From Hot-fixing to Continuous Feature Delivery

Written by: Erez Rusovsky

Today is both a solemn and a joyous day for the entire CloudBees Feature Management team. We are launching a new product (ROX) and at same time, sunsetting our current hot-fixing product. You can read all about our new product which is a continuous feature delivery system here, but in this post I want to focus on our old product. A little history Over two years ago my co-founder Eyal and myself started on a journey to fix a “simple” problem. Fixing bugs on live mobile apps. At the time, they said it couldn’t be done. They said the only way to fix a bug in a native app is to release an updated version. They were wrong :) CloudBees Feature Management created a solution that allows mobile app developers to inject a javascript based patch file into native Obj-c and Swift apps. Every developer who saw CloudBees Feature Management in action was thoroughly impressed :) Our solution was a perfect compliment to the usual App Store release process. If you’re adding new code, features, or functionality to your app, release it through the App Store. If you just want to fix a bug, for example modifying an edge case for an existing function, deploy a patch using CloudBees Feature Management. In the past two years, we our customer base has grown steadily. CloudBees Feature Management’s SDK has been installed on hundreds of apps and used by over 80 million end users. Our service has fixed thousands of live issues, and we’ve received tons of great feedback from our users on how we’ve “saved the day” for them. The actual wording was more like “CloudBees Feature Management saved my @ss - thanks!!!!” :) Starting on our next our product (ROX). In mid 2016, we noticed that quite a lot of our customers were using CloudBees Feature Management for feature flagging. As our goal has always been to help developers solve the larger challenge of safely deploying new features, we started working on ROX, our new continuous feature deployment product which we are launching today. Apple changes their mind Fast forward to a March 7th, 2017. Apple re-interpreted their guidelines, and were no longer approving apps which use some of the technology in our hot-fixing SDK. No warning. No talking to us. Nada. We’ve tried to address the issue with Apple with no success and do not foresee Apple reversing their position. This was quite a disappointment to us. For almost two years our SDK was approved in production apps without any issues, and then boom. It was quite a hectic week which I wrote about here. Focusing on the future After quite a lot of deliberations, we’ve made the very difficult decision to sunset our current “hot-fixing” product and focus purely on our new continuous feature deployment product (ROX). If you are wondering about any possible issues Apple might have with ROX, our new product, you can rest assured. The SDK that ROX uses was written from the ground up. It does not contain any of the code or functionality that Apple had an issue with. A giant thank you I can’t say how grateful I am for each and every one of our users who put their trust in our old hot-fixing product. I hope you’ll try out our new product which solves the even bigger issue of deploying new features quickly and safely. We’re sad to say goodbye to our current product, but we’re really excited about our new product - ROX. I think you’re really gonna like it :) Erez Rusovsky CEO and co-founder

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