KeyContainer VB.NET Reference Documentation

KeyContainer

Current Version: 9.5.0.73

Represents a key container on a Windows operating system. Each Windows system has a "machine keyset" where named key containers are potentially accessible to all processes. The "machine keyset" is a machine-wide container for key containers. Each user account also has it's own set of key containers. Therefore, when you open or create a key container by name, you must also indicate whether it's the "machine keyset" or the user account's keyset.

The KeyContainer object provides methods opening, creating, and deleting key containers by name. It also provides the ability to import public/private keys into a key container, or to export public/private keys from a key container. It can generate new key pairs. It can also enumerate the names of existing key containers.

This class is specific to the Windows operating system, and therefore is only available on Windows systems.

Object Creation

Dim obj As New Chilkat.KeyContainer()

Properties

ContainerName
ContainerName As String (ReadOnly)

The name of the currently open key container.

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DebugLogFilePath
DebugLogFilePath As String

If set to a file path, causes each Chilkat method or property call to automatically append it's LastErrorText to the specified log file. The information is appended such that if a hang or crash occurs, it is possible to see the context in which the problem occurred, as well as a history of all Chilkat calls up to the point of the problem. The VerboseLogging property can be set to provide more detailed information.

This property is typically used for debugging the rare cases where a Chilkat method call hangs or generates an exception that halts program execution (i.e. crashes). A hang or crash should generally never happen. The typical causes of a hang are:

  1. a timeout related property was set to 0 to explicitly indicate that an infinite timeout is desired,
  2. the hang is actually a hang within an event callback (i.e. it is a hang within the application code), or
  3. there is an internal problem (bug) in the Chilkat code that causes the hang.

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IsMachineKeyset
IsMachineKeyset As Boolean (ReadOnly)

True if the currently open key container is from the machine keyset, otherwise False.

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IsOpen
IsOpen As Boolean (ReadOnly)

True if the object currently has a key container open, otherwise False.

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LastErrorHtml
LastErrorHtml As String (ReadOnly)

Provides information in HTML format about the last method/property called. If a method call returns a value indicating failure, or behaves unexpectedly, examine this property to get more information.

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LastErrorText
LastErrorText As String (ReadOnly)

Provides information in plain-text format about the last method/property called. If a method call returns a value indicating failure, or behaves unexpectedly, examine this property to get more information.

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LastErrorXml
LastErrorXml As String (ReadOnly)

Provides information in XML format about the last method/property called. If a method call returns a value indicating failure, or behaves unexpectedly, examine this property to get more information.

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LastMethodSuccess
LastMethodSuccess As Boolean
Introduced in version 9.5.0.52

Indicate whether the last method call succeeded or failed. A value of True indicates success, a value of False indicates failure. This property is automatically set for method calls. It is not modified by property accesses. The property is automatically set to indicate success for the following types of method calls:

  • Any method that returns a string.
  • Any method returning a Chilkat object, binary bytes, or a date/time.
  • Any method returning a standard boolean status value where success = True and failure = False.
  • Any method returning an integer where failure is defined by a return value less than zero.

Note: Methods that do not fit the above requirements will always set this property equal to True. For example, a method that returns no value (such as a "void" in C++) will technically always succeed.

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VerboseLogging
VerboseLogging As Boolean

If set to True, then the contents of LastErrorText (or LastErrorXml, or LastErrorHtml) may contain more verbose information. The default value is False. Verbose logging should only be used for debugging. The potentially large quantity of logged information may adversely affect peformance.

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Version
Version As String (ReadOnly)

Version of the component/library, such as "9.5.0.63"

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Methods

CloseContainer
Sub CloseContainer()

Closes the currently opened key container (if this object has one opened).

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CreateContainer
Function CreateContainer(ByVal name As String, ByVal machineKeyset As Boolean) As Boolean

Creates a new key container with a given name in the machine or user keyset. If a key container having the same name already exists, it is opened.

