Normandy Integration

Goals

  • Synchronize settings on certain clients only
  • Settings available only temporarily

Note

This differs from JEXL filters, with which all records are synchronized but listing them locally returns a filtered set.

Introduction

When a collection is published on the server, it get pulled during synchronization if at least one the following conditions is met:

  • There is an instantiated client — ie. a call to RemoteSettings("cid") was done earlier
  • Some local data exists in the internal IndexedDB — ie. it was pulled once already
  • A JSON dump was shipped in mozilla-central for this collection — in services/settings/dumps/

Basically, here we will leverage the fact that if the client is never instantiated, then it will never get synchronized, and thus will never have any local data.

Disabled by default

Instantiating a client conditionnaly using a preference whose default value is false does the trick! By default, users won’t synchronize this collection data.

if (Services.prefs.getBoolPref("my-feature-pref", false)) {
    const client = RemoteSettings("cid");
    const records = await client.get();
}

Pref Flip

Using Normandy preference experiments, you can flip the above preference to true for a sub-population of users, or temporarily etc. (using JEXL filters BTW).

When the experiment will be enabled on the targeted users, the client will be instantiated and the synchronization of the collection data will take place.

Clean-up

Once the experiment is switched back to disabled, the local data should be deleted. We will use a preference observer to detect that the preference is switched back to false:

Services.prefs.addObserver("my-feature-pref", {
  async observe(aSubject, aTopic, aData) {
    if (!Services.prefs.getBoolPref(aData)) {
      // Pref was switched to false, clean-up local IndexedDB data.
      const collection = await RemoteSetttings("cid").openCollection();
      await collection.clear();
    }
  }
});

You can also open a ticket to request the deletion of the collection from the server.