Testing with feature flags

To run a specific test with a feature flag enabled you can use the QA::Runtime::Feature class to enable and disable feature flags (via the API).

Note that administrator authorization is required to change feature flags. QA::Runtime::Feature automatically authenticates as an administrator as long as you provide an appropriate access token via GITLAB_QA_ADMIN_ACCESS_TOKEN (recommended), or provide GITLAB_ADMIN_USERNAME and GITLAB_ADMIN_PASSWORD.

Please be sure to include the tag :requires_admin so that the test can be skipped in environments where admin access is not available.

cautionYou are strongly advised to enable feature flags only for a group, project, user, or feature group. This makes it possible to test a feature in a shared environment without affecting other users.

For example, the code below would enable a feature flag named :feature_flag_name for the project created by the test:

RSpec.describe "with feature flag enabled", :requires_admin do
  let(:project) { Resource::Project.fabricate_via_api! }

  before do
    Runtime::Feature.enable(:feature_flag_name, project: project)
  end

  it "feature flag test" do
    # Execute the test with the feature flag enabled.
    # It will only affect the project created in this test.
  end

  after do
    Runtime::Feature.disable(:feature_flag_name, project: project)
  end
end

Note that the enable and disable methods first set the flag and then check that the updated value is returned by the API.

Similarly, you can enable a feature for a group, user, or feature group:

group = Resource::Group.fabricate_via_api!
Runtime::Feature.enable(:feature_flag_name, group: group)

user = Resource::User.fabricate_via_api!
Runtime::Feature.enable(:feature_flag_name, user: user)

feature_group = "a_feature_group"
Runtime::Feature.enable(:feature_flag_name, feature_group: feature_group)

If no scope is provided, the feature flag is set instance-wide:

# This will affect all users!
Runtime::Feature.enable(:feature_flag_name)

Running a scenario with a feature flag enabled

It’s also possible to run an entire scenario with a feature flag enabled, without having to edit existing tests or write new ones.

Please see the QA README for details.

Confirming that end-to-end tests pass with a feature flag enabled

End-to-end tests should pass with a feature flag enabled before it is enabled on Staging or on GitLab.com. Tests that need to be updated should be identified as part of quad-planning. The relevant counterpart Software Engineer in Test is responsible for updating the tests or assisting another engineer to do so. However, if a change does not go through quad-planning and a required test update is not made, test failures could block deployment.

If a test enables a feature flag as describe above, it is sufficient to run the package-and-qa job in a merge request containing the relevant changes. Or, if the feature flag and relevant changes have already been merged, you can confirm that the tests pass on master. The end-to-end tests run on master every two hours, and the results are posted to a Test Session Report, which is available in the testcase-sessions project.

If the relevant tests do not enable the feature flag themselves, you can check if the tests will need to be updated by opening a draft merge request that enables the flag by default and then running the package-and-qa job. The merge request can be closed once the tests pass. If you need assistance to update the tests, please contact the relevant stable counterpart in the Quality department, or any Software Engineer in Test if there is no stable counterpart for your group.