How to Create Code Signing Certificates in Apple Developer Program?

How to Create Code Signing Certificates in Apple Developer Program?

Mobile applications help the common user in several ways. There has been a tremendous increase in software downloads. There have been incidents where users were tricked into downloading malicious mobile applications that led to the hijacking of sensitive data. The need for code generation certificates as a safeguard against such incidents has increased manifold.

Your developers must understand how to create the Apple Developer Certificate as it can help to ensure more downloads and ensures that your applications are not altered. The app can be published onto the App Store only with this certificate. We will discuss how you can create the Developer certificate for Apple.

What is a code signing certificate, and why is it needed?

Code signing certificates have the information that can identify the software developer. The developers use them to sign the drivers, applications, drivers, etc., digitally. Therefore, it contains the information to identify the software developer. It can also include the company’s name, the digital signature and must ideally have a timestamp.

The code signing certificate will help the users be assured of the developer before they download the application. It also ensures that the mobile app has not been taken over and no unauthorized changes have been made since the code was signed. The application can be submitted onto the App Store only after being signed with Apple’s certificate.

The certificates from Apple

The membership of the Apple Developer Program is needed to request and use the certificates used by Apple.

The Development certificate helps to develop the apps internally and have them deployed on the internal systems. In addition, these certificates are utilized by the developers who wish to test the application on a physical device when they are writing the code.

The Distribution certificate will be needed to publish the application on the App Store. The mobile app can run on all devices.

The Provisioning Profile

Are you aware that you must sign the app using an Apple certificate before publishing it onto the App Store? The developers have to test the mobile app before it is published onto the App Store. The provisioning profile is the link that exists between the developer account and the device.

The Provisioning Profile has the bundle identifiers and the device identifiers of the application. It also defines the rules for running the app inside the device. The developers with adequate rights and privileges can only create the certificates.

The Development provisioning profile can identify the developers who have the authorization to develop the application. There is a bundle identifier for the application and a list of devices entrusted to run the application. It is used during the development phase and can install the application on a few devices for testing the app features that cannot typically be tested on the iOS simulators. The devices specified can only be used for testing by the individuals whose certificates are covered within the profile.

What is needed for the code signing process?

The Certificate Signing Request (CSR). As a first step, you must create the CSR with some details about your identity. Then, it will be sent to the iOS platform, which acts as the Certificate Authority. Finally, Apple will confirm the identity of the developer and issue the certificate.

The certificate. The developer must have the Apple Developer Membership to generate the certificate at the Apple Developer Portal.

Having the App ID. You must register for the App ID that ensures that the app has a unique identity on the App Store. It can also help when generating the Provisioning Profile.

Provisioning Profiles. It enables the definition of the rules used for running the app on the device.

Creating the Apple Developer Certificates

Creating the CSR (Certificate Signing Request)

  • The CSR will have the information that you will need for creating the iOS Development Certificate.
  • First, you must launch the Keychain Address.
  • From the Keychain Address, there is a drop-down. You must select “Certificate Assistant.”
  • Next, you select the tab “Request a Certificate from an existing CA.”
  • There will be a “Certificate Assistant” dialogue box.
  • You must fill in these details:
    • User email address: Provide the email address
    • Common name: Provide the name
    • CA Email address: You can keep this blank
    • At the “Request is” field, select the “Saved to the Disk” option
  • Next, you must click on the “Continue” tab.
  • You can click on “Show in Finder” and visit the folder where the CSR had been created. Then click on the “Done” tab.

Creating the iOS Development Certificate through the Apple Developer Account

  • First, you must log in to your account at developer.apple.com/account.
  • You click on “Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles.”
  • Now, click on the “Certificates” tab.
  • Next, click on the blue button beside Certificates.
  • On the “Create a New Certificate” page, there is a list of certificates enlisted under “Software” and “Services.”
  • You must carefully select one of your choices. A brief about each type is given alongside.
  • For example, if you wish to create software certificates for macOS, iOS applications in the latest Xcode version, you can choose “Apple Development.” If you want to sign development versions of the iOS mobile app, you must click on “iOS App Development.”
  • Once you have selected the type of certificate you want, click on the “Continue” tab.
  • Then, there will be a prompt stating, “Upload a Certificate Signing Request.” You must upload the CSR and click on the “Continue” tab.
  • You can download the Apple Developer Certificate that has been generated onto your local terminal. At the “Download your Certificate” page, click on the “Download” tab.
  • You must double-click on the downloaded file for uploading it to the Keychain Access.
  • There must be a Certificate Password to secure the certificate.

Conclusion

There has been an increase in the number of mobile app downloads. The users must be assured they are downloading safe applications. Keeping this in mind, Apple ensures that the mobile apps are code signed before being published onto the App Store. Developers must know how they can download the Apple Developer Certificates. The steps have been discussed in this article.

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