A X509 certificate refers to all types of digital certificates, regardless of how they are utilized, and implies the current standardization used to design and create digital certificates. This standardization recognizes that the information, data and other embedded objects within a digital certificate are all placed exactly in the same location and in the same order. As a result, these standards make it possible for digital certificates of all kinds to be shared between individuals and organizations, as well as allow for applications to use a single digital certificate, in place of multiple certificates. For instance, word processing, spreadsheets, data bases, and presentation software suites can be designed to use a single digital certificate in order to authenticate the user and verify they have a valid copy of the software installed on their computer. Without the X509 standards, users would have to have one digital certificate for each application, regardless of whether it was bundled as a suite or purchased separately.
Digital and Qualified Signatures Are Created Using X509 Certificate Standards
Another type of digital certificate that uses X509 certificate standards is the digital and qualified signature. Certificates containing either a digital signature or qualified signature allow organizations to conduct business transactions electronically that are legally binding. The X509 standards instruct organizations where the digital or qualified signature will be embedded into the digital certificate, when it is created using their certificate authority system. Again, this means if one organization creates a certificate with a digital signature, it will be in exactly the same place as a qualified signature in another digital certificate created by a different organization.