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Feature Toggling

What is feature toggling?

Feature toggling is a software development technique that allows you to turn features on and off in your application without deploying new code. This can be useful for testing new features, rolling out features to a subset of users, or for turning off features that are not ready for production.

What is Unleash?

Unleash is a feature toggle system, that gives you a great overview of all feature toggles across all your applications and services. It comes with official client implementations for Java, Node.js, Go, Ruby, Python and .Net.

You can read more about Unleash at

Limitations and known issues

Yes, there are some limitations and known issues with Unleash:

Do's and don'ts

  • Do not create users manually in Unleash. All members of your team will automatically get access to your team's Unleash instance.
  • Do not create api tokens manually in Unleash. API tokens are automatically created when you deploy an ApiToken resource in your Kubernetes namespace. Read more about creating a new API token.
  • Do not delete the API token named admin in Unleash instance. This will break the integration with Kubernetes, and you will need to contact us in #unleash to get it fixed.
  • Do not delete the RemoteUnleash resource in your Kubernetes namespace. This will break the integration with Kubernetes, and you will need to contact us in #unleash to get it fixed.

Getting started

Each team (or a collection of teams) get their own Unleash instance. Please contact us in #unleash to get started!

Using Unleash


We are working on better integrations with nais applications to make it easier to get access to Unleash from backend and frontend applications with less configuration. Stay tuned!

Accessing Unleash

Each team has their own instance of Unleash. Each Unleash instance has two addresses:

Address Description Access from Authentication
https://<team> Web UI address Internet user
https://<team> API address nais and naisdevice API token

*replace <team> with your team name.

The web UI is used for viewing and managing feature toggles. The API is used by your application to fetch feature toggles.

Access from backend applications

To access the Unleash API from your backend application, you need to add the following to your nais.yaml:

apiVersion: ""
kind: "Application"
  name: "my-application"
  namespace: "<team>"
        - host: <team>

If you don't do this you will see a similar error in your application logs:

ECONNRESET", host: "<team>", port: 443

Access from frontend applications

The Unleash API is not not accessible directly from a browser, hence CORS is not enabled. If you need to access the Unleash API from a frontend application, you need to a proxy to the API.

Unleash Edge

Unleash Edge is the successor to the Unleash Proxy and sits between the Unleash API and your SDKs and provides a cached read-replica of your Unleash instance. This means you can scale up your Unleash instance to thousands of connected SDKs without increasing the number of requests you make to your Unleash instance.

Server Side Proxy

The easiest way to enable access to Unleash from your frontend application is to make a proxy on your backend to forward requests to Unleash and add API token.

You can find an example over at unleash/unleash-client-nextjs but keep in mind that you will want to add CORS or preferably user authentication in front to prevent unintended access to your Unleash data.

Server Side Rendering (SSR)

You can load feature toggles from Unleash in your server side rendered pages without adding additional dependencies to your client JavaScript bundle. This is a quick an easy way to get started with Unleash in your frontend application.

You can find a good example for how teamsykmelding have solved this in their Next.js application over at navikt/sykemelding#369.

Creating a new API token

You should not create API tokens manually from the Web UI – instead you should create them as a part of deploying your application.

Deploy an ApiToken resource to dynamically create a new Unleash API token and add it to you existing nais application as a secret:

kind: ApiToken
  name: my-application
  namespace: my-team
    team: my-team
      kind: RemoteUnleash
      name: my-team
    secretName: my-application-unleash-api-token

    # Specify which environment the API token should be created for.
    # Can be one of: development, or production.
    environment: development
apiVersion: ""
kind: "Application"
  name: "my-application"
  namespace: "my-team"
      - secret: my-application-unleash-api-token

This will create a new API token in your Unleash instance, and create a Kubernetes secret in your namespace named my-application-unleash-api-token that contains two environment variables:

  • UNLEASH_SERVER_API_URL (the API address, remember to add /api at the end to authenticate to the API server)
  • UNLEASH_SERVER_API_ENV (the environment, either development or production)

In the future we will add support for automatically creating API tokens when deploying your application.

Known issues

  • The ApiToken resource does not support updating the API token. If you need to update the API token, you need to delete the ApiToken resource using kubectl delete apitoken <my-token> -n <my-namespace> and deploy it again.

Problems and solutions

Token secret not found

If you have created a new API token, but you don't see the secret in your namespace, you can try to delete the ApiToken resource and deploy it again.

kubectl delete apitoken <my-token> -n <my-team>

Alternatively, check the status field for the ApiToken resource to see if there are any errors.

kubectl describe apitoken <my-token> -n <my-team>
Example output
    Last Transition Time:  2023-05-30T17:28:44Z
    Message:               API token successfully created
    Reason:                Reconciling
    Status:                True
    Type:                  Created
  Created:                 true
  Failed:                  false

RemoteUnleash not found

If you see an error like this in your ApiToken status:

    Message:               RemoteUnleash resource with name <my-name> not found in namespace <my-namespace>
    Reason:                UnleashNotFound

This means that the Unleash connection configuration for your team namespace is missing. This can happen if you deploy to a different namespace than your team name. To fix this, you need to contact us in #unleash to get the namespace connected to your team's Unleash instance.