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How to: Sign Application and Deployment Manifests 

In order to publish an application using ClickOnce deployment, the application and deployment manifests must be strong-named with a public/private key pair and signed using Authenticode technology. You can sign the manifests using a certificate from the Windows certificate store or a key file.

For information on creating key files, see How to: Create a Public/Private Key Pair.

NoteNote

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 supports only Personal Information Exchange (PFX) key files with the .pfx extension. However, you can select other types of certificates from the current user's Windows certificate store using the Select a Certificate Dialog Box to sign your manifest.

You can sign your application and deployment manifests using the options in the Signing page of the Project Designer. For more information, see Signing Page, Project Designer.

The following procedures apply to signing the application and deployment manifests only. If you want to sign the assembly, see How to: Sign an Assembly (Visual Studio).

To access the Signing page

  1. With the project node selected in Solution Explorer, from the Project menu, click Properties (or right-click the project node in Solution Explorer, and click Properties).

  2. In the Project Designer, click the Signing tab.

To sign application and deployment manifests using a certificate

  1. On the Signing page, select the Sign the ClickOnce manifests check box.

  2. Click the Select from Store button.

    The Select a Certificate Dialog Box appears, displaying the contents of the Windows certificate store.

  3. Select the certificate that you want to use to sign the manifests.

  4. Alternatively, you can specify the address of a timestamp server in the Timestamp server URL text box. This is a server that provides a timestamp specifying when the manifest was signed.

To sign application and deployment manifests using an existing key file

  1. On the Signing page, select the Sign the ClickOnce manifests check box.

  2. Click the Select from File button.

    The Select File dialog box appears.

  3. In the Select File dialog box, browse to the location of the key file (.pfx) that you wish to use, then click Open.

    NoteNote

    This option supports only files with the .pfx extension. If you have a key file or certificate in another format, store it in the Windows certificate store and select the certificate using the preceding procedure. The selected certificate's purpose should include code signing.

    The Enter Password to Open File Dialog Box appears. (If the .pfx file is already stored in your Windows certificate store, or is not password protected, you will not be prompted to enter a password.)

  4. Enter the password to access the key file, and press ENTER.

To sign application and deployment manifests using a test certificate

  1. On the Signing page, select the Sign the ClickOnce manifests check box.

  2. To create a new certificate for testing purposes, click the Create Test Certificate button.

  3. In the Create Test Certificate Dialog Box, enter a password to secure your test certificate.

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