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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2011 (Minneapolis, MN) with: Emily Christiansen
Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2011 (Minneapolis, MN) with: Emily Christiansen ( @egchristiansen )

Feature Flags Book: Server-Side vs. Client-Side

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In a multi-page application, the page is newly rendered after each browser navigation event. As such, there's no meaningful difference between a feature flag used on the server-side vs. one used on the client-side. Any changes made to a feature flag's configuration will propagate naturally to the client-side upon navigation.

With single-page applications (SPAs), the client-side code comes with life-cycle implications that require us to think more carefully about feature flag consumption. In a SPA, the client-side code—often referred to as a "thick client"—is composed of a relatively large HTML, CSS, and JavaScript bundle. This bundle is cached in the browser; and, navigation events are fulfilled via client-side view-manipulation with API calls to fetch live data from the back-end.


In 2023, I published a book titled, "Feature Flags: Transform Your Product Development Workflow". This book contains everything that I've learned over the last 7 years about integrating feature flags into my product development. But, a static book can only take you so far. In an effort to make the book more interactive, I've created a series of blog posts—one per chapter—that provide a place in which the readers and I can discuss the content. You can purchase the book and / or read a preview of each chapter on the book's mini-site. Feel free to leave a question or a comment down below.

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Ben Nadel