SSL Installation Automation

On April 21, 2009, in Inside DiscountASP.NET, Technical, by Frank Cheung

Some customers who have been with us for a while may have noticed that we recently automated the SSL installation process.  The user interface didn’t really change much BUT we put in several months of work under the hood to make this work.

When we first set out to do this, we thought it would be a piece of cake. Once we dove into the details, it turns out that automating SSL installation was one of the more complex projects we have ever worked on.  Why is this?

1. Limited documentation.  It turns out that not many people have tried to programmatically manage SSL certificates and there was very little help found anywhere on the web.

2. Different Certificate Vendors provide the certificate in slightly different ways.  For example, some Certificate providers will provide you a file with the cert/intermediate/root. So, this posed a huge challenge.

3. Getting this to work on both IIS6 & IIS7.

After several months of grueling work, I am happy to report that SSL installation is now automated. From the time you auto-generate the CSR to getting the certificate installed, you can now get HTTPS to work on your site in mere minutes. Of course, this also depends on how fast you can purchase the certificate and get the certificate.  But before this, it could take us up to 24+ hours just to install the cert so this is a big win for all of us.

Frank Chueng
CTO

 

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