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Joel on Software

Client Certificates and .Net Web Service Clients

The problem I am experiencing is getting the .Net framework to recognize client certificates while executing code on the client.

I have an ASP.NET web service application written that requires a client certificate when making a web method request.  This web service works fine when called from a web browser, taking advantage of the simple test pages the ASP.Net framework provides.

I wrote a client side, web service test harness as a .Net Console application.  I’ve been racking my brain trying to get this to work.  Specifically, the error is a 403 HTTP status back from the server. 

The only comments I could find searching the web and Usenet regarding this problem I am experiencing are contained here:
http://tinyurl.com/7k2l2

This web log really does not provide a solution and the writing is a bit unclear, at least to me.  Whether I pass in a .cer file or a .pfx file to X509Certificate.CreateFromSignedFile(), a 403 error results.  Stepping through my code, after creating an instance of the .Net X509Certificate object, its properties are null. 

The pfx file contains the private key of course, but it is *always* password protected, even when strong protection is not implemented.  Perhaps I’m missing something.  Any help give is appreciated. Thanks.

Just Me
Thursday, June 23, 2005

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