Harness is categorized as:
Cloud Cost Management
Cloud Cost Optimization
Service Reliability Management
Security Testing Orchestration
LaunchDarkly is a Feature Flag Platform that serves over 100 billion feature flags daily to help software teams build better software, faster.
LaunchDarkly is categorized as:
LaunchDarkly vs. Harness Feature Flags
LaunchDarkly vs Harness: DevOps Tools Comparison | Harness
September 19, 2022
- Primary Users
- Primary Use Case
- SaaS & On-Premises Support
- Simple Developer Onboarding
- Feature Flag Pipelines
- Native CI/CD Support & Pipeline Extensibility
- Config-as-Code & GitOps
- SDK Support
- Automated Feature Verifications
- Flag Lifecycle Management
- Binary/Multivariate Flags
- Flexible Targets (Users, Groups, Regions, Infra)
- Streaming & Polling Support
- Security/Access Control
- Global Governance (OPA Support)
- Audit Logs
- Reporting & Dashboards
- Proxy Service
Developers, Product Managers, Ops, Eng Managers
Manage risk & velocity; Automation; Governance
<yes><yes> SaaS & On-Prem Supported
All Major Languages
<with><with> Coming Soon
<yes><yes> RBAC, SSO, More in Progress
<yes><yes> Reporting Across SDLC
Developers, Product Managers
Manage risk & velocity; Experimentation
<no><no> SaaS & Only
All Major Languages
<with><with> Limited to FF Data
Detailed Feature Comparison
Harness Feature Flags vs. LaunchDarkly
SaaS & On-Premises Support:
LaunchDarkly only offers a SaaS version of their product. Harness supports both SaaS and on-prem deployment models.
Delivering software is a process that starts at building an application. In the same way, feature flags should provide value to teams at each phase of the software delivery lifecycle. It’s not just about shipping code faster and creating improvements for users; feature flags should also make daily operations easier and provide visibility. Harness Feature Flags was built to support all of these use cases across Developers, Product Managers, Operations, and Engineering Managers.
The focus is unleashing the power of feature flags for software delivery teams holistically. And while Harness focuses on a developer-first experience, the same workflows and processes are built to support software delivery teams where they struggle the most. Hint: it’s not just shipping features.
Simple Developer Onboarding:
When building Feature Flags, Harness focused heavily on the developer experience - developers are, after all, the true arbiters of feature flags. Our intent was to make sure that the setup process is fast and intuitive, and that teams can get started and see value from feature flags right away. While LaunchDarkly provides a robust onboarding experience, they are focused more on the operational users of feature flags, such as product managers, rather than the developers themselves.
Feature Flag Pipelines:
In Harness, this feature is called Pipelines, and LaunchDarkly has a comparable feature called Workflows. At its core, this capability allows users to create a custom workflow for a flag that can be applied to multiple flags. Where they differ is in their versatility.
LaunchDarkly’s Workflows allow for a user to create rules and steps to take actions against a flag, but we don’t see the ability to create automated or reusable templates. What Harness offers is a visual drag-and-drop pipeline builder that supports hundreds of integrations (compared to 34 from LaunchDarkly), as well as fully automatable and repeatable pipelines - and they integrate with CI/CD.
This feature has always been the big differentiator for LaunchDarkly, and it’s exciting to see this concept expanded on by Harness with its native extension into - and context from - CI/CD. This unified pipeline extensibility is unique in the space, and LaunchDarkly isn’t there yet.
Native CI/CD Support & Pipeline Extensibility
LaunchDarkly, as a third-party tool, is completely abstracted from your CI/CD process, which perpetuates the view that feature flags are an ancillary step. Ideally, this view would be abolished. At Harness, we view feature flags as a crucial part of the CI/CD pipeline - and as such, it becomes a natural step in the everyday workflow of development teams and is integrated into CI/CD as a unified pipeline. This allows for users to get visibility into any change from code to release, and create standardized and automated processes across all stages of the SDLC.
As part of the Harness platform, users also can rest easy knowing that they can get a full audit log, manage teams and security like RBAC, share environments and APIs, and see cross-platform analytics. Of course, all of this is available for just Harness Feature Flags, and its power is more pronounced on the platform.
Config-as-Code & GitOps:
You’ll notice that the primary users for both tools are Developers and Product Managers. Where Harness differs in its approach is that it’s built to be developer-first. It’s important to meet developers where they are and work within their processes. With Harness, teams have the ability to create pipelines visually and combine that with a pipelines-as-code or config-as-code approach; visual pipelines create YAML files that can be changed to reflect back into the visual pipeline, and these can automatically be synced with Git so changes are reflected immediately and without added effort, all from within our platform.
Harness and LaunchDarkly support all major languages, both server-side and client-side. However, here is where we must admit that LaunchDarkly got a headstart. They provide support for many more SDKs than Harness does today (though we’re catching up quick). Both provide OSS for their SDKs.
Automated Feature Verifications:
Harness pioneered the concept of Continuous Verification in the software delivery space. Having battle-tested the capability over years with hundreds of customers, the ability to have Harness automatically monitor deployments and take appropriate rollout or rollback options is extended into Harness Feature Flags. A unique capability in the world of feature flags, users can use the ML-based automated verification feature to have Harness automatically verify the health of live features and take appropriate remediation action should things go wrong - it obviates the need for users to manually monitor and make changes during a feature rollout.
The key difference between Harness and LaunchDarkly is the extensibility of security and access control to more than just feature flags. With the native Harness support for CI/CD, users can extend the same security/access control profiles end-to-end across SDLC, rather than having to learn multiple tools and create those controls from scratch. By simplifying this process end-to-end, users are able to focus on using the tools rather than configuring them.
At Harness, we take security extremely seriously, as evidenced by our DevSecOps approach. We took the same views with Feature Flags, ensuring RBAC and SSO were available from inception, with more controls coming soon.
Governance & Compliance:
Harness takes governance and compliance seriously, providing CI/CD users with fine-grained RBAC, audit trails, many ways to manage secrets, and more. We’ve taken that same approach with Feature Flags and are investing heavily in the area, letting teams build rules and processes, and helping automate cleanup and flag management. Harness also supports Open Policy Agent (OPA), enabling Enterprise-scale governance as-code across Feature Flags and the rest of the Harness platform. Harness is the only feature management solution to offer this.
Reporting & Dashboards:
Since LaunchDarkly is purely a feature flags tool, reporting and dashboards are limited to data within the tool itself - understandably so. Harness, however, allows users to link Feature Flags data to the rest of the software development lifecycle, and as such, will provide reporting and dashboards for all products in the same easily-accessible place. Harness is actually the only platform on the market that brings together analytics across the whole SDLC into one place - one tool to rule them all, one tool to bind them.
But what if you’re using only feature flags and don’t care about CI/CD? Harness provides the most complete visibility into feature flags of any tool on the market. Any bit of data that’s related to your feature flags use and operation, you can visualize in Harness to create custom dashboards to show exactly what you need at any time.
*Please note: Our competitors, just like us, release updates to their products on a regular cadence. We keep these pages updated to the best of our ability, but there are bound to be discrepancies. For the most up-to-date information on competitor features, browsing the competitor’s new release pages and communities are your best bet.