Accelerating Product Releases with LaunchDarkly
How AppDirect is utilizing feature management to iterate and find product-market fit faster.
AppDirect is the leading cloud service marketplace and management company at the forefront of powering the global cloud economy. The global network of AppDirect-powered marketplaces allows businesses to find, buy, and manage the best applications the cloud has to offer.
Before LaunchDarkly, feature flagging at AppDirect was simple. Unfortunately they weren't able to target individual users easily, the risk involved was pretty high. Also, engineering would sometimes push back on flag requests because they didn't want introduce technical debt in their code. While the company was well aware of—and interested in—reaping the benefits of a feature management solution like Facebook's GateKeeper, they never had sufficient resources to make their own version. Their own attempt at building a feature flagging system didn't meet Engineering's standards, and didn't accommodate Product's needs. As a result, releases were not timely and Product didn't feel confident they could ask Engineering for flags.
While the company was well aware of—and interested in—reaping the benefits of a feature management solution like Facebook's GateKeeper, they never had sufficient resources to make their own version. Their own attempt at building a feature flagging system didn't meet Engineering's standards, and didn't accommodate Product's needs. They knew they needed a platform that would enable Engineering and Product to control releases as well as target users specifically for testing purposes. LaunchDarkly was a natural fit.
Now all teams are using LaunchDarkly to release and manage product features. The Engineering team has accelerated product releases, they now feel confident using feature flags in development. It’s easy and safe to wrap features in flags so they can control who sees them, and when. This has allowed them to improve their overall efficiency, they are comfortable merging code without waiting for the Product team to review. They are merging smaller pieces of code faster, increasing review speed, and getting features into the code base even if incomplete—all with less risk.
The Product team has also improved processes. With LaunchDarkly, they find they can not only push product faster to market, but also target users in a way they couldn’t before and get valuable feedback. Product is using LaunchDarkly to test, get data, and iterate in ways they couldn’t before. Furthermore, the release process is much smoother with tightly controlled rollouts.
LaunchDarkly is a service that allows us to do what we want to do much faster, much better. It allows us to iterate to find product-market fit in a much faster way which is important to a lean team. LaunchDarkly gives us the tools to bring products to market faster with ease and speed.
Product Manager, AppDirect
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