A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013

A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013
A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013 - Book by Saifullah Shafiq

Monday, December 17, 2012

Setup SSL in SharePoint 2013

Setup SSL in SharePoint 2013

In the last article (link below), you learned how to setup SSL in SharePoint 2013 using commercial certificate.
Setup SSL in SharePoint 2013 using commercial certificates
In this article, you will learn how to setup SSL using self-signed certificate. This is useful if you are setting up a development environment or want to test SSL locally. It provides same level of protection as any other commercial certificate and you don’t have to pay for it. Why then people use commercial certificates? It’s a matter of trust. Basically you are asking your site users to trust you. It may work in some scenarios but might not work if your site is public facing (Internet). Why would people search you, they don’t know you. So, you can use self-signed certificate locally for testing but for production you should use a reliable third party certificate issuing authority like Verisign, Thwarte, etc.
Follow the steps below to create a self-signed certificate for your site:

  • Open IIS 7.0.
  • Click on the server name in the navigation tree on the left. 
  • On the right side, Under IIS, double-click Server Certificates.
  • On the extreme right, under Actions click Create Self-Signed Certificate link.
  • Enter a friendly name for the certificate, for example, I entered WS (for Wali Systems).
  • Double-click the newly created certificate.
  • Click on Details tab.
  • Click Copy to File button.
  • Certificate export wizard will start. Click Next.
  • By default second option No, do not export the private key is selected. Keep it selected and click Next.
  • Keep the default option DER encoded binary X.509 (.CER) selected and click Next.
  • Click Browse to go to the folder where you want the file to be saved. Enter file name and click Save.
  • Click Next and then Finish. Click Ok to close the success message box. Click OK to close the Certificate window.

The steps that follow are same as those demonstrated in the previous article. Certificates are issued to a computer, user.  Or service. Administrators can add certificates to the Trusted Root Certification Authorities Store for a local computer or for a domain. Below, we will add certificate to the local computer store.
  • Click Start > Run and type mmc and click OK. MMC console will open.
  • From File, select Add/Remove Snap-in.
  • Select Certificates from available snap-ins and click Add >.
  • Select first option My user account and click Finish.
  • Click OK.
  • Expand Certificates – Current User node.
  • Expand Trusted Root Certification Authorities and click Certificates folder.
  • Right-click Certificates folder and select All Tasks then select Import.
  • Browse to the certificate (.cer) file that you saved earlier. Click Next.
  • Select Place all certificates in the following store and leave default store selected. Click Next.
  • Click Finish.
  • You will get The import was successful message. Click Ok.
If you share this server with others, then it’s better to import the certificate using local computer account. Follow steps 14 – 25 again but this time in step 17, instead of selecting My user account, select Computer account. After you have imported certificate into Trusted Root Certification Authorities, import it into SharePoint Certificates as well. Expand SharePoint node, right-click Certificates node and import the certificate. 

Manage Trust

  • This step is not required if you have a single server farm but if you are setting it up in a medium or large farm, then you should add certificate to the Trust Relationships in central administration site.
  • Open central administration site. Go to Security section (Click Security under Central Administration on the left).
  • In General Security section, click Manage Trust.
  • In the ribbon, click New button.
  • Add a name for this trust relationship.
  • Click Browse to import the certificate. This is mandatory regardless of whether you want to provide to or consume trust from the other farm.
  • Leave Provide Trust Relationship unchecked unless you want to provide trust to another farm. This is optional.
  • Click OK.
You can also add certificate using PowerShell. Open SharePoint 2013 Management Shell and run following command:
  • $trustcert = new-object system.security.cryptography.x509certificates.x509certificate2(“C:\\ws.cer”)
  • New-sptrustedrootauthority –name “SP Cert” –certificate $trustcert
** C:\\ws.cer is the path to the certificate file. Change it to the path on your machine.
** SP Cert is the name that you give to this trust relationship. This is what will appear in the
 Manage Trust interface in SharePoint Central Admin.

Your site should have correct host headers if you want this certificate to work correctly. For example, if you look at the figure above, you will notice that the certificate was issued to “sp2013.walisystems.com” so if your site does not have this host header, you will get an error. For example, when you try to open your site in the browser, you get this error:

Figure: There is a problem with this website’s security certificate

Again, notice that I tried to open ” https://www.walisystems.com” but the certificate was issued to “sp2013.walisystems.com”. If you click Continue to this website, site will open but you will still get an error message.

Figure: Mismatched Address

Error: The security certificate presented by this website was issued for a different website’s address. This problem might indicate an attempt to fool you or intercept any data you send to the server.

To resolve the issue, create a new web application or extend an existing one. If you want to add https to your main site at port 80, then create a new web application with new host headers. Here are the steps:

Create New Web Application For SSL

  • Go to central administration. Click Manage web applications.
  • Click New button in the ribbon.
  • Select Create a new IIS web site. Change Port to 80. 
  • In the Host Header, enter the URL that want to use for this web application. For example, I wanted to use “sp2013.walisystems.com” because that was the URL for which the certificate was issued therefore I entered ”sp2013.walisystems.com”. Note: Do not add HTTP in the URL.
  • In Security Configuration section, select Yes in Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
  • Keep all other default options selected and click OK.
  • After web application is created, create a site collection at the root level.

Change Alternate Access Mappings

  • In Central Administration Site, go to Application Management section and click Configure alternate access mappings.
  • Change site collection in the drop down. Select the one that you just created. Click Add Internal URLs.
  • Enter complete URL that starts with HTTPS. For example, “https://sp2013.walisystems.com”.
  • Change Zone to Custom or Extranet.
  • Click Save.

Bind Certificate To Your Site

  • Finally, bind certificate to your site. Open IIS.
  • Click server name. Expand Sites node.
  • Click site name that you will bind to the SSL certificate.
  • On the right, under Actions, click Bindings.
  • Click Add.
  • In Type, select https.
  • Keep 443 in the Port. This is default port used for SSL.
  • In SSL Certificate, select the certificate you just installed. Click OK. That’s it.
To test SSL setup, open the site in browser. In the address bar, click the lock sign to check validity of the certificate. If you want to see the certificate, click View Certificates link at the bottom of the notification.


  1. When it comes to any web application, security is extremely important. Internet users aren't going to continue to use a site if they are getting error messages or a notification of a problem with the security certificate.

  2. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a requirement for web applications that are deployed in scenarios that support server-to-server authentication and app authentication.

  3. I have a problem with a website's security certificate for Apps, could you help me to fix this issue?