What are the benefits of an open source feature flag system?
Unleash is an open-source feature flag system. Its core is open source giving you and your development team access to examine, use, and modify the code to suit your needs.
While there are other proprietary tools such as LaunchDarkly, we believe there are a lot of benefits to using an open-source system like ours.
Here’s why we choose to keep Unleash open source.
As the entire code base of the Unleash core is open source, all quality breaches and security concerns can be accessed by anyone, anywhere in the world. This means the entire community can report, track, and close any security issues. Such information is rarely available from closed source vendors.
Given that the Unleash docker image has been downloaded over 1.2 million times, the attention the community pays to any security breach far exceeds what our closed competitors offer.
As Linus Torvald said: “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”. We truly believe that the more people use and validate unleash’s code, the less likely it is to contain severe issues.
Our users have downloaded and installed Unleash in a wide variety of infrastructure environments. With an open-source code base, our community has created and shared modifications along the way, improving Unleash’s flexibility to run anywhere.
Unlike proprietary software where users are bound to the product roadmap determined by the company (and its shareholders), an open-source core also allows our large user base to modify and improve the software based on their specific use case. Our users are not bound or dependent on the limitations of our code.
Unleash was first developed in 2015 to address a real need in development teams. As the software became more popular, more features have been added to the open-source code both by our team and by our community of users.
We believe that open-source software is most likely to deliver what users really want as the codebase can be accessed and modified according to the needs of each team. This is especially useful if you need to develop a feature for your specific edge case, which might be critical to a few users only.
The Unleash community is important to us. The number of active participants continues to grow each day and we strive to support the community the best we can.
In our Unleash Slack community, anyone in the community can reach out to the Unleash team, as well as other users who can help troubleshoot or solve a ticket.
Our community of users is dedicated and supportive so if you ever find yourself in a pickle, do not hesitate to reach out for help. There’s a chance that your questions or problems might have already been solved or addressed by someone else, meaning you’ll be able to quickly find a solution with the help of the community.
If you’re looking for premium support and dedicated SLAs, you can always check out our Enterprise plan
Avoid vendor lock-in
Vendor lock-in happens when a customer is dependent on the service or product and is unable to switch to another service without incurring significant costs.
With Unleash, even our Enterprise plan is based on the same code base as our open source (and free!) option. If for whatever reason our Enterprise customers choose to downgrade or cancel their subscriptions, they can always fall back to the fully compatible, open-source version of Unleash.
At the end of the day, when you choose an open-source feature flag system like ours over proprietary software, you benefit from better security standards, from a supportive community of users, and from the flexibility and control you get that only comes with an open-source tool
Checkout our codebase on GitHub and try out our open source feature management platform today