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Canary Launch

No, it's not the famous iOS game. A canary launch is a strategic software testing and rollout method to introduce a new feature or update to a limited user subset before extending it to the entire user base. This practice aims to validate the feature's performance and uncover any potential issues in a live environment, ensuring a smooth and successful full-scale rollout.

Implementing a Canary Launch with Statsig:

  1. Identify the Feature: Select the new feature or update you intend to test and launch.

  2. Utilize Feature Gates: Leverage Statsig's feature gates to regulate the release of your new feature. Configure the feature gate to expose the feature to an initial small percentage of users.

  3. Select a User Subset: Choose a small, representative group from your user base to serve as the "canary." This group will be the first to experience the new feature.

  4. Monitor User and System Impact: As the feature is introduced to the canary group, closely observe vital user and system metrics. Statsig's event logging and metric creation capabilities assist in tracking the feature's behavior and performance.

  5. Analyze the Outcomes: Analyze the collected data to ascertain if the new feature is operating as intended and if any issues require resolution.

  6. Progressive Expansion or Rollback: If the canary launch yields positive results and the feature performs well, gradually expand access to a larger user percentage. In case issues emerge, revert the feature, address the concerns, and initiate the canary launch anew.

  7. Post-Release Cleanup: Upon completion of the release, remove unnecessary gates from your code. Discontinue or delete them when no longer needed.

Employing the canary launch methodology in Statsig reduces risk and the likelihood of adverse impacts when introducing new features. It empowers you to detect and rectify issues early, safeguarding your complete user base from potential disruptions.

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