🚀  Introducing Rollouts by Runway! Learn more  📈
🚀  Introducing Rollouts by Runway!  📈
Learn more   

Product Updates

Make sense of feature flags alongside each release

Feature flagging is a powerful way to gate in-progress functionality, run experiments, and decouple product launches from binary updates — but wrangling feature flags can be tricky. It takes time and effort to make sense of all your flags, keeping tabs on what needs to be enabled for the first time, or deprecated, and when exactly. Release pilots, PMs, and others bounce between their team’s feature flagging platform and other tools to understand dependencies and stay on top of everything.

Now, Runway can help your team make sense of your feature flags. You’ll be able to see all feature flags that are relevant to a given release, including details like each flag’s status, rollout percentages, and specs for any associated variations, alongside the rest of the release and rollout context you’re used to in Runway. A special callout is applied to feature flags that are of particular interest in a given cycle — making it easier to see at-a-glance which flags might need extra attention during the course of the release’s rollout or beyond.

Optimizely is the very first feature flagging provider you can plug into Runway, and future integrations will include LaunchDarkly, Unleash, Firebase Remote Config, and even in-house solutions. You can help us prioritize – which tool does your team use for feature flagging?

Even more options for monitoring release health: Datadog and Mixpanel integrations

The launch of Runway’s Rollouts feature, and with it our new Observability & Analytics integration point, has allowed teams to monitor release health more holistically. And now, you have even more options for where signals of health are pulled from. Does your team use Mixpanel or Datadog? Connect it in Runway, select key metrics that define “healthy” for your team, and automate alerting and rollouts based on thresholds you set.

Measure and track your team’s Mobile DevOps performance

There’s been a lot of talk about Mobile DevOps lately; teams generally understand the benefits and are motivated to use it as a framework to improve their overall mobile practice. But actually measuring how your team is performing on the path to DevOps greatness can be extremely difficult to do accurately — or at all — and, as a result, it’s equally difficult to iterate and improve on your DevOps practices themselves.

The problem is that, even though there are well-regarded ways to quantify DevOps performance (e.g. DORA metrics), they require you to continuously crunch numbers on a lot of different data, spanning multiple tools and sources. Calculating things like failure rates, lead and cycle times, and time to recovery involves piecing together info from source control, your project management platform, the app stores, observability tools, and more. Doing this well calls for more than napkin math, and for metrics that are regularly refreshed.

Improve your team’s Mobile DevOps practices, powered by Runway 

Because Runway sits a level above the rest of your stack, we’re uniquely positioned to help here. Pulling together inputs from your entire toolchain and continuously crunching all the numbers for you, Runway will now surface a range of key Mobile DevOps metrics that allow your team to understand how you’re performing and help identify areas for improvement.

The entire development cycle is in scope: Runway analyzes items of work stretching as far back as first ticket creation and, crucially, integrations with the app stores allow for more granular and accurate insights on timing at the tail end of cycles as well.

Plus, certain metrics surfaced by Runway reflect the unique setup of your workflows and release process in the platform, giving you tailored insights into your team’s own way of working. 

Read on for an overview of the different measures of Mobile DevOps performance that you can now keep tabs on with Runway!

Release failure rate

How often do you ship bad releases?

Runway looks at multiple factors to determine whether a release went bad, like whether a hotfix was issued afterwards, if your team’s configured health metrics went “unhealthy” during rollout, or if you halted and never resumed a phased rollout.

Time to recovery

If you do ship a bad release, how quickly do you get a fix out?

For any release considered “failed” (see previous metric), if your team decides to issue a hotfix, Runway will measure how long it takes to get that hotfix release out the door.

Lifecycle timing

For a given item of work, how much time is spent each step of the way from inception to release?

Runway tracks work end-to-end – from first ticket, to code written, to code merged to trunk, to release. This gives your team a complete and granular understanding of how long it takes to get features and fixes out to users, and where bottlenecks exist.

Release frequency

Weekly? Biweekly? All over the place?

Runway will keep tabs on your release cadence and help ensure your team is shipping as often as you want to be.

Release step timing

How long does each part of your release process take?

To help you zoom in on and improve your team’s release process, Runway captures time spent every step of the way so you can pinpoint slowdowns and ship more efficiently. 

Checklist and approvals completion times

How long are sign-offs and action items taking?

Runway can also help you track performance around the unique parts of your team’s process. For checklist and approvals items, Runway surfaces info on how long those take to get actioned by your team.

Introducing Rollouts by Runway: a complete picture of release health, and conditional rollout automations

We’ve hinted at it in a previous update, but we’re super excited to finally announce the launch of Rollouts, a new part of the Runway platform that helps your team run rollouts with less context-switching and more confidence! 🚀

Rollouts allows your team to easily keep tabs on release health in just one place instead of many, alerts you whenever configured metrics become unhealthy, and safeguards release health by automatically halting rollouts based on thresholds you define. (You can automatically accelerate healthy rollouts, too!)

Read on for all the highlights, then hop into Runway to try Rollouts for yourself!

🗺 The only complete picture of release health

Rollouts integrates with the mix of different tools you use to measure app health – crash reporting, observability & product analytics, the app stores (for per-version user ratings) – to create a single source of truth and unified dashboard that gives your team a holistic and instantly understandable view of release health at a glance. No more context-switching, no more mental overhead, and no more bugging other folks on the team to dig up and interpret data for you.

