Feature Flags

Feature flags are declared in Sentry's codebase (look for SENTRY_FEATURES in server.py). For self-hosted users, those flags are then configured via sentry.conf.py. For Sentry's SaaS deployment, options automator is used to configure flags in production.

You can find a list of features available by looking at two files:

  • sentry/features/permanent.py - Features typically managed by subscriptions for sentry.io
  • sentry/features/temporary.py - Features used during development intended to be removed

They're declared on the FeatureManager like so:

# pass FeatureHandlerStrategy.FLAGPOLE to use our options-backed feature flagging system:
manager.add("organizations:onboarding", OrganizationFeature, FeatureHandlerStrategy.FLAGPOLE)
# pass FeatureHandlerStrategy.INTERNAL if you don't plan to use options automator:
manager.add("organizations:onboarding", OrganizationFeature, FeatureHandlerStrategy.INTERNAL)
# [DEPRECATED] pass FeatureHandlerStrategy.OPTIONS to use options automator:
manager.add("organizations:onboarding", OrganizationFeature, FeatureHandlerStrategy.OPTIONS)

The feature can be enabled with the following in your sentry.conf.py, usually located at ~/.sentry/:

SENTRY_FEATURES["organizations:onboarding"] = True

You can modify the state of feature flags in tests using a context manager.

Generally you want your feature names to be unique to help in their removal. For example a feature flag like trends may prove difficult to find because trends may appear throughout the codebase. But a name like performance-trends-view is more likely to be unique and easier to remove later

Features can be scoped by organization, and projects. If you're not confident you want a project feature, create an organization level one. In this example we'll build a feature called test-feature scoped at the organization level.

Typically we use feature flags for development. They are usually intended to be graduated. The only exceptions to this are permanent flags which control subscription plan-specific features in GetSentry.

Most Sentry feature flags are placed in temporary.py, while permanent Sentry flags live in permanent.py.

GetSentry only flags are typically placed in features.py.

If you want to back your feature flag via options, you can do so using the Flagpole library by adding the feature to the FeatureManager with the FLAGPOLE enum set as the feature strategy:

default_manager.add('organizations:test-feature', OrganizationFeature, FeatureHandlerStrategy.FLAGPOLE)

Note: It used to be required to add a new feature's name to server.py in Sentry in order to set a default value, but this is no longer required. Instead, the manager.add() method takes a default value, or automatically sets the value to False if no default is provided.

# Example of a feature set with a default value of True
default_manager.add('organizations:test-feature', OrganizationFeature, FeatureHandlerStrategy.FLAGPOLE, default=True)

If you don't plan to use Flagpole, use FeatureHandlerStrategy.INTERNAL with a custom feature handler instead, for example:

default_manager.add('organizations:test-feature', OrganizationFeature, FeatureHandlerStrategy.INTERNAL)

The Organization model serializer (src/sentry/api/serializers/models/organization.py) builds a list called feature_list that is given to the front-end to use. By default, all organization features are checked and those that are present are added into the list. If your feature requires additional custom logic, you will have to update the organization serializer to check and include it manually.

Sometimes a flag on the model is used to indicate a feature flag as shown below. This is not recommended unless there is a specific reason to make changes to the model. For example, the require_2fa flag affects behavior on the backend to enforce two-factor authentication.

feature_list = []

if getattr(obj.flags, 'allow_joinleave'):
if not getattr(obj.flags, 'disable_shared_issues'):
if getattr(obj.flags, 'require_2fa'):

The FeatureManager's has method checks see if the feature exists. The has method takes in the feature's name, the objects that correspond to the scope of the feature (i.e. an organization for an organization level feature or a project for a project level feature), and the actor (aka user). Here's an example Organization feature check:

if features.has('organizations:test-feature', obj, actor=user):

The example code only adds the feature to the feature_list if that feature is enabled for the organization and the type of user given. Note that when we give the feature to the frontend, we remove the scope prefix, and our 'organizations:test-feature' becomes 'test-feature'.

There is a difference between using the flag in Sentry and in GetSentry. At this stage you're not quite ready to use your feature flag in GetSentry, but you are able to use it inside Sentry.

React uses a declarative programming paradigm. As such, we have a utility component that we use to hide components based on the feature flags available to a organization/project

import Feature from "sentry/components/acl/feature";

const toRender = (
  <Feature features={["test-feature"]}>
    <MyComponentToFlag />

There are some exceptions when React components are generated imperatively (e.g. headers/columns for Tables). In difficult times like these, the Organization / Project object has a array of the feature flags, which you can use in this way:

const { organization } = this.props;

// Method 2
organization.features.includes("test-feature"); // evals to True/False

In Sentry you can run sentry devserver to view your changes in development mode. If you would like to view a change behind a feature flag, you will need to open the file ~/.sentry/sentry.conf.py on your local machine. This file contains your local settings for the sentry application, and can be viewed and edited. If you would like to toggle a flag on or off, add this to your configuration file:

SENTRY_FEATURES['organizations:test-feature'] = True

Alternatively, you can test Flagpole features by setting custom options locally. See the Flagpole Local Development docs for more information on this.

Feature flags are declared in Sentry's codebase. For self-hosted users, those flags are then configured via sentry.conf.py. For Sentry's SaaS deployment, you have the choice of using an option backed rollout via Options Automator with Flagpole, or by writing a custom feature flag handler.

  • Flagpole is Sentry's internal feature flagging library, allowing a feature with multiple target segments and condition filters to be defined in YAML within Options Automator.

  • Options based features [DEPRECATED] allow a feature to be rolled out to a specific subset of LA orgs, a percentage of EA orgs, and/or a percentage of all orgs. These can be used in high scale situations, and are generally preferred over customer feature handlers. This strategy predates Flagpole, which is the new standard way to define an option-backed feature flag.

After your feature has been mainlined and is available for all customers on sentry.io, you have a few potential paths:

  • If the feature cannot be disabled, or you don't need to conditionally disable the feature, remove the feature flag and all related checks from the Sentry code base. If necessary, also remove references to the feature from the self-hosted, getsentry, and options-automator repositories.
  • If the feature will only be available to SaaS customers on specific plans, you need to add your feature flag to the appropriate plans and update feature handlers (see below).You should also enable the feature by default in conf/server.py in sentry to ensure that the feature is available for self-hosted deployments.

Getsentry contains a variety of feature handlers that override the SENTRY_FEATURES map, which are defined in the features.py file.

If your feature is available for a subset of plans (eg. only on Business plans) you need to:

  1. Disable the feature in getsentry/conf/settings/defaults.py by updating SENTRY_FEATURES.
  2. Add your feature to the appropriate plan feature list.
  3. Update SubscriptionPlanFeatureHandler to handle your feature.

If your feature requires additional logic to become active, you can also implement a feature handler in getsentry. For example, you can create a feature flag that is backed by options. follow these steps:

  1. Disable the feature in getsentry/conf/settings/defaults.py by updating SENTRY_FEATURES.
  2. Add a new feature handler class in getsentry/features.py that determines availability of the feature based on the organization or actor.
  3. Register the handler at the bottom of getsentry/features.py.
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