Connecting to Your Scalingo for PostgreSQL® Addon

When a Scalingo for PostgreSQL® addon is provisioned, the platform also adds two environment variables to your app:

  • SCALINGO_POSTGRESQL_URL: a string containing all information needed to establish a connection between your application and your database. This string is called a connection URI.

Understanding the Connection URI

The connection URI is made of several components separated one from each other by a delimiter. For example, the @ character is used to mark the end of the userinfo (credentials) component of the URI.

In the case of PostgreSQL®, the connection URI provided by Scalingo is always formed as follows:


For more information about the connection URI syntax, please see RFC 3986 which defines the URI Generic Syntax.

Using the Connection URI

We strongly advise to use one of the two environment variables available to connect your application to your database. Please don’t use the value, but the environment variable itself.

While the value of the provided connection URI should not change over time, we don’t guarantee it. For example, the URI could change for maintenance reasons. In such a case, using the environment variable guarantees that your application can restart successfully without human intervention. Otherwise, you would have to update your code with the new value and trigger a new deployment, which would most probably contribute to a greater downtime.

In most cases, you can pass the environment variable directly to the client library you are using. But sometimes, the library requires a specific URI format, invididual keypairs or another format. In such cases, your code needs to parse the connection URI to retrieve the different values and build what’s required by the library. Our advice to use the environment variable still remains applicable.

Getting the Connection URI

Using the Dashboard

  1. From your web browser, open your dashboard
  2. Click on the application for which you want to get the connection URI
  3. Click on the Environment tab
  4. Locate the SCALINGO_POSTGRESQL_URL line and place your mouse over it to unblur the value

Using the Command Line

  1. Make sure you have correctly setup the Scalingo command line tool
  2. From the command line, get the environment variable value:
    scalingo --app my-app env-get SCALINGO_POSTGRESQL_URL

    The output is:


Enforcing TLS Connection

All PostgreSQL® addons support TLS to encrypt all the network traffic between the client and the server.

By default, all new PostgreSQL® databases have TLS available, which means that you don’t have to do anything to connect via TLS with a tool or library that uses TLS by default.

Let’s see an example with psql:

psql (14.8)
SSL connection (protocol: TLSv1.3, cipher: TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384, bits: 256, compression: off)
Type "help" for help.


If you want to enforce TLS connections to your database so that TLS is not only available but mandatory:

  1. From your web browser, open your database dashboard
  2. Select the Overview tab
  3. Locate the TLS/Internet Access block
  4. Toggle the corresponding option:

Once this option is activated, the database denies any non-TLS connection. Consequently, your application must be configured to use TLS when connecting to the database.

Some existing databases may not have TLS support activated yet. To activate TLS, you need to restart the database. Any action leading to a database restart (such as a plan update or an upgrade of the database) will activate TLS.

Please note that while we strongly advise to use TLS, it remains an option, meaning that you can still access your database without it if needed.

Connecting Multiple Applications to the Same PostgreSQL® Addon

If you need to connect your PostgreSQL® addon from multiple applications, you can do it by adding an environment variable in every application wanting to communicate with the database:

  1. Copy the connection URI of your addon
  2. Create a new environment variable for the application that needs to access the addon
  3. Set the value of this new environment variable to connection URI you just copied
  4. Restart the application to make the new environment variable available

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Connecting to Your Scalingo for PostgreSQL® Addon

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