🌡 You define exactly what “healthy” means for your team

Across all tools and every metric, you can configure granular thresholds that together define what “healthy” looks like for your team. Runway will surface a crystal clear view of how each release is tracking relative to that definition. With expectations around health codified this way, there’s no room for ambiguity or hand-waving when it comes to your team’s standards for quality of the product you’re shipping.

🚨 Avoid blind spots and delays with instant alerting 

The moment any of your configured metrics become unhealthy during a rollout, Runway will alert your team, in specific channels of your choosing and with full context on which metrics are problematic. You can be confident that no bad trends will go unnoticed – and that they can be acted on more quickly.

🛑 Automatically halt unhealthy rollouts

Building on the custom thresholds you define, Runway can automatically halt unhealthy releases. With this automation enabled, if certain metrics of your choosing fall afoul of your acceptable thresholds during a rollout, Runway will automatically stop the rollout and alert your team. This prevents delays and human error, saving you from the negative consequences of a bad release making it out to even more users.

(Available on the Runway Pro plan and above. Existing Runway Growth customers are eligible for a free 90 day trial of this feature.)

💨 Automatically accelerate healthy rollouts

If all of your metrics are looking good and your rollout has reached a minimum number of users you define, Runway can also accelerate things and release to all users immediately. Getting a good release out to all users more quickly can be just as impactful as halting a bad release!

(Available on the Runway Pro plan and above. Existing Runway Growth customers are eligible for a free 90 day trial of this feature.)

Collaborate and build consensus even more easily with assignable signoffs and automatic reminders

Many teams rely on Runway’s regression, approval, and checklist items to structure and track the many tasks and signoffs needed throughout dev and release cycles. Now, you can build an even clearer ownership model around these items by assigning them to individual owners.

You can assign items to any individual on your team, or to multiple team members at once – a great way to build shared ownership across distributed product- or feature-based squads. Separately, if you’ve assigned the Release Pilot role, that will now map to the specific person who’s the active Pilot for the release in question.

Assigning important tasks to folks is one thing – actually getting them to take care of those tasks is another. Runway’s new checklist item reminders help you avoid the usual chasing-down and cat-herding.

As your target submission and release dates approach, Runway will proactively send notifications into Slack reminding the owners of any pending tasks to complete them. If needed, you can also manually ping owners of specific items or trigger reminders for all incomplete items, right from Runway.

Spend even less time in App Store Connect and Play Console, with screenshots and more metadata now handled in Runway

Since the beginning, one of the core aims of Runway has been to keep teams from ever needing to set foot in App Store Connect or Google Play Console.

Recent additions to Runway’s Metadata and Screenshots steps help make that possible in even more situations: you can now update your app’s screenshots, along with keywords on iOS and your app’s short description on Android.

Offload all of your user management for the app stores

We’ve heard from many of you that keeping users up to date in App Store Connect and Google Play Console as team members come and go can be a huge time sink. So, we’re excited to introduce Runway’s new user sync automation. With the automation enabled, we’ll sync your team members from Runway to App Store Connect and Google Play Console as needed: inviting new team members, with the appropriate roles assigned, and removing access when team members leave your org.

(Available on the Runway Pro plan and above)

Keep closer tabs on quality, mobile org performance and maturity

We’re continuing to expand the types of stats and metrics you can keep tabs on with Runway, to help your team better understand how your app’s quality, performance, and process maturity are tracking from release to release.

One new addition on the iOS side is the ability to track how your app’s bundle size changes over time. And for both iOS and Android, see average user rating per release. 

At the app and org levels, you’ll notice that insights on hotfixes are now surfaced, both total counts and average numbers of hotfixes your team is needing to ship per regular release. 

More options for beta distribution, with our new App Center Distribute integration

If you’re using App Center to distribute beta or other pre-prod builds to testers, you can now hook that up to the beta testing step in Runway. Easily update release notes, distribute new builds to your preferred testing groups, and keep tabs on the latest available builds side-by-side with the rest of your release process in Runway.

A dedicated monitoring overview for more confident rollouts

It can be tricky, and time-consuming, to bounce between browser tabs and keep track of important markers of release health as you run your rollouts. Runway already pulls in a lot of the important signals, and now we’re giving them a real home! With the new Monitoring section in each release, we’re consolidating stability monitoring, user reviews, phased release status and, soon, product analytics – giving you one place to go to keep tabs on the health of rollouts.

Slack slash commands: an even easier way for your team to chip in

We know that different team members collaborate on releases in different ways, and sometimes folks need to weigh in more efficiently. That’s why we’re introducing Runway slash commands in Slack. Your team can now do things like update the status of regression testing, mark a checklist item as completed, or update an Approvals item, just-in-time and all without leaving Slack. To see a list of available commands, just type `/runway help`. And, if there are other Runway actions you’d like us to add, let us know!

Understand exactly what’s happening, and when, with richer event timelines

With so many moving pieces, it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s happening during release cycles – and even harder to make sense of things after the fact, if you need to retro or audit a release. To help your team understand exactly what is changing during releases, across all your tools and contributors, we’ve revamped event timelines in Runway. At release level, and also within individual steps, you now get a more complete and detailed picture of every single change and status update – plus, key upcoming lifecycle events and deadlines.   

New automation: backmerge changes from the release branch

For teams that apply late-arriving fixes to release branches, merging those changes back into your working branch (not to mention any other in-flight release branches) is an annoying manual process that wastes your time week-in, week-out. Now, Runway can automate all backmerges for you!