UAC and Signed Applications

I talked about User Account Control in Windows Vista at the Developer Day in Gothenburg yesterday.

One of the topics was about signing you application so a user knows who published it. In earlier windows versions this is something that the user see when he download an application like an installer but in Windows Vista publisher is also showed in the consent dialog every time you start an application elevated (running as administrator).

And there is also one more difference – if you elevate an unsigned application User Account Control shows a big orange dialog with a lot of threatening text. If it is signed UAC will use a smaller, less threatening dialog similar to the one you see when you elevate applications signed by Microsoft.

Signing your application is also an requirement to get your application Vista Logo compliant.

So how do you get you application signed then? Well, the descriptions you find when you search is really scary.

“If the programmer uses a Borland product, for example Delphi, the developer has to find those 3 files on the Microsoft web site. Microsoft has removed the file codesigningx86.exe from their web site which contained the 3 files. Now the developer is required to download 19 different files, perform a cab extraction of nearly a GB of files, and install an SDK just to get those 3 files.”

But I found an exelent small tool that solves the whole process in a minute from x2net. It comes with a demo cert to make it easy to test. (If you want the demo cert to work with UAC dialog on Windows Vista you must manually install the demo root certificate into the local machines certificate store)