The steps involved in creating a signed applet are similar for other browsers. It’s the details of each step that differ severely. Netscape Navigator also recognizes JAR files, but it can’t recognize signatures produced by javakey. Similarly, HotJava is unable to recognize signatures intended for Navigator.

Prepare a Signer

To sign an applet for Navigator, you must have an appropriate signing certificate in Navigator’s database. You can purchase such a certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA). I bought a “Class 2 Digital ID” from VeriSign (see for $19.95. I can use this certificate to sign code; it lasts for one year. You should be aware that VeriSign isn’t the only game in town. There are plenty of CAs in the world. I just used VeriSign because they’ve made it convenient to buy certificates on the Web. VeriSign has streamlined the process of getting a certificate; it’s fairly easy to give them your 20 bucks and get a certificate in return. Behind this simple process is a lot of legal documentation. If you’re serious about using your certificate, you should read all of it.

VeriSign offers two classes of certificates for code signing :

  • Class 2 certificates, for individual software developers, cost $20 per year. VeriSign does some quick automated checks on the information you give them and can issue a certificate within five minutes of receiving your information.

  • Class 3 certificates, for software development companies, cost $400 per year. VeriSign ...

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