Enabling the Future Today – Feature Flags in Oracle Integration Cloud by Antony Reynolds

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Enabling the Future Today

Within Integration cloud we are moving to a model that allows us to trial new features without making them available to everyone.  Everone runs the same codebase but feature flags control what is available to a specific instance.  Why would we do this? For multiple reasons:

  • Gain feedback on new features before rolling them out to the whole user base.
  • Test new features in "the wild" in a controlled manner.
  • Be able to rollback new features that may have unforeseen problems.

How It Works

Each new feature is given a flag that is used to control its availability.  For instance the flag for the small footprint OIC agent was oic.adapters.connectivity-agent.light-weight-agent.  If this flag was enabled for a given OIC instance then they could download the lightweight connectivity agent.  Other OIC instances running the same code but with the flag turned off would not offer the new agent.

Flags are controlled from a central system and can be updated in real time by Oracle development and operations.  This means that feature flags can be turned on very quickly, and also if a problem occurs they can be disabled.

Feature Flag Lifecycle

Feature flags have a lifecycle as illustrated below.

The different stages are:

Internal Only

You may see a product manager demo features on an instance that are not currently available, if using a production pod these may only be available to internal users.  This is where we try things out internally before turning them on for any customers.  Once we are happy with the feature internally we are ready to share it with selected customers and move the feature to Feature Controlled.  Note that this change in stage does not require any code changes, it just alters our internal approval process to enable the feature. Read the complete article here.

 

PaaS Partner Community

For regular information on Oracle PaaS become a member in the SOA & BPM Partner Community for registration please visit www.oracle.com/goto/emea/soa (OPN account required) If you need support with your account please contact the Oracle Partner Business Center.

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Technorati Tags: SOA Community,Oracle SOA,Oracle BPM,OPN,Jürgen Kress

About Jürgen Kress
As a middleware expert Jürgen works at Oracle EMEA Alliances and Channels, responsible for Oracle’s EMEA Fusion Middleware partner business. He is the founder of the Oracle SOA & BPM and the WebLogic Partner Communities and the global Oracle Partner Advisory Councils. With more than 5000 members from all over the world the Middleware Partner Community is the most successful and active community at Oracle. Jürgen manages the community with monthly newsletters, webcasts and conferences. He hosts his annual Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forums and the Fusion Middleware Summer Camps, where more than 200 partners get product updates, roadmap insights and hands-on trainings. Supplemented by many web 2.0 tools like twitter, discussion forums, online communities, blogs and wikis. For the SOA & Cloud Symposium by Thomas Erl, Jürgen is a member of the steering board. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences like the SOA & BPM Integration Days, JAX, UKOUG, OUGN, or OOP.

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