Unleash 5.5: Strategy Variants, Open Source Segments and More

Unleash 5.5 is out, and it’s a big one. This release is about Developer Experience, reducing vendor lock-in, and providing many quality-of-life improvements. 


Developer Experience: Introducing Strategy Variants

We’ve dramatically improved variants with the release of Strategy Variants, allowing you to benefit from constraints and segments to control variants. For example, it is now possible to implement intricate conditions in tandem with percentage distributions, such as:

  • Serving the ‘titleForInternalUsers’ to a predefined internal user segment.
  • Presenting ‘titleForGmailUsers’ to customers with ‘@gmail.com’ email addresses (utilizing an ‘ends with’ operator).
  • Dividing the remaining users equally between ‘genericTitleA’ and ‘genericTitleB’ (a percentage split).

We’ve done all of this at the strategy level, which improves and simplifies both the developer experience and UI.

Strategy Variants

Strategy Variants are a progressive enhancement over how variants were handled before v5.5. With this release, we recommend that all new variants use this Strategy Variant pattern rather than toggle variants. Strategy Variants maintain backward compatibility and require SDK updates; you can find version support information in our SDK Docs. We will continue to support toggle variants for several releases and share updates before eventually deprecating toggle variants. 

More on Strategy Variants

For a deeper dive into this change, please check out this video from Mark Fulton, Implementation Architect here at Unleash as well as Complex Targeting Rules in Feature Flags: Unleash Strategy Variants.

Reducing Vendor Lock-in: Open Source Segments

With version 5.5, Segments are now part of Open Source! 

Unleash is an Open Source project, first and foremost. We owe our success to our community, and transparency is one of our core values. While we have extended the Open Source core with enhancements that are specific for Enterprise customers, we also firmly believe that anyone using the Enterprise version must be able to fall back to our open-source offering without fees or surprises. This is part of our commitment to growing a sustainable ecosystem around Unleash

In Unleash 4.13, we delivered a significant Developer Experience improvement by introducing Segments, reusable collections of strategy constraints. Since then, Segments have become a central part of how most Enterprise customers use Unleash. 

While it was technically possible to map segments from Enterprise to Open Source, it would require a non-trivial migration, especially for more complex instances. After reflecting on this, we realized that this barrier was contrary to the spirit of our value of Transparency, so we contributed Segments back to Open Source. 

Upgrade your installation to take advantage of this excellent Developer Experience improvement!

Quality of Life Improvements

We continue to iterate on the entire product based on your feedback. Version 5.5 is no different in this way, and we have introduced many improvements throughout Unleash:

  1. Change Requests
  2. New Slack App 
  3. Integrations / Addons Page UI
  4. Project Application Usage
  5. Search Enhancements
  6. Terraform Provider

Change Requests for Segments and Rejecting Change Requests 

Segments now also go through Change Requests to prevent a potential backdoor into Change Requests. Additionally, Change Requests can now be rejected, a distinct status from simply cancelling a Change Request. 

Change Requests for Segments

New Slack Application

Many Unleash users also connect our Unleash instances to Slack. This integration has historically been done via webhooks, which Slack has deprecated. With Unleash 5.5, we have a new Slack application that replaces the previous webhook-based integration while providing a more streamlined and robust experience. This upgrade also simplifies messaging to specified Slack channels, public or private, or on a per-flag basis using Slack tags.

Create Slack Application

Integrations / Addons Page UI

For clarity, the Addons have been renamed to “Integrations”, because that’s what they are. We also refreshed the UI, added links to our SDKs and external integrations, and included the ability to request a new integration directly in the Unleash admin interface. 

Integrations Page UI

Project Application Usage

Under the ‘Applications’ tab, you can now track the activity of applications connecting to Unleash. This feature allows users to monitor accessed environments and projects, providing valuable insights into application usage:

Project Application Usage

Unleash 5.5 also introduces a number of enhanced search and filtering capabilities. You can see this functionality in action on the project overview for feature flags and change request page. 

Search now has more hints, a query history, improved keyboard navigation, supports more fields and can now query multiple tags and toggle types at once.  Additionally, the event log can now be searched with tags.

Search and Filter UI

Terraform Provider

We have also released an Unleash Terraform Provider that focuses on the initial setup and configuration of an Unleash instance. This can be used in conjunction with the Terraform Provider released by Philips which includes support for additional use cases. 

That’s a Wrap!

That’s it. We’re proud of this release and wish you success. We actively use your feedback to evolve Unleash so if you haven’t already done so, join our community Slack instance and let us know what you think!

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