Top Split Alternatives to Consider
Are you looking for Split alternatives? We compare Split to feature flag management tools like Optimizely, LaunchDarkly, AB Tasty, and Harness Feature Flags.
Split.io is a feature flagging solution focused on experimentation, AB tests, and helping engineering and product teams make data driven decisions around feature releases. It competes with tools focused on A/B testing, such as Optimizely and AB Tasty - and, to a lesser degree, with feature flag management solutions such as Harness, LaunchDarkly, and Unleashed. In this article, we'll go over Split alternatives so that you can make the right choice for your use case.
Intro to Split
Split.io uses feature flags as a way to make data-driven decisions, and is especially useful for the product manager and ops team roles.
Split lets you define metrics around your feature flags and use these metrics, targeting specific user segments and new features to mitigate risks and separate your deployment from feature releases. It is a feature flag focused way of getting AB tests working, and should help a modern engineering team and their product managers use data to learn and respond.
If you need an intro-level article into feature flags, check out What Are Feature Flags? now.
Split prices based on the number of developers and the number of MTKs (Monthly Tracked Keys). The pricing model mirrors the industry standard model of other feature management solutions, with volume-based pricing rather than fixed prices.
Like all feature flag solutions, Split supports both client and server-side SDKs, as well as both web and mobile apps - providing essentially a full stack solution. Split has an SDK that will work for almost any major tech stack and has no major gaps in application or infrastructure support.
Split also supports the use of targeting rules (which they call “treatments”) as well as customized user segments and the control of feature flags across different environments.
Like other vendors, Split supports single sign-on, but does not support on-premise usage.
Engineering vs Experimentation
The underlying concept of feature toggles enables a wide variety of use cases, and solutions such as Split each focus more heavily on some use cases over others.
Engineering benefits (primarily for application teams and operations teams) of feature flags are, for example, the ability to separate code deployments from the actual feature release, the ability to use flags in an ongoing way as a configuration management service for your applications, as well as the ability to turn changes on or off on demand, effectively acting as kill switches.
This separation of deployments from feature releases ends up fundamentally changing the way development works, with a handoff from engineers to the product manager, an account team, or a manager to run beta programs, coordinate releases, or simply to be ready to turn a feature off should any issues arise.
Another key use case, though, is experimentation. While experimentation can be used to mean the engineering practice of testing and verifying the performance of a change, or of letting ops engineers collaborate with application engineering teams to monitor the impact of changes, more often it means behavior testing, such as AB testing. This helps organizations judge the impact of feature releases on how users interact with the product, or to improve customer engagement.
This experimentation use case is closer to the marketing and product side, and often will be done by other tools beyond the engineering-focused feature flag solution. The requirements sound usability, lifecycle management, and what the tool focuses on mean that tools focused on behavioral testing are only able to serve the engineering use cases of feature flags in a much more limited way.
Let's dive into Split alternatives now!
Split vs Engineering Alternatives
Harness Feature Flags
Harness Feature Flags combined with Harness CI, CD, and Cloud Cost Management, provides end-to-end software delivery and a true feature delivery platform. This platform approach allows Harness Feature Flags to deliver true Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery by providing end-to-end visibility while building better software.
Harness focuses on increasing developer productivity, helping to mitigate risks in code deployments, and helping development teams achieve zero downtime. Harness Feature Flags, both as a standalone feature management solution and as part of the Harness platform, will accelerate development cycles while allowing software teams to release safely and validate new ideas.
LaunchDarkly is a standalone feature management solution with a strong emphasis on helping teams to mitigate risk, release safely, and release features quickly.
LaunchDarkly is an industry leader in feature flags. It includes support to help software teams manage feature flags with a user-friendly interface and a blog full of insight on feature flags best practices for all scenarios.
Standalone tools like LaunchDarkly tend to be best for small businesses where software development does not require coordination, compliance, and governance.
Split vs Experimentation Alternatives
Like Split, Optimizely is more focused on experimentation and AB tests than the engineering lifecycle and utility of feature flags. Optimizely was a pioneer in the AB testing space, building out a robust solution around scientific experimentation and statistically significant quantitative testing.
Unlike Split, Optimizely does not take a feature flag-centric view of the world. It uses feature flags primarily as an implementation detail rather than as a key experimentation construct.
AB Tasty is another experimentation platform, focused heavily on the marketing side and around conversion and growth optimization.
While Split is more focused on the integration of engineering data sources, and Optimizely on the product manager use case, AB Tasty sits closer to the marketing organization - although some product managers do use AB Tasty extensively.
Split.io is a feature flag solution, but one more focused on metrics and experimentation than on the feature flag use cases around engineering velocity, customer experience, kill switches, and application config management (or “remote config”).
Within the experimentation space, it competes with Optimizely (more focused on product managers) and AB Testy (more focused on marketing), sitting at the intersection of engineering and product.
On the engineering side, it competes with Harness Feature Flags and LaunchDarkly to help teams deploy code and reduce risk by separating separate code deployments from feature releases.
Want to learn more about how Harness Feature Flags compares to the alternatives listed above? Check out our comparison guide for Harness vs. Split, LaunchDarkly, Optimizely, and Cloudbees Feature Management. We also have an article on the best feature flag tools that you can sink your teeth into!