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How to use ENV variables with Platformatic


Environment variables (env) are key-value pairs that can store data outside of your application code. This can include details such as API keys, and configuration options, which are isolated from your source code.

This guide provides a step-by-step guide on adding and using environment variables (env) in a Platformatic application.

Setting up your Platformatic application

First, if you haven't already, you need to set up your Platformatic application. Run the command below, follow the steps, and initialize your application.

npm create platformatic@latest

This will create a Platformatic project directory with all the files including platformatic.json, where you will store your env values.

The platformatic.json file acts as the central configuration for your Platformatic application. Here, you define your database connection, server configurations, and how plugins should be loaded and configured with dynamic values from your environment variables. With this, your configurations can be easily changed without modifying your source code directly.

Adding options to your Plugin

In your Platformatic project, navigate to the Plugins directory, and open the example.js file in your code editor. This file will generally be your starting point for new plugins.

Next, add options to your Plugins. Below is an example options code for a plugin:

// plugins/greetingPlugin.js

module.exports = async function (fastify, opts) {
// Use opts to access options passed during plugin registration
const { greeting, message } = opts;

fastify.decorate('greet', function() {
return `${greeting}! ${message}`;

In this plugin:

  • We use fastify.decorate to add a new function greet to the Fastify instance.
  • The greet function uses the greeting and message provided as options to construct and return a greeting message.

Add Options to platformatic.json

Modify your platformatic.json config file to register your new plugin along with the options set in your environment variables:

// platformatic.json

"$schema": "",
"db": {
"connectionString": "{PLT_DATABASE_URL}"
"watch": {
"ignore": [
"plugins": [
"path": "./plugins/greetingPlugin",
"options": {
"greeting": "{GREETING}",
"message": "{CUSTOM_MESSAGE}"

Ensure that you have the variables defined in your .env file in the root of your Platformatic application.

GREETING=Hello World
CUSTOM_MESSAGE=Welcome to the world of the backend without frictions


In this guide, you learnt how to use environment variables in a Platformatic application to manage configuration data securely.