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SSL Secure Socket Layer

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aroop_bh
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Joined: 2006-05-05
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What is the different between Key and certificate? If I use the Secure Socket Layer then which type of certificate or key(s) I have to use ?

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tarbo
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Joined: 2006-12-18
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From the Wikipedia:

[i]In cryptography, a public key certificate (or identity certificate) is an electronic document which incorporates a digital signature to bind together a public key with an identity — information such as the name of a person or an organization, their address, and so forth. The certificate can be used to verify that a public key belongs to an individual.[/i] (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_key_certificate )

A key is anything (often a sequence of bytes) fed to a function to encrypt/decrypt data. Some algorithms features multiple keys (e.g. RSA), others a single key (e.g. DES). Keys are useless without the used algorithm.

A certificate can be seen as an abstract ID-card with sufficient data embedded to authenticate itself to others. A certificate may hold one or multiple keys, the type of algorithms to use them with, and may itself be encrypted. In its simplest form, a certificate holds just a name and a single key.

Searching on "Java SSL tutorial" should get you a good run of documents and useable examples you can peruse at your leisure.