Returns True for success, False for failure.

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DeleteContainer
Function DeleteContainer() As Boolean

Deletes a key container with a given name in the machine or user keyset.

Returns True for success, False for failure.

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FetchContainerNames
Function FetchContainerNames(ByVal bMachineKeyset As Boolean) As Boolean

Fetches the container names for the machine or user keyset. After this method has been called successfully, the GetNumContainers method can be called to get the number of key containers in the given keyset, and the GetContainerName method can be called to retrieve each key container's name by index.

Returns True for success, False for failure.

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GenerateKeyPair
Function GenerateKeyPair(ByVal bKeyExchangePair As Boolean, ByVal keyLengthInBits As Integer) As Boolean

Generates a new key pair in the currently open key container. Each key container can contain two public/private key pairs: one for key exchange, and one for signature creation. The 1st argument determines which key pair is generated. A value of True causes a new key-exchange key pair to be generated, a value of False causes a new signature key pair to be generated. The size of the key (in bits) can range from 384 to 16384, with a typical value being 1024 or 2048 bits.

Returns True for success, False for failure.

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GenerateUuid
Function GenerateUuid() As String

This method is provided as a convenient way of generating unique key container names. There are no set rules for naming key containers. However, if your application is to generate a large number of keys, using a UUID for the key container name is wise to ensure uniqueness.

Returns Nothing on failure

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GetNthContainerName
Function GetNthContainerName(ByVal bMachineKeyset As Boolean, ByVal index As Integer) As String

Returns the Nth key container name. The FetchContainerNames method must have been previously called with the same keyset (machine or user). The index ranges from 0 to GetNumContainers() - 1.

Returns Nothing on failure

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GetNumContainers
Function GetNumContainers(ByVal bMachineKeyset As Boolean) As Integer

Returns the number of key containers in existence for the given keyset (machine or user). The FetchContainerNames method must have been previously called with the same keyset (machine or user).

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GetPrivateKey
Function GetPrivateKey(ByVal bKeyExchangePair As Boolean) As PrivateKey

A key container can hold two public/private key pairs -- a key-exchange pair and a signature pair. This method returns the private key for one of the key pairs. Passing a True returns the key-exchange pair, passing False returns the signature pair. A null reference is returned on failure.

Returns Nothing on failure

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GetPublicKey
Function GetPublicKey(ByVal bKeyExchangePair As Boolean) As PublicKey

A key container can hold two public/private key pairs -- a key-exchange pair and a signature pair. This method returns the public key for one of the key pairs. Passing a True returns the key-exchange pair, passing False returns the signature pair. A null reference is returned on failure.

Returns Nothing on failure

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ImportPrivateKey
Function ImportPrivateKey(ByVal key As PrivateKey, ByVal bKeyExchangePair As Boolean) As Boolean

Imports a private key into the key container. The 1st argument is the private key to be imported, and the 2nd argument determines if the key-exchange private key (True) or signature private key (False) is replaced. Note: A private key actually contains the key material for both the public and private key. When you have a private key, you effectively have both the public and private key of a key pair.

Returns True for success, False for failure.

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ImportPublicKey
Function ImportPublicKey(ByVal key As PublicKey, ByVal bKeyExchangePair As Boolean) As Boolean

Imports a public key into the key container. The 1st argument is the public key to be imported, and the 2nd argument determines if the key-exchange public key (True) or signature public key (False) is replaced.

Returns True for success, False for failure.

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OpenContainer
Function OpenContainer(ByVal name As String, ByVal needPrivateKeyAccess As Boolean, ByVal machineKeyset As Boolean) As Boolean

Opens an existing key container in either the machine or user keyset.

Returns True for success, False for failure.

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SaveLastError
Function SaveLastError(ByVal path As String) As Boolean

Saves the last-error information (the contents of LastErrorXml) to an XML formatted file.

Returns True for success, False for failure.

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