Using Environment Variables in JavaScript

Using Environment Variables in JavaScript

Learn how to use environment variables in JavaScript. An introduction to Dotenv. Using environment variables is an important thing for any developer. That is why dotenv files were developed. They are essentially a file that you could share among developers but wouldn’t push to the GitHub repo which contains these important private keys. Keeping the private keys private is useful for keeping security and keeping the keys away from those who might not need them.

An introduction to Dotenv

Introduction

If you have worked with any API like Google Firebase, Twitter API, Facebook API, or any other API that requires some sort of authentication before, you know that keeping the secret keys safe is important. Because with those keys, someone might drop your database or send tweets you do not want to be sent.

That is why dotenv files were developed. At least, that is a single use-case of them. They are essentially a file that you could share among developers but wouldn’t push to the GitHub repo which contains these important private keys.

Note

At this time, in the year 2021, you might be using frameworks such as NextJS, GatsbyJS, Create-React-App, and so on. These sometimes have their own methods of using environment variables without dotenv. So be sure to check the documentation of the framework of your choice to see if using dotenv is the best option.

Most frameworks’ environment variables work very similar to dotenv, so this article could still be useful for those developers too.



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