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Advise: Digital Signature Scheme

Advise: Digital Signature Scheme

(OP)
I am in the process of building an application using Visual Studio 2008 to handle the activities that happen in our Receiving Inspection area.  This is the first Visual Basic application I will build.

One of the issues that has been raised is how we could have employees "sign" documents on the computer, rather than relying on paper print-outs.  The most simple solution is to use a username/password combination for each signing, and record who did it when in fields in the document data. (We are using a SQL server to handle data storage.)  I believe that my superiors are comfortable with the username/password option, but if a more secure option existed and could be used, they would prefer we select that.  We have also been trying to find out how to use Active Directory for the authentication, or possibly digital certificates.  We do not yet have any experience with either of these schemes.

What does everyone advise using for a situation like this, and how would it be called in VB/what would it return (or where would a reference be found that shows that)?  Google searching over the last few days has not revealed practical applications or examples, so we're at a loss, although we are sure that other developers are handling such issues.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheryl dc Kern

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