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Creating a digital signature for my VBA code which will be valid for our domain.

Posted on 2011-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

I've no idea if this is possible or how to achieve it.

I create Excel spreadsheets with VBA code. Primarily these are pivot style db maintenance. A recent project involves a sheet with (currently) just over 82,000 cells. The table contains a priority level between suppliers (the Y axis - rows) and customers (the X axis - columns).

There is event code behind the scenes dealing with sync changes to the DB and to correctly colour the cell as they change the value (just a single digit).

Using a spreadsheet is significantly easier for this size of data for the users. Initially they had a web app which only allows 25 suppliers on a page at once and scrolled the entire page left/right to get the different customers. A shrink wrapped app I'm rewriting. So far, so good.

One of the issues I have is that I need to sign the vba code so that the users can load the file. I use Office 2003. Different users are on 2003, 2007 and 2010.

We all operate within a domain and have Active Directory and Group Policies.

When a user loads the spreadsheet, they have to jump through several hoops to allow the macros to run. On 2003, this is fairly simple. I'm completely lost on 2010 (I don't even know how to move around the app as there is no menu - but that's another issue for me).

What I want to achieve is a way that I can sign the VBA code and all the users automatically trust it. No popups or anything. Just as if the spreadsheet had no VBA code in it at all.

Whatever I do, I'll be passing the actual work to our sysops (they are looking into this as well, but neither of us are familiar with this).

I don't mind what work I have to do as long as I don't need to visit every user and manually allow the code to run.

Regards,

Richard Quadling.
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Question by:RQuadling
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pari123 earned 500 total points
ID: 35214628
Hi Richard,

Do you have the option to purchase a digital signature from one of the commercial Certificate Authorities? If not, you can try to create your own certificate.

Here are a few links which might help you. The first link explains the different security levels in Excel 2010. The 2nd link tells you how to create a digital certificate on your own for Excel 2007 and Excel 2010.

1. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/change-macro-security-settings-in-excel-HP010342232.aspx#_Toc268686299
2. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/digitally-sign-a-macro-project-HA001231781.aspx


HTH,
Ardhendu
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Author Comment

by:RQuadling
ID: 35215729
I'm looking at code signing certs.

Source                                                                                          1 Year           2 Years           3 Years        4 Years        5 Years Target
==================================================================================== ================= ================= ================= ============== ============== ============================================================
http://www.globalsign.co.uk/code-signing/code-signing-for-individual-developers.html            £69.00           £119.00           £179.00                               Individual developer
http://www.globalsign.co.uk/code-signing/                                                      £149.00           £229.00           £399.00                               Organisation
https://www.thawte.com/code-signing/index.html                                          $299 / £186.12    $549 / £341.79                                                 Microsoft Authenticode (I think this is the more modern one)
https://www.thawte.com/code-signing/index.html                                          $299 / £186.12    $549 / £341.79                                                 Microsoft Office VBA
http://www.instantssl.com/code-signing/                                                        £119.95           £227.90           £332.85
https://secure.ksoftware.net/code_signing.html                                            $99 / £61.63    $178 / £110.85    $252 / £156.93 $316 / £196.78 $371 / £231.05 Comodo/InstantSSL reseller
http://www.godaddy.com/ssl/code-signing-certificate.aspx                             $199.99 / £124.55 $359.98 / £224.21 $509.97 / £317.62

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So far, whilst the individual developer cert from GlobalSign is pretty good (and one I may use for my own non-work work), I think the Comodo reseller KSoftware seems the cheapest.

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