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2017-07-31

Government issued smart cards and PDF documents signing

Many EU and non-EU governments and organizations are now issuing so-called e-legitimations, e.g. SuisseID / MobileID in Switzerland, BankID / MobileID / National ID in Nordic countries, ID cards in Italy and Germany, Dutch copy of BankID called iDin, Belgian National ID and so on. Some of them are produced in the form of smartcards carrying necessary digital certificates which can be used for documents signing. 

There are a few ways to work with these cards from the development perspective and it depends on the provided driver and, consequently, supported interfaces. If the target OS is Windows you can either use CryptoAPI, CNG (CryptoAPI Next Generation) or PKCS#11 if supported by the device. Most vendors supply drivers for both, so it shouldn't be the problem. In case of .NET there is a great wrapper for PKCS#11 called Pkcs11Interop that is compliant with v.2.20 of the specification. Working with CryptoAPI often requires PInvokes to be defined and mastered and, honestly, may become quite challenging task.

With macOS it's a bit foggy, nevertheless you can use tokend drivers provided by various vendors either open source or commercial. Apple's own signing API works for this purpose however it may require dancing around to get things working.

Whichever way you choose, we can provide you with a reliable PDF processing library so you'd be able to sign documents without any problems, once you try our API defined to handle various signing scenarios. Apitron PDF Kit sets high standards in PDF processing and our team is well known for the outstanding customer support. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, we'll be happy to help you.

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