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generating a Certificate Request

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We've created an applet for a client, and they want it to be able to write to the user's hard drive. They plan to obtain a Java code signing digital ID from Verisign. As part of the process, Verisign needs a "Certificate Request" and our client has asked us to generate it.
I've never had anything to do with signed applets before, and am not sure how to go about this. We're using JDK 1.1.8 for development, so users will not be required to have the Java plugin. The problem is, Verisign wants us to use JDK 1.3 to generate the certificate request, and I'm wondering if this will cause problems for users who don't have the Java plugin. The people at Verisign tech support have been less than helpful (when I was able to get through!) and say they don't know the answer to my question!
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If it's any consolation, About 6 months ago, the company I was working for chose Verisign because that was the BEST level of support we could find! Comforting, ain't it?
The certificate is a data file, so neither the client nor server will know (or care) what JDK built it. All they're saying is that they don't warrant the certificate generator to run under any other Java Version.
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