More feature flags related terms

Canary testing


Canary testing is a technique used in software development and deployment where a new version or feature is rolled out gradually to a small subset of users before being made available to the entire user base. This approach is named after the "canary in a coal mine" concept, where canaries were once used to detect toxic gases in coal mines, serving as an early warning system for miners. Similarly, canary testing acts as an early warning to identify potential problems in a software release.


The practice is crucial for minimizing the impact of errors or issues on the user experience. By deploying the change to a small group initially, developers can monitor performance and user feedback, catching and addressing any issues before a full-scale rollout. This method helps ensure stability and reliability in software applications, providing a safer environment for deploying new features or updates.


  1. Selection: A small percentage of the user base is selected for the canary test, often based on criteria that ensure a representative sample of the overall population.
  2. Deployment: The new feature or version is released to this selected group, while the rest of the users continue to use the stable version.
  3. Monitoring: Key performance indicators (KPIs), user feedback, and system metrics are closely monitored to identify any issues arising from the new release.
  4. Analysis: Data gathered during the monitoring phase is analyzed to decide whether the new version is stable and performs as expected.
  5. Full Rollout or Rollback: If the canary version proves to be stable and beneficial, it is gradually rolled out to the rest of the user base. If issues are identified, the changes may be rolled back, and further adjustments are made before attempting another canary test.

Key Benefits


Canary testing is an effective strategy for software release management, enhancing the quality and reliability of software by allowing developers to detect and address issues early. It represents a cautious approach to deployment that prioritizes user experience and system stability, making it an essential practice in modern software development and deployment methodologies.

Canary launch

A canary launch introduces a new feature to a small group of users before a full rollout, aiming to detect and address issues early on, minimizing risks and ensuring a smoother deployment.

Learn about Canary launch

Continuous delivery

A software development practice where code changes are automatically prepared for a release to production.

Learn about Continuous delivery

Continuous deployment

Automatically deploying every valid change to production without explicit approval.

Learn about Continuous deployment

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