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Outfit SharePoint Central Administration with an Encrypted Web Page

It’s possible to expose Central Administration features for SharePoint Server 2010 to no more than a select group of authorized users with an encrypted web page. A number of companies offer SSL certificates, which, for a price, can be used to add the encryption method. But for testing purposes why not build a certificate at no charge?

Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT shows us how to build an SSL certificate in a video tutorial titled Configure Central Administration with SSL The intended audience for this video are SharePoint Administrators.

The IIS 6.0 Resource kit includes a “Self SSL” utility. This executable can be used to produce an authentic server certificate for testing purposes. The certificate will be added to the certificates stored in IIS.

Asif Rehmani demonstrates how a series of commands can be run from the command line in Windows to produce the required SSL certificate. The first of the commands is simply “help”. By running the help command, users who are unfamiliar with the syntax of Self SSL commands can get a list of the available parameters, which can be added to the “create” command for the SSL certificate.

Our video displays the results of the command, which even include an example of a command complete with parameters. We provide an additional example of how to correctly put together a command, including parameters for:

  • designating a web application for the certificate
  • adding the certificate to the list of “trusted certificates for IIS
  • assigning an ID number to the encrypted web site
  • adding a port number for the encrypted communications session
  • setting the time interval for certificate validity in days (the certificate built in this example will be valid for 365 days, or one year, from creation date)
  • running the process in quiet mode

Once the command is successfully run, we demonstrate how to confirm the existing of the newly encrypted web page by checking the trusted certificates stored in IIS for the new certificate just added.

The final step in this technique is to bind the new certificate to SharePoint Central Administration. Asif Rehmani demonstrates how to successfully perform this procedure through IIS. Be sure to add the IP address for Central Administration when binding the certificate.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved