What is Net iD Client?

Net iD Client is an advanced PKI client to be used with smart cards, virtual smart cards, or other holders of private keys and certificates.

Net iD Client is based on Pointsharp’s product Net iD Enterprise, but is redesigned to better handle future demands, such as the internet of things (IoT). Some functions are discarded because they are no longer used, and some components have been merged since they basically were doing the same thing.

Net iD Client should not be considered as an application that provides some specific functionality. It is better described as a toolbox that helps other applications to provide security functionality using private keys and certificates. But there is some functionality that is provided as stand-alone or as extensions to existing applications, and they are referred to as components.

Net iD Client compared to Net iD Enterprise

Net iD Client is the next generation of Net iD Enterprise. Most functionality from Net iD Enterprise is present in Net iD Client, but the new architecture introduces new ways to do some things. The changes are made to simplify for the future, but can be thought of as complicated for those used to do things in a specific way.

The biggest change is the introduction of a single library that handles all components or application interfaces. The new library exports all the interfaces that were available as different libraries earlier, such as PKCS#11, CSP, KSP, MiniDriver, and Plugin. This change requires applications that loaded those libraries to change to a new path or location. See Libraries. The change is only the path, the functionality is still the same.

The configuration has also changed, with focus on that parameters should not be changed by customers. Parameters are available, but the default values should handle most, or all, scenarios. This has been made available by configuration conditions. The introduction of configuration conditions limits the number of needed packages. Conditions were really successful which resulted that it was back-ported to Net iD Enterprise, so some can already have been introduced to the concept. The thought is that when different parameters earlier required separate installation packages, they should now only use a single installation package.