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Vercel Edge Functions

Example for running Optimizely Feature Experimentation version feature flags and experiments utilizing Vercel Edge Functions.

Vercel Edge Functions let you deliver content to your site's visitors with speed and personalization. They are deployed globally by default on Vercel's Edge Network and enable you to move server-side logic to the Edge, close to your visitor's origin.

You can use Optimizely Feature Experimentation flags at the Edge with NextJS applications deployed on Vercel. This example uses the Optimizely Feature Experimentation Javascript (Node) SDK inside a Vercel Edge Function for you to start implementing experimentation and feature flagging for your experiences at the Edge. For a general guide to getting started with our platform, this can be combined with the steps outlined in the Javascript Quickstart.

Auto update with Optimizely webhooks and Vercel Edge Functions

This example fetches the latest datafile from the Optimizely CDN during every build. Deploy Hooks from Vercel can be used with webhooks from Optimizely Feature Experimentation to keep the application up to date with the latest changes in the Optimizely project.

Identity management

Optimizely's Feature Experimentation SDKs require a user-provided identifier to be passed in at runtime to drive experiment and feature flag decisions. This example generates a unique id, stores it in a cookie and reuses it to make the decisions sticky. Another common approach would be using an existing unique identifier within your application.

Bucketing

For more information on how Optimizely Feature Experimentation SDKs assign users to feature flags and experiments, see the documentation on how bucketing works.

Demo application

In the following example, you can create a demo application using Next.js. An example of this demo application is available on Vercel's GitHub.

Prerequisites

You need these prerequisites to use this example:

Create a Deploy Hook in Vercel

  1. Navigate to the Settings tab in your Vercel deployment.
  2. Look for the Deploy Hooks section and create a Hook.
  3. This will generate a URL that can be used to trigger a rebuild of the deployment.

Create a Webhook in Optimizely Feature Experimentation

  1. Follow the instructions to create a webhook in your Optimizely Feature Experimentation project.
  2. Use the Deploy Hook URL generated from the previous section to create the Optimizely Feature Experimentation webhook.

How it works

When a user makes a change to the Optimizely Project using the UI, the Webhook hits Vercel's Deploy Hook URL, which triggers a new build on Vercel. Every new build fetches the latest version of the Optimizely datafile and uses it in the application.

Clone and deploy locally

Execute create-next-app with NPM or Yarn to bootstrap the example:

npx create-next-app@latest

or

yarn create next-app

🚧

Important

Before running locally, follow the quickstart for the JavaScript SDK to create the following:

  • An Optimizely account
  • At least one Feature Flag
  • Your Optimizely Feature Experimentation SDK key

Generate the Next.js app using this example:

npx create-next-app --example https://github.com/vercel/examples/tree/main/edge-functions/feature-flag-optimizely feature-flag-optimizely

or

yarn create-next-app --example https://github.com/vercel/examples/tree/main/edge-functions/feature-flag-optimizely feature-flag-optimizely

Create a local environment file from example and add your Optimizely Feature Experimentation SDK key:

cp .env.example .env.local

Run Next.js in development mode:

npm install
npm run dev

or

yarn  
yarn dev

Finally, deploy your example app to the cloud following the Vercel Documentation.

Additional resources