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Getting Started with the OpenFeature Go SDK and Go Gin

Introduction

This walk-through teaches you the basics of using OpenFeature in Go in the context of a Go Gin web application.

You'll learn how to:

  • Integrate the OpenFeature Go SDK
  • Install and configure the OpenFeature provider
  • Perform basic feature flagging

Requirements

Walk-through

This walk-through assumes that:

  • You have a basic knowledge of Go
  • You have Go 1.17 or later
  • You have Docker installed and running on the host system

Step 1: Create a new Go project

To get started, let's create a new folder and initialize the project. This can be done by running following commands.

mkdir gostart
cd gostart
go mod init gostart

Step 2: Set up the application

Let's initialize the application with logic to expose a minimal Go Gin web endpoint.

First, create the file main.go and include the following code.

package main

import (
"github.com/gin-gonic/gin"
"net/http"
)

const defaultMessage = "Hello!"

func main() {
// Initialize Go Gin
engine := gin.Default()

// Setup a simple endpoint
engine.GET("/hello", func(c *gin.Context) {
c.JSON(http.StatusOK, defaultMessage)
return

})

engine.Run()
}

To add Go Gin dependency to the application, run the following commands.

go get github.com/gin-gonic/gin
go mod tidy

Step 3: Add the OpenFeature SDK

Next, let's add logic to customize the response message based on the boolean flag key welcome-message.

package main

import (
+ "context"
"github.com/gin-gonic/gin"
+ "github.com/open-feature/go-sdk/pkg/openfeature"
"net/http"
)

const defaultMessage = "Hello!"
+ const newWelcomeMessage = "Hello, welcome to this OpenFeature-enabled website!"

func main() {
+ // Initialize OpenFeature client
+ client := openfeature.NewClient("GoStartApp")
+
// Initialize Go Gin
engine := gin.Default()

// Setup a simple endpoint
engine.GET("/hello", func(c *gin.Context) {
- c.JSON(http.StatusOK, defaultMessage)
- return

+ // Evaluate welcome-message feature flag
+ welcomeMessage, _ := client.BooleanValue(
+ context.Background(), "welcome-message", false, openfeature.EvaluationContext{},
+ )
+
+ if welcomeMessage {
+ c.JSON(http.StatusOK, newWelcomeMessage)
+ return
+ } else {
+ c.JSON(http.StatusOK, defaultMessage)
+ return
+ }
})

engine.Run()

To add OpenFeature SDK dependency to the application, run the following commands.

go get github.com/open-feature/go-sdk/pkg/openfeature
go mod tidy

Step 4: Run the initial application

Let's start the application and see it in action.

go run main.go

Now you can visit the url http://localhost:8080/hello and observe the message Hello!.

"Why I'm I seeing that value?", you may ask. Well, it's because a provider hasn't been configured yet. Without a provider to actually evaluate flags, OpenFeature will return the default value. In the next step, you'll learn how to add a provider.

Step 5: Configure a provider (flagd)

Providers are an important concept in OpenFeature because they are responsible for the flag evaluation itself. As we saw in the previous step, OpenFeature without a provider always returns the default value. If we want to actually perform feature flagging, we'll need to register a provider.

Create a new file named flags.json and add the following JSON. Notice that there's a flag called welcome-message which matches the flag key referenced earlier. The welcome-message flag has on and off variants that return true and false respectively. The state property controls whether the feature flag is active or not. Finally, the defaultVariant property controls the variant that should be returned. In this case, the defaultVariant is off, therefore the value false would be returned.

{
"$schema": "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/open-feature/schemas/main/json/flagd-definitions.json",
"flags": {
"welcome-message": {
"variants": {
"on": true,
"off": false
},
"state": "ENABLED",
"defaultVariant": "off"
}
}
}

NOTE: This configuration is specific for flagd and varies across providers.

With the flagd configuration in place, start flagd service with the following docker command.

docker run -p 8013:8013 -v $(pwd)/:/etc/flagd/ -it ghcr.io/open-feature/flagd:latest start --uri file:/etc/flagd/flags.json

Now, let's make the required code changes in our application.

 import (
"context"
"github.com/gin-gonic/gin"
+ flagd "github.com/open-feature/go-sdk-contrib/providers/flagd/pkg"
"github.com/open-feature/go-sdk/pkg/openfeature"
"net/http"
)

func main() {
+ // Use flagd as the OpenFeature provider
+ openfeature.SetProvider(flagd.NewProvider())
+
// Initialize OpenFeature client
client := openfeature.NewClient("GoStartApp")

Then, let's add flagd provider dependency with following commands.

go get github.com/open-feature/go-sdk-contrib/providers/flagd
go mod tidy

The complete main.go file is given below:

package main

import (
"context"
"github.com/gin-gonic/gin"
flagd "github.com/open-feature/go-sdk-contrib/providers/flagd/pkg"
"github.com/open-feature/go-sdk/pkg/openfeature"
"net/http"
)

const defaultMessage = "Hello!"
const newWelcomeMessage = "Hello, welcome to this OpenFeature-enabled website!"

func main() {
// Use flagd as the OpenFeature provider
openfeature.SetProvider(flagd.NewProvider())

// Initialize OpenFeature client
client := openfeature.NewClient("GoStartApp")

// Initialize Go Gin
engine := gin.Default()

// Setup a simple endpoint
engine.GET("/hello", func(c *gin.Context) {

// Evaluate welcome-message feature flag
welcomeMessage, _ := client.BooleanValue(
context.Background(), "welcome-message", false, openfeature.EvaluationContext{},
)

if welcomeMessage {
c.JSON(http.StatusOK, newWelcomeMessage)
return
} else {
c.JSON(http.StatusOK, defaultMessage)
return
}
})

engine.Run()
}

Step 6: Rerun the application

Let's rerun the application with the following command.

go run main.go

Revisit the endpoint http://localhost:8080/hello and you will see the same value.

Let's change the feature flag in our flags.json, making defaultVariant to on

{
"$schema": "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/open-feature/schemas/main/json/flagd-definitions.json",
"flags": {
"welcome-message": {
"variants": {
"on": true,
"off": false
},
"state": "ENABLED",
- "defaultVariant": "off"
+ "defaultVariant": "on"
}
}
}

Revisit the endpoint http://localhost:8080/hello and you will be greeted with Hello, welcome to this OpenFeature-enabled website!

Conclusion

This walk-through introduced you to the OpenFeature Go SDK and how it can be easily integrated into well-known frameworks such as Go Gin. It covered how a provider can be configured to perform the flag evaluation and introduced basic feature flagging concepts. It also showcased how feature flags can be updated at runtime, without requiring a code change and a redeployment.