Question

Can someone give example of using App platform's environmental variables in node.js

I am using Digital Ocean’s app platform to host a NodeJS app. I do not understand the documentation for using environmental variables within my NodeJS code. https://www.digitalocean.com/docs/app-platform/how-to/use-environment-variables/#define-build-time-environment-variables when I try to add the environmental variable like I think the documentation wants me to I get a syntax error: mongoose.connect(${_self.DATABASE_URL}, {useNewUrlParser: true}); What is the correct usage?


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Accepted Answer

👋🏼 @jak6jak

The “bindable environment variables” are available for use in the app config. You’ll still need to add the actual environment variables to your app/component config, but you can use the templates as part of the values.

For example, if you have an app with a Node.js Service component and a database component, you can add an environment variable to the service component with:

  • Key: DATABASE_URL
  • Value: ${db.DATABASE_URL}

${db.DATABASE_URL} will be replaced by the database connection string before it is passed to the Node.js app. Then, in your code, you can use it just like a regular environment variable like so:

mongoose.connect(process.env.DATABASE_URL, {useNewUrlParser: true});

The db in ${db.DATABASE_URL} must match the database component’s name, so if it’s different, you’ll need to replace it. You can find the component’s name in the control panel under Apps -> Components -> Info.

If you haven’t connected a database to your app yet, see How to Manage Databases in App Platform.