Optimizely will be sunsetting Full Stack Experimentation on July 29, 2024. See the recommended Feature Experimentation migration timeline and documentation.

Dev GuideAPI Reference
Dev GuideAPI ReferenceUser GuideGitHubNuGetDev CommunitySubmit a ticketLog In
GitHubNuGetDev CommunitySubmit a ticket

Get Variation

This topic describes the Get Variation method which returns a variation where the visitor will be bucketed, without triggering an impression.

Returns a variation where the visitor will be bucketed, without triggering an impression.


SDK v1.0 and higher


Takes the same arguments and returns the same values as Activate, but without sending an impression event. The behavior of the two methods is identical otherwise.

Use GetVariation if Activate has been called and the current variation assignment is needed for a given experiment and user. This method bypasses redundant network requests to Optimizely.

See Decisions and impressions for guidance on when to use each method.


The table below lists the required and optional parameters in Go.

stringThe key of the experiment.
entities.UserContextHolds information about the user, such as the userID and the user's attributes.


A variation key, or an empty string if no variation is found.


attributes := map[string]interface{}{
        "DEVICE": "iPhone",
        "hey":    2,

user := entities.UserContext{
        ID:         "userId",
        Attributes: attributes,

variationKey, err := optlyClient.GetVariation("experiment_key", user)

See also


Activate versus Get Variation

Use Activate or Is Feature Enabled when the visitor actually sees the experiment. Use Get Variation when you need to know which bucket a visitor is in without showing the visitor the experiment.
For example, use Get Variation in the following circumstances:

  1. To pre-bucket users (for example, in order to render a page correctly) before actually exposing them to the experiment. This way, you avoid triggering redundant impressions that might skew experiment results.

For example, suppose you want your web server to show a visitor variation_1 but do not want the visitor to count until they open a flag that is not visible when the variation loads, like a modal. In this case, use Get Variation in the backend to specify that your web server should respond with variation_1, and use Activate or Get Feature Enabled in the front end when the visitor sees the experiment.

  1. To align your third-party analytics and your Optimizely results.

For example, suppose you use client-side third-party analytics. Use Get Variation to retrieve the variation, and even show it to the visitor, but only call Activate when the analytics call goes out. This way, your Optimizely results and your 3rd-party analytics stay aligned.

  1. To avoid redundant network requests. For example, if you called Activate or is Feature Enabled already, you can use Get Variation if you need the current variation assignment for a given experiment and user.



Conversion events can only be attributed to experiments with previously tracked impressions. Impressions are tracked by Activate, not by Get Variation. As a general rule, Optimizely impressions are required for experiment results.

Source files

The language/platform source files containing the implementation for Go is Go.