SSL for dummies

Posted on 2009-04-02
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I need to develop an VS2003 - VB web application that uses SSL. This new application will be started from an existing application written in ????? that already uses SSL.

I am a newbie with SSL and not really sure where to begin, but I need to get up to speed quickly on this.  I am very familiar with & ASP and programming languages.  If need be, I can upgrade top VS2005

Question by:robertjmackay
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 24051997
SSL is on the protocol level.  You don't need to do anything from a programming sense to your application to support it.  

Author Comment

ID: 24052182
so how does my program know to use SSL or not?
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Stacy Spear
Stacy Spear earned 200 total points
ID: 24052384
By the port used.
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Accepted Solution

WeiXi earned 300 total points
ID: 24052493
In general, as b_levitt already pointed out, your program doesn't have to know about SSL at all.

The user connects to your web server (I suppose it's IIS), then the IIS calls your program which, in turn, returns some output. The SSL part is between the use and the IIS, not between the IIS and your program.

Thus, you have to configure the IIS to use SSL, not your program.

Author Comment

ID: 24052799
I think I just got it.  I specify SSL or not when I add my application to the web server?

OK, The existing site uses SSL ... and I am assuming that using SSL requires a certificate (like I said - bit ignorant on all this stuff)  Will I need another certificate?

Expert Comment

ID: 24053056
> I specify SSL or not when I add my application to the web server?

> Will I need another certificate?
Technically speaking, no. That depends on whether the data of the current certificate (owner, domain, etc.) is suitable for the new application.

Author Comment

ID: 24053127
And how do I find out if it is or is not?  LOL keep in mind, this is all new to me
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Stacy Spear
ID: 24053244
A valid current cert is all that is needed. Connect to the webserver via https and examine the certificate.

Author Comment

ID: 24053716
When I log on to the existing application and look at the security report.  A window pops up.  So if I am assuming correctly, providing my application resides on that domain, SSL will be in effect?

Verisign Class 3 Public Primary CA
has identified this site as
This connection to the server is encrypted


Expert Comment

ID: 24054373
> So if I am assuming correctly, providing my application resides
> on that domain, SSL will be in effect?

The way I understand your setting and question: yes.

However, a "domain" can host multiple web-applications, SSL and non-SSL at the same time. Again, this has nothing to do with your application, but with the way the IIS (or other web server) is set up.

If you plug your application into the web server in the same way as the current application is, then you will be fine. You will be using the same SSL-configuration and SSL-certificate as the current application.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31565877
I split the 500 points .. .basically 100 points for each response .. .excellent
thanks a bunch

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