Quickstart: Azure Key Vault secret client library for JavaScript

Get started with the Azure Key Vault secret client library for JavaScript. Azure Key Vault is a cloud service that provides a secure store for secrets. You can securely store keys, passwords, certificates, and other secrets. Azure key vaults may be created and managed through the Azure portal. In this quickstart, you learn how to create, retrieve, and delete secrets from an Azure key vault using the JavaScript client library

Key Vault client library resources:

API reference documentation | Library source code | Package (npm)

For more information about Key Vault and secrets, see:


This quickstart assumes you are running Azure CLI.

Sign in to Azure

  1. Run the login command.

    az login

    If the CLI can open your default browser, it will do so and load an Azure sign-in page.

    Otherwise, open a browser page at https://aka.ms/devicelogin and enter the authorization code displayed in your terminal.

  2. Sign in with your account credentials in the browser.

Create new Node.js application

Create a Node.js application that uses your key vault.

  1. In a terminal, create a folder named key-vault-node-app and change into that folder:

    mkdir key-vault-node-app && cd key-vault-node-app
  2. Initialize the Node.js project:

    npm init -y

Install Key Vault packages

  1. Using the terminal, install the Azure Key Vault secrets client library, @azure/keyvault-secrets for Node.js.

    npm install @azure/keyvault-secrets
  2. Install the Azure Identity client library, @azure/identity package to authenticate to a Key Vault.

    npm install @azure/identity

Grant access to your key vault

Create a vault access policy for your key vault that grants secret permissions to your user account with the az keyvault set-policy command.

az keyvault set-policy --name <your-key-vault-name> --upn user@domain.com --secret-permissions delete get list set purge update

Set environment variables

This application is using key vault name as an environment variable called KEY_VAULT_NAME.

set KEY_VAULT_NAME=<your-key-vault-name>

Authenticate and create a client

Application requests to most Azure services must be authorized. Using the DefaultAzureCredential method provided by the Azure Identity client library is the recommended approach for implementing passwordless connections to Azure services in your code. DefaultAzureCredential supports multiple authentication methods and determines which method should be used at runtime. This approach enables your app to use different authentication methods in different environments (local vs. production) without implementing environment-specific code.

In this quickstart, DefaultAzureCredential authenticates to key vault using the credentials of the local development user logged into the Azure CLI. When the application is deployed to Azure, the same DefaultAzureCredential code can automatically discover and use a managed identity that is assigned to an App Service, Virtual Machine, or other services. For more information, see Managed Identity Overview.

In this code, the name of your key vault is used to create the key vault URI, in the format https://<your-key-vault-name>.vault.azure.net. For more information about authenticating to key vault, see Developer's Guide.

Code example

The code samples below will show you how to create a client, set a secret, retrieve a secret, and delete a secret.

This code uses the following Key Vault Secret classes and methods:

Set up the app framework

  1. Create new text file and paste the following code into the index.js file.

    const { SecretClient } = require("@azure/keyvault-secrets");
    const { DefaultAzureCredential } = require("@azure/identity");
    async function main() {
      // If you're using MSI, DefaultAzureCredential should "just work".
      // Otherwise, DefaultAzureCredential expects the following three environment variables:
      // - AZURE_TENANT_ID: The tenant ID in Azure Active Directory
      // - AZURE_CLIENT_ID: The application (client) ID registered in the AAD tenant
      // - AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET: The client secret for the registered application
      const credential = new DefaultAzureCredential();
      const keyVaultName = process.env["KEY_VAULT_NAME"];
      if(!keyVaultName) throw new Error("KEY_VAULT_NAME is empty");
      const url = "https://" + keyVaultName + ".vault.azure.net";
      const client = new SecretClient(url, credential);
      // Create a secret
      // The secret can be a string of any kind. For example,
      // a multiline text block such as an RSA private key with newline characters,
      // or a stringified JSON object, like `JSON.stringify({ mySecret: 'MySecretValue'})`.
      const uniqueString = new Date().getTime();
      const secretName = `secret${uniqueString}`;
      const result = await client.setSecret(secretName, "MySecretValue");
      console.log("result: ", result);
      // Read the secret we created
      const secret = await client.getSecret(secretName);
      console.log("secret: ", secret);
      // Update the secret with different attributes
      const updatedSecret = await client.updateSecretProperties(secretName, result.properties.version, {
        enabled: false
      console.log("updated secret: ", updatedSecret);
      // Delete the secret immediately without ability to restore or purge.
      await client.beginDeleteSecret(secretName);
    main().catch((error) => {
      console.error("An error occurred:", error);

Run the sample application

  1. Run the app:

    node index.js
  2. The create and get methods return a full JSON object for the secret:

        "value": "MySecretValue",
        "name": "secret1637692472606",
        "properties": {
            "createdOn": "2021-11-23T18:34:33.000Z",
            "updatedOn": "2021-11-23T18:34:33.000Z",
            "enabled": true,
            "recoverableDays": 90,
            "recoveryLevel": "Recoverable+Purgeable",
            "id": "https: //YOUR-KEYVAULT-NAME.vault.azure.net/secrets/secret1637692472606/YOUR-VERSION",
            "vaultUrl": "https: //YOUR-KEYVAULT-NAME.vault.azure.net",
            "version": "YOUR-VERSION",
            "name": "secret1637692472606"

    The update method returns the properties name/values pairs:

    "createdOn": "2021-11-23T18:34:33.000Z",
    "updatedOn": "2021-11-23T18:34:33.000Z",
    "enabled": true,
    "recoverableDays": 90,
    "recoveryLevel": "Recoverable+Purgeable",
    "id": "https: //YOUR-KEYVAULT-NAME.vault.azure.net/secrets/secret1637692472606/YOUR-VERSION",
    "vaultUrl": "https: //YOUR-KEYVAULT-NAME.vault.azure.net",
    "version": "YOUR-VERSION",
    "name": "secret1637692472606"

Integrating with App Configuration

The Azure SDK provides a helper method, parseKeyVaultSecretIdentifier, to parse the given Key Vault Secret ID. This is necessary if you use App Configuration references to Key Vault. App Config stores the Key Vault Secret ID. You need the parseKeyVaultSecretIdentifier method to parse that ID to get the secret name. Once you have the secret name, you can get the current secret value using code from this quickstart.

Next steps

In this quickstart, you created a key vault, stored a secret, and retrieved that secret. To learn more about Key Vault and how to integrate it with your applications, continue on to the articles below.