# Hiding our MongoDB details from GitHub

# In this video... (TL;DR)

Let's look at the steps we need to take to hide our MongoDB details from our GitHub repo.

We will use environment variables to do so.

By defining the environment variables in Heroku and in our local computers, we can take them off our code. That way, the sensitive data is in Heroku and our computers, but not in our code.

Therefore, when we share our code in GitHub, the data won't be there.


If you have already put your MongoDB details in your repository, then that data will still be there even if you change the files.

What you should do is re-generate your MongoDB username and password if you ever want to make your repository public.

# Code written in this lecture

# Step 1

Create a .env file in our project and place this in it:


# Step 2

  • Install python-dotenv and add it to requirements.txt

Then load the environment variables in app.py (before the create_app() function)

+from dotenv import load_dotenv


# Step 3

Instead of the MongoDB URI we've got as a string, use the environment variable by reading it from os.environ.get():

+import os

 def create_app():
     app = Flask(__name__)
-    client = MongoClient("mongodb+srv://<user>:<password>@<mongodb-server>/microblog")
+    client = MongoClient(os.environ.get("MONGODB_URI"))
     app.db = client.microblog

# Step 4

We do not add this .env file to GitHub since it contains our private MongoDB details. Instead, we'll create a .env.example file and add that.

That file should contain just what should be added, but no actual values:


# Step 5

Since we haven't added .env to Heroku, Heroku won't know what our MongoDB URI is.

Therefore we must tell it.

Instead of using the .env file in Heroku, we'll just give Heroku the value of our environment variable. Heroku can store it internally and use it, even without the .env file.