MS, Others Offer XML-Based Encryption Scheme

Verisign Inc., Microsoft Corp. and webMethods Inc. on Wednesday introduced a specification that works to simplify the integration of PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) and digital certificates with XML (extensible markup language) applications.

The companies have released the spec, dubbed XKMS (XML Key Management Specification), and will submit it to the appropriate Web standards bodies for consideration as an open Internet standard, the companies said in a statement.

XKMS is designed to let developers integrate authentication, digital signature and encryption services -- such as certificate processing and revocation status checking -- in Web-based applications, according to the companies. This will allow developers to avoid the use of proprietary software toolkits from PKI software vendors.

The spec works with trust functions residing on servers, accessible via programmed XML transactions. XKMS is compatible with standards for Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and Simple Object Access Protocl (SOAP).

Microsoft has announced that it will build XKMS into the Microsoft .NET architecture for both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) environments.

The specification for XMS and a white paper can be viewed at

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