I am currently using app platform with mongodb managed database and I am facing issues while trying to connect on the database from my nodejs component linked to the mongodb managed database.

The issue come from the certificate : I can’t upload it on the app platform component so I need to use the ‘CA_CERT’ database env variable (https://docs.digitalocean.com/products/app-platform/how-to/use-environment-variables/)

While doing this, I am facing a new issue : the env variable is displaying the whole certificate in a bad format (not even a path) and I need to clean it right after and I am literally doing :

// cert formatter which looks really ugly
const cert = env('CA_CERT').replaceAll(' ', '\n').replace('BEGIN\n', 'BEGIN ').replace('END\n', 'END ');

mongoose.connect(url, {
    useNewUrlParser: true,
    useUnifiedTopology: true,
    sslCA: cert

with ssl=true instead of tls=true in mongo url.

I am looking for a better solution or an explanation about how should I use the app platform with mongodb managed database which is not shown on docs (https://docs.digitalocean.com/products/databases/mongodb/how-to/connect/).

Also, I appreciate these kind of articles (https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tech_talks/making-a-node-mongodb-app-on-digitalocean) but it is only for a local purpose and with the cert locally downloaded.

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1 answer

Hello @aellanglet ,

To begin with, the env variable added is using the direct value instead we recommend you to use the bindable variable. You can update the env variable as follows:

VALUES: ${mymongodb.HOSTNAME}

VALUES: ${mymongodb.PORT}

VALUES: ${mymongodb.DATABASE}

VALUES: ${mymongodb.USERNAME}

VALUES: ${mymongodb.PASSWORD}


You can add the following env variable to pass the SSL CA certificate:

VALUES: ${mymongodb.CA_CERT}

Regarding the code, I see you are not passing the SSL CA certificate so the database connection is failing for some reason. I would recommend you to update it as follows and check the connection:

module.exports = ({ env }) => ({
  defaultConnection: 'default',
  connections: {
    default: {
      connector: 'mongoose',
      settings: {
        uri: env('DATABASE_URI'),
        srv: env.bool('DATABASE_SRV', true),
        port: env.int('DATABASE_PORT', 27017),
        database: env('DATABASE_NAME'),
      options: {
        authenticationDatabase: env('AUTHENTICATION_DATABASE', null),
        ssl: env.bool('DATABASE_SSL', true),
        sslCA: env('CA_CERT'),

Hope this helps! Regarding the documentation, I shall pass this to our team internally.

Sri Charan

edited by kamaln7
  • Hello @smadhavapeddi,

    Thanks for you answer, I really appreciate it !
    Unfortunately, I think we misunderstood each other :
    I am already using the bindable variables explained in the docs.

    The issue come from the CA_CERT bindable variable which is not giving a path but the direct content as a value and that’s why as you may have seen on the sample of code I wrote, I need to clean the value to make it work.

    I tried to setup the bindable var at the App-Level instead of component-level but it change nothing, I get the direct value instead of a path.

    That’s also why I am passing the direct value on the code which work well after “cleaning” it, but as you can see it is really ugly.

    Thanks for your time and consideration !

    • Hello again,

      Sorry for the issue! In order to dig in more, we request you to open a ticket to our customer support team, who can access your account and provide some insights.


      Sri Charan

    • Hi @aellanglet,

      This is correct, the bindable variable will contain the contents of the cert. The cert itself is not mounted inside the container, so there isn’t a path that we can pass.

      I’m not sure why you’re getting it in a bad format because the value should contain newlines, maybe the env helper could be modifying it? Try using process.env.CA_CERT directly in case that is the issue.

      Either way, as an alternative you can write the certificate to a file before your app is started.

      Let’s say your run command is npm run start, replace it with the following:

      echo "$CA_CERT" >mongodb.ca.crt
      npm run start

      Then, in your code, you can reference the mongodb.ca.crt file. Let us know if that works!