exposure of a feature to your user base based on real-time feedback and performance metrics.
  • Automatically Adding Values to Segments: Dynamically update user segments to include or exclude users based on signals, ensuring targeted feature rollout and testing.

If you have an exciting use case in mind, we’d love to hear from you. Share your ideas with us, and we will consider them for future updates.

For more details on how to use Signals & Actions, check out our documentation: Signals and Actions.

 

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How Can Automating Feature Flags Help Your Organization?

Signals & Actions can significantly enhance your ability to maintain high application performance and reliability, providing several key benefits:

  • Improve Your SLA: By automating the response to critical events, you can ensure that your service level agreements (SLAs) are met more consistently. Automatic feature management helps maintain optimal performance and availability, reducing the likelihood of SLA violations.
  • Reduce Your Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR): Quick and automatic responses to issues help minimize downtime. When an error signal is received, pre-configured actions can disable problematic features or enable backup features immediately. This swift reaction reduces the mean time to recovery, ensuring that your services are restored to normal operations as quickly as possible.

By automating responses to real-time data from your monitoring tools, you can ensure that your applications are more responsive to issues, reducing downtime and improving user experience. Whether you need to quickly disable a problematic feature or enable a backup feature, these features allow you to react swiftly and effectively.

Feature Flag Use Case: Automated Kill Switch

Imagine a scenario where you want to disable a beta feature automatically if your monitoring system detects a critical issue. Here’s how you can set this up using Signals & Actions:

  1. Set Up Signal Endpoint: Configure a signal endpoint to receive error signals from your monitoring tool (e.g., Dynatrace, Datadog, New Relic, Grafana).
  2. Configure Webhook in Monitoring Tool: Set up the signal endpoint URL as a webhook in your chosen monitoring tool. Ensure the webhook is triggered by the specific conditions you want to monitor, such as an increase in error rates or a drop in performance metrics.
  3. Configure Action: Create an action that disables the specific feature flag when an error signal is received. You can also disable multiple flags at once by using a specific tag, such as beta-features, to ensure all related features are deactivated simultaneously.

By integrating with tools that support webhooks, you can create robust automation workflows that react to real-time data.

Additionally, you can use other Unleash integrations, like our Slack App integration, to notify your organization of these automated actions. This ensures that your team is aware of the changes and can respond accordingly, further enhancing your incident response processes.

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Integration Possibilities

Signals & Actions can integrate with virtually any tool that supports webhooks. This opens up a wide array of possibilities for automation and integration, including but not limited to:

  • Dynatrace: Automate feature flag changes based on performance metrics.
  • Datadog: React to real-time monitoring data to maintain application health.
  • New Relic: React to application errors to disable faulty features.
  • Grafana: Use dashboard alerts to trigger actions in Unleash.
  • Nagios: Post alerts from monitoring checks to signal endpoints.
  • AWS CloudWatch: Use cloud monitoring alerts to trigger actions.
  • Google Cloud Monitoring: React to performance metrics and alerts from Google Cloud.
  • Microsoft Azure Monitor: Integrate with Azure alerts and metrics.
  • Prometheus: Use metric-based alerts to trigger feature flag changes.
  • Sentry: Automate feature flag changes based on application error reports.
  • Your Own Software: Integrate your own applications and services to report signals, enabling self-healing systems that automatically respond to internal events and conditions.

Beta Availability

Signals & Actions are currently in beta and enabled for selected Enterprise customers. We are eager to hear your feedback and answer any questions you might have. Please contact your Customer Success Manager or submit a support request to get access or for more information: https://www.getunleash.io/support

Conclusion

Signals & Actions provide a powerful way to automate feature management, ensuring your applications are more responsive to real-time data and events. This combination of features enhances your ability to maintain high application performance and reliability. We encourage you to explore these new capabilities and integrate them into your workflows for a more dynamic and automated feature management experience.

Stay tuned for more updates, and feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback!

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