Feature Flags

Feature flags are controlled in Sentry at the commit and configuration level. At this time, there is no built-in way to modify them in production in real-time.

You can find a list of features available by looking at sentry/features/__init__.py. They're declared on the FeatureManager like so:

default_manager.add("organizations:onboarding", OrganizationFeature)  # NOQA

The feature can be enabled with the following in your config.py:

SENTRY_FEATURES["organizations:onboarding"] = True

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

Creating a new Feature Flag

Determine what scope the feature should have

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.

Add your feature to server.py

conf/server.py contains many of the default settings in the application. Here you will add your feature, and decide what default value it should hold unless specified by the user.

The SENTRY_FEATURES dictionary contains all the features in the application with their corresponding scope. Your feature should start off disabled by default:

    'organizations:test-feature': False,
    'auth:register': True,
    # ...
    'projects:minidump': False,

Add your feature to the FeatureManager

The FeatureManager handles the application features. We add all the features to the FeatureManager, including the type of feature we want to add to the file /src/sentry/features/__init__.py.

In our case, it is

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

Add it to the Organization Model Serializer

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 the all 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

Using Model Flags (Less common)

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'):

Checking your feature

In Python code

The FeatureManager's has method checks see if the feature exists. The has method takes in the feature's name, the object that corresponds 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). In our case the feature will be added like:

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

which 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'.

In JavaScript

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.

Declarative features with the Feature component

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 'app/components/acl/feature';

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

Imperative feature flag checks

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

Enabling features in development

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.config.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

Where SENTRY_FEATURES will correspond to the SENTRY_FEATURES from step 2. Set it to True if you'd like the feature to be available and False if not.

Enabling your feature in production

If you want to enable your feature for a subset of production users, you will need to update the feature handlers in getsentry.

In getsentry/features.py you will find a collection of feature handlers that enable various early adopter and billing related features.

Releasing a feature to a subset of organization

You can enable a feature for a specific list of organization slugs by adding your feature and the list of organizations to the FEATURE_EARLY_ADOPTERS dictionary.

Releasing a feature to organizations with specific plans

Enabling a feature for customers on specific plans will require creating a FeatureHandler and updating the plan catalog.

  1. Update the feature list in getsentry/accounts/plans.py This list contains the feature name, a customer facing name and a short description of the feature.
  2. Update the relevant plans in getsentry/accounts/plans.py . For example if your feature is only available on Business plans, ensure that the plan definition includes the test-feature flag in its list of features.
  3. Create a feature handler for our feature.
class TestFeatureFeatureHandler(features.FeatureHandler):
    # Tell FeatureManager which feature this handler is for.
    features = {"organizations:test-feature"}

    def has(self, feature, actor):
        org = feature.organization

            sub = Subscription.get_for_organization(org)
        except Subscription.DoesNotExist:
            return False

        plan_features = active_features(sub)
        return "test-feature" in plan_features

The has method of a feature handler in getsentry should always return a boolean. This prevents fall through to the SENTRY_FEATURES dictionary.

Releasing to organizations of a specific plan incrementally

When releasing a large or potentially disruptive feature you may want to enable it for a percentage of organizations incrementally. For example, on monday it is available to 10% of users, and increasing the percentage of customers by 10% each day.

  1. Regsiter an integer typed option in sentry. Eg. test-feature.rollout-rate . The default value should be 0.
  2. Create a feature handler that uses the PercentageRollout mixin
class TestFeatureFeatureHandler(features.FeatureHandler, PercentageRollout):
    # Tell FeatureManager which feature this handler is for.
    features = {"organizations:test-feature"}

    def has(self, feature, actor):
        org = feature.organization
    # Other conditions can go here.
    return self.in_rollout_group(org.id, 'test-feature.rollout-rate')
  1. Work with operations to set and increase the value of your option as required.

After launch (Graduation)

After your feature has been mainlined and is available for all hosted customers:

  • If the feature cannot be disabled, or if no application specific overrides are required, remove the feature flag and all related checks from the Sentry code base. If necessary, also remove references to the feature from the onpremise and getsentry repositories.
  • If the feature flag controls a behavior specific to Sentry SaaS, leave it disabled in Sentry and add appropriate feature handlers in getsentry (see below). In this case, keep in mind that the feature is also disabled during development.
  • If the feature is generally available but is constrained to specific organizations or projects on Sentry SaaS, enable the feature by default in in conf/server.py and add appropriate feature handlers in getsentry. This ensures that the feature is enabled in development and self-hosted Sentry installations.

To override features in getsentry, 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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