Nitric Secrets simplifies the secure storage, updating, and retrieval of sensitive information like database credentials and API keys.

Alternatively, you can choose to store these values as environment variables. Learn more about it here.



Secrets refer to encrypted values stored in a secure Secrets Manager. They typically contain sensitive data like usernames and passwords required to access a database. Since credentials and keys tend to change over time, Nitric secrets act as a virtual storage location for these values with version control baked in.


Each secret has a "latest" version, and it may also have historical versions of the stored value. This ensures that values such as encryption keys can be rotated without losing access to the key used to encrypt previously stored data.


Values are the specific secret data associated with a particular version of the secret. For example, it could be the current encryption key or the database credentials.

Relationship between Secrets, Versions, and Values

The schema below illustrates the relationship between secrets, versions and values for a secret named db.password with two versions:

+- Secret [ 'db.password' ]
   +- SecretVersion [ '7F5F86D0-D97F-487F-A5A0-11BAAD00F777' ]
   |  |
   |  +- SecretValue [ 'bleak_dearest_hanged_reigns' ]
   +- SecretVersion [ '0581BBD9-C67F-4E8F-849D-38E52CAEE0EB' ]
      +- SecretValue [ 'crummy_goofed_caddy_radiant' ]

Create Secrets

Nitric enables you to define named secrets with customizable permissions. When defining a secret, you can specify permissions for putting or accessing secret versions within the secret. In the example below, we declare a secret named api-key and indicate that our service requires access to put and access secret versions within secret:

import { secret } from '@nitric/sdk'

// Create a new secret
const apiKey = secret('api-key').allow('put', 'access')

Storing a secret value

To store or update the latest version of a secret, use the put() method on the secret reference. The service must have permissions to put to the secret.

import { secret } from '@nitric/sdk'

const apiKey = secret('api-key').allow('put')

const latestVersion = await apiKey.put('a new secret value')

// We can get the version ID of our newly stored value

Accessing a secret value

Accessing the contents of a secret version requires first getting a reference to it. There are two ways of getting a reference, either by using latest() to get the latest version or using version() to get a previous version. Getting the latest version is generally the best option for retrieving credentials or API keys, as the latest version is the only valid version.

// Get a reference to the latest version
const latest = apiKey.latest()

// Get a reference to a specific version
const version = apiKey.version('7F5F86D0-D97F-487F')

Once the secret reference is obtained accessing the contents of the secret version can be done by calling the access() method.

import { secret } from '@nitric/sdk'

const apiKey = secret('api-key').allow('access')

// Access the details of the latest version of a secret
const latest = await apiKey.latest().access()

// Retrieve the value of the secret as a string
const value = latest.asString()

// Retrieve the value of the secret as bytes
const bytes = latest.asBytes()