What Is a Toggle?


Togle is a toggle switch that has two positions, on or off. It is found in software and hardware, such as Caps Lock and Num Lock keys on a keyboard.

Toggle switches can be very useful in user interfaces, allowing users to change preferences and settings. However, they should be used sparingly. Toggle controls should have direct labels, standard visual design, and deliver immediate results.

In general, toggle switches should only be used when the user needs to make a decision between two opposing states, and they should be consistent throughout your product. Use high-contrast color to indicate state change, and avoid ambiguous or neutral labels.

Managing Toggle Configuration

One of the biggest challenges in building out a large, distributed configuration system is ensuring that toggles are consistent across all servers. This is made much more difficult when there are a significant number of different toggles to configure, and if they need to be modified dynamically.

For this reason many teams move Toggle Configuration into a central store, often an existing application DB, with some form of UI for system operators, testers and product managers to modify toggle configuration. This can make a big difference to how quickly changes are made and subsequently verified.

Feature Toggles and Their Lifecycle

Savvy teams view the Feature Toggles in their codebase as inventory which comes with a carrying cost, and seek to keep the inventory as low as possible. This means that a team will usually remove toggles which are no longer needed as soon as they can be discarded.