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Environment Variables

Environment variables are key-value pairs, which can be accessed by software applications. These variables are used to configure and customize the behavior of applications, manage system settings, and share information between processes. They provide a flexible and standardized way to influence the runtime environment of programs without the need to modify their code, making it easier to adapt software to different scenarios and configurations.


For example, PATH is a well-known environment variable. It is used to specify the directories where executable programs are located on the machine and therefore can be executed without specifying their full path.

Environment variables and where to find them in CodeNOW

1. CI Pipelines

When configuring CI pipelines, environment variables are used to specify some of the parameters of the CI pipeline.

  • An example environment variable here might be BUILD_IMAGE, that specifies the Docker image to be used for building the application

CodeNOW has a default set of environment variables available for configuring CI Pipelines (build image being one of them). However, users can also define Custom CI pipelines and define additional environment variables that should be used in them.

2. Connecting services

When deploying an application with a connected service, environment variables are used in deployment configuration as placeholders for properties of a specific service instance.

  • An example environment variable here might be DATABASE_HOST that specifies the hostname of the database service instance to be used by the application