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Custom Properties for Custom Audiences

Victor Vucicevich


While there is a lot of value gained from simply rolling out features to users based on commonly available properties such as device type, user id, email, etc, there are times where deeper targeting of users may be necessary.

Custom Properties allow you to provide any information about your users, or services, and then create complex targets based on those properties. These properties can be anything - as simple as a unique identifier for a user or their City, to more complex concepts such as their favourite sports teams or even their permission level.

Allowing for custom properties to be used for targeting purposes takes us far beyond what feature rollouts were previously.

Targeting Before Custom Properties

When teams start adopting feature flags they generally start out small and simple. Controlling the release of features to users as code is continually deployed to production. This means that targeting can be simple to start.

A first time feature flag users’ process may look something like this:

  1. Target relevant engineers in development - So engineers can see the feature they are building
  2. Target all internal users in development - So other engineers can more easily understand what was built for code review or QA
  3. Target internal users in staging - So relevant users can confirm functionality is behaving appropriately in test environments
  4. Target internal users in prod - So QA users, engineers and automation tools can validate the feature in prod
  5. Target all users in prod - So product can launch the feature to everyone!

This is great for some of the most important use cases relating to risk-reduction and supporting a move to continuous deployment.

Maturity Happens Fast

We find that teams grow out of this simple use-case quite fast. It can be as simple as needing to turn a feature off for certain customers because you’re trying to validate if people will pay for it. Or maybe you forgot to localize part of your new feature for global audiences.

Whatever the reason, there will come a point when you need to target sub-groups of your user-base with different combinations of features.

Now, DevCycle’s market-best audience targeting has some great options out of the box such as:

  • Platform
  • Platform Version
  • Country
  • Email
  • App Version
  • Device Model

These can take many users quite far, but we don’t want to limit our users in who they can target and for what reasons.

Custom properties for any need

With the addition of Custom Properties, we’re making our best-in-class audience builder even more flexible. You can create custom properties for any structure of data you have about your users or internal systems to target as granularly as you need. Set your properties up as Boolean, String or Numbers and just assign them the keys you’ll be using to identify your users and you’re set.

This will have you ready to target based off of things like:

  • Subscription status
  • Organization
  • Plan type
  • Internal service identifiers

The options are endless!

Some Real Examples!

Get Started Now

If you’re looking to improve on how you target your feature flags to users check out our documentation on how to leverage Custom Properties and sign up for free now.

Written By

Victor Vucicevich