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public interface: Certificate [javadoc | source] Deprecated! A - new certificate handling package is created in the Java platform. This Certificate interface is entirely deprecated and is here to allow for a smooth transition to the new package.

This is an interface of abstract methods for managing a variety of identity certificates. An identity certificate is a guarantee by a principal that a public key is that of another principal. (A principal represents an entity such as an individual user, a group, or a corporation.)

In particular, this interface is intended to be a common abstraction for constructs that have different formats but important common uses. For example, different types of certificates, such as X.509 certificates and PGP certificates, share general certificate functionality (the need to encode and decode certificates) and some types of information, such as a public key, the principal whose key it is, and the guarantor guaranteeing that the public key is that of the specified principal. So an implementation of X.509 certificates and an implementation of PGP certificates can both utilize the Certificate interface, even though their formats and additional types and amounts of information stored are different.

Important: This interface is useful for cataloging and grouping objects sharing certain common uses. It does not have any semantics of its own. In particular, a Certificate object does not make any statement as to the validity of the binding. It is the duty of the application implementing this interface to verify the certificate and satisfy itself of its validity.

Method from Summary:
decode,   encode,   getFormat,   getGuarantor,   getPrincipal,   getPublicKey,   toString
Method from Detail:
 abstract public  void decode(InputStream stream) throws KeyException, IOException       Deprecated!
    Decodes a certificate from an input stream. The format should be that returned by getFormat and produced by encode.
 abstract public  void encode(OutputStream stream) throws KeyException, IOException       Deprecated!
    Encodes the certificate to an output stream in a format that can be decoded by the decode method.
 abstract public String getFormat()       Deprecated!
    Returns the name of the coding format. This is used as a hint to find an appropriate parser. It could be "X.509", "PGP", etc. This is the format produced and understood by the encode and decode methods.
 abstract public Principal getGuarantor()       Deprecated!
    Returns the guarantor of the certificate, that is, the principal guaranteeing that the public key associated with this certificate is that of the principal associated with this certificate. For X.509 certificates, the guarantor will typically be a Certificate Authority (such as the United States Postal Service or Verisign, Inc.).
 abstract public Principal getPrincipal()       Deprecated!
    Returns the principal of the principal-key pair being guaranteed by the guarantor.
 abstract public PublicKey getPublicKey()       Deprecated!
    Returns the key of the principal-key pair being guaranteed by the guarantor.
 public String toString(boolean detailed)       Deprecated!
    Returns a string that represents the contents of the certificate.