Created a self-signed certificate for WCF development – Windows 2003

Written by stevey on July 12th, 2011

During the development of a WCF app, I needed to issue a self-signed certificate to my local Windows 2003 server in order to test out ways to secure WCF server-client communication. For IIS6 this was a bit trickier than IIS7. I needed to download the IIS6 resource tool kit and then run selfssl.exe to create the certificate. IIS7 could do it right on its GUI. Here were the detail steps that I went through to create a SSL-enabled hosting environment (via certificate) on my local development machine (credited this very useful posting here):

  1. Downloaded IIS6 resource kit from here and installed it.
  2. Start ->All Programs -> IIS Resources-> SelfSSL
  3. This launched into command line:C:\Program Files\IIS Resources\SelfSSL>selfssl /N:CN=localhost:8088 /K:1024 /V:365 /S:437690215 /T

    • localhost:8088 – this is where the https site is to be hosted; as port 80 already taken by another web host, I used 8088 for the new site;
    • /K: is the key size – 2048 is recommended (but 1024 worked for my case);
    • /V: days of validity – 365 is recommended (I actually used 730 or 2 years for development convenience)
    • /S: number for your web site identifier in IIS (437690215 is site id for Wcfhost, default website usually is 1, found it under the root of the website property)
    • /T makes the certificated trusted
  4. Answered “Y” at the next prompt.
  5. The message:”The self signed certificate was successfully assigned to site 437690215″
    Go back to IIS6 and now there is a Certificate under the Directory Security

For creating a self-signed certificate in IIS7, follow this article at MSDN.


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