The CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) has recently approved OpenFeature as an incubating project within the CNCF. OpenFeature is an open specification designed to provide a vendor-neutral, community-driven API specifically for feature flagging. 

Feature flagging is a method used in software development where teams can switch features or code paths on or off, or modify their behavior, without changing the source code.

The introduction of OpenFeature as a standard for feature flags aims to combine different tools and vendors under a unified interface. This approach is intended to prevent vendor lock-in at the code level and offers a structure for developing extensions and integrations. These can then be shared throughout the community.

“Specifications fill a unique place in cloud native. They allow adopters to experience consistent development and integration patterns to achieve uniform functionality across platforms. However they have more challenges in adoption due to the need for a reference implementation,” said Emily Fox, TOC Sponsor for OpenFeature and senior principal software engineer at Red Hat. “OpenFeature taps into its talented contributor pool who manage community-developed SDKs for reference implementations that provide adopters with various options to meet their needs. Their commitment to collaboration for improving and expanding the specification will continue to allow the project to gain momentum as it begins its journey towards Graduation.”

OpenFeature is now focused on driving further standardization – building on OpenFeature’s existing definition for a flag evaluation SDK, the project is exploring two further standards – a wire protocol for remote flag evaluation and a standard flag definition format.

Additional details are available here.