What Are XML Digital Signatures?
XML digital signatures are signatures available in XML format that serve as digital rubber stamps when appended to XML documents, ensuring the authenticity and originality of the parent document.
The consumer of a signed XML document (which might contain confidential business information) can verify the signature elements to ensure the source of the document as well as its integrity.
The XML digital signature technology is a combined effort between the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). The XML Signature Working Group, which has members from both organizations, currently maintains the standards and specifications governing XML digital signatures.
A typical XML digital signature (or XML DSig, for the rest of this article) looks like Figure 1.
Figure 1 A sample XML digital signature.
Don't lose heart yet because of its weird look!
As you complete this article, you'll be able to generate one for your own applications!