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If you're asking how to manage your own keys then there are 2 places to store them: For dev/test - you might as well put them in the SCM repo. Unless your repo is publicly accessible. For production, you want to store them with a single point of authority, either somebody (with a deputy) who keeps the originals on a CD or USB drive in a firesafe or ...


Secrets such as credentials to a database should be kept in a local configuration file, either of your own making, or securely transmitted to you.


Two other formats that spring to mind are YAML and INI. YAML is used by Google App Engine to control its routing, so you might want to look at that first. Lots of languages also have their own configuration formats, such as Perl's Config::Simple and Java's Properties.


First and foremost: What is a configuration for? A configuration allows the user to change the behaviour of our application to influence the behavior of your application in some way or the other. Your application behaves in a certain, sane way but the user wants to customize the behaviour. That said the perspective for your answers is the following: If ...